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Learn about the costs you need to consider you’ll have while moving out and how to calculate how much you should save.

Key takeaways:

  • On average, Americans save between $7,000 and $15,000 before moving out
  • There are many costs to consider when moving out, such as rent or mortgage payments, security deposit, moving expenses, etc.
  • Besides all expenses related to moving, It’s recommended to save between three and six months of living expenses

To ensure a smooth transition when moving out, it is recommended that you save a certain amount of money beforehand. A general rule of thumb is to aim to save between $7,000 and $15,000.  This amount should cover various expenses such as finding a suitable place to live, buying furniture, paying for moving expenses, and settling other bills.

Please note that these values can vary depending on several factors, such as your desired location, lifestyle, and current expenses. Below, we share a step-by-step approach to calculating how much you should save before moving out.


To calculate how much you should save, you should first measure your costs (or future costs).  Below is a list of the most common and important costs most people have.

Rent or mortgage payments: Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the US is, on average, between $1,000 to $3,000 per month, while mortgage payments can vary widely depending on the home's location and size.

Security deposit: The security deposit is typically equal to one or two months' rent. For example, if you're paying $1,200 per month in rent, you'll need to save at least $1,200 to $2,400 for your security deposit.

Utilities, Internet, and Cable: On average, utilities in the US can cost around $250 per month. Expect to spend around $100 for Internet and Cable.

Furniture and appliances: Depending on the type and amount of furniture and appliances you need, the cost for a one-bedroom apartment can range from $2,000 to $6,000.

Moving expenses: On average, moving expenses can range from $500 to $2,500.

Food and household supplies: This will depend on your lifestyle and the number of people living with you. Expect to spend between $300 to $650 per month.


HOA/Community fees: Homeowners' associations and some apartment complexes will require communal fees, so be sure to check.

Loans/credit: If you had to take out loans to afford the move or run up your credit, you might end up with larger interest payments that increase your expenses.

Transportation: For example, In New York, a 30-day unlimited-use MTA MetroCard costs $121, and LA Metro offers a $100 30-day pass for those in that area. The bottom line: It's an increased expense you may not have calculated for.


Once you have an idea of the costs you’ll have, you can calculate how much you need to save before moving out. It's recommended that you save between three and six months' worth of living expenses (food, rent, utilities, etc). as an emergency fund in case unexpected problems arise. This emergency fund should cover rent or mortgage payments, utilities, food, and other basic necessities.

On top of that, you should also save enough to cover the costs associated with moving out.

We spoke to our General Manager Nancy Zafrani, who has been accompanying clients moving in NYC for three decades, and she suggests: “Based on the data we've collected from our customers, it seems that approximately 60% of them save between 3-4 months of monthly expenses before making a move. While I understand that it can be challenging to save this amount, it's critical to try to prepare for any unexpected situations that might arise. Whether it's a sudden job loss or an unexpected expense, having a financial cushion can make a difference”.


Did you know that most landlords expect you to make 40 times the amount of rent you pay? So, if you're looking for an apartment for $1,000/month, they expect you to make $40,000/year. Rent is without a doubt the primary expense of the renter, and many of the top financial advisors suggest you do not put more than a third of your income toward rent. In places like New York City, real estate website SpareRoom analyzed rental prices and found that the rental rates are up citywide. In today's economy, this could potentially be the case even in rural areas well outside of cities.

The point is, when it comes to saving money for your rent, it will not hurt at all to go a lot more frugal in your living. Meals at home instead of Uber Eats or walking instead of taking taxis; perhaps even going for secondhand items instead of brand-new merchandise. This can all help you save money to ensure that rent isn't wiping out your finances.

Saving prior to moving is essential, especially if a landlord requires the first and last month's rent plus a security deposit. At $1,000/month for rent, that leaves you paying $3,000 upfront. This isn't something to put on a credit card. This is why saving up four times those expenses, as mentioned above, is a great way to go about saving your money here, if that's possible for you.

There are also fees you may be asked to pay even prior to renting a new place, such as being charged for a background check/credit check. No, landlords and rental agencies aren't going to foot the bill for this. This is an expense you may be expected to pay, with rates that could run you upwards of $200.

cost of moving expenses


Moving isn't always as easy as the TV and movies make it seem. You don't just get fair moving quotes from the first company and have those big, burly, humorous, moving men lug your stuff for you. In reality, you may have to check with multiple locations to find a fair quote. For some people, renting their own moving truck may be the best way to save money.

We worked with Streeteasy to run the rates of what the average person paid when moving to New York City

Average Studio Moving Cost - $420 - $700
Average 1 Bedroom Moving Cost - $700 - $1100
Average 2 Bedroom Moving Cost - $1100 - $1500
Average 3 Bedroom Moving Cost - $1500 AND UP

Keep in mind these are in-city numbers from six years ago. Once inflation is taken into account, as well as potential long-distance moves or big moves that require bigger trucks, etc., these rates are certainly subject to change on the plus side. Some people want professional packing services and want their movers to arrange and stage the items, etc. These services would also add to the costs.

How much do I need to save before moving?




Keep in mind that saving money is no picnic, to begin with. To help you get this job done, here are some money-saving tips you can implement.

• Live a more frugal lifestyle. Cancel those streaming services. Try coffee you brew at home. Walk instead of Uber. Shop secondhand from thrift stores. These things will help you save money.

• Get a good credit card that isn't going to gouge you on interest rates. You might just need it.

• Open a bank account. Having a checking account, and especially a savings account is going to help you save more money and be responsible with your spending. Walking around with cash in your pocket or a digital wallet makes it too tempting to spend, especially for young adults.

• If you're planning to move out in a few months, you might want to think about adding roommates now to help burden the existing costs, making it easier for you to save and plan.

• Make a spreadsheet of your current expenses and go down it like a politician with a line-item vote and see what you need to keep, what you can cut back on, and what you can eliminate entirely.

• Try a part-time second job. Many people stop going out to clubs and such when they're saving money, so their nights are free. If you started a decent part-time job, you could add hundreds of extra dollars a week to your savings and quit once your goal is reached.

• Sell what you don't need and think about downgrading, at least until you get back on your feet and settle in. It might not net you a lot, but every little bit will help.



As you have likely gleaned from this page, moving isn't as simple as popular culture makes it seem, and it certainly isn't cheap. You're going to have to save; you're going to have to do some calculations to see exactly what you can afford. And that's just the start. Packing, moving, furnishings, figuring out transportation, etc.; it's all a lot to handle. So, if you're thinking about a move, the idea is to think about that move. Put the proper planning into.

Moving soon? Get your free quote from Oz Moving & Storage.

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