Moving for the somewhat frugal

Moving used to be a super stressful event for me financially. Scraping together a month’s rent in advance as well as a 6 week deposit has always been challenging. This time round, I’ve not only got my rent and 6 week deposit ready, I have also got enough cash lying around to cover (one of) my housemate’s deposit which will then be returned to me via the tenancy deposit scheme where we’ve got the deposit for our current place. That’s a total of nearly £3 000 and I haven’t touched any of my proper savings accounts.

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I’m going to miss a private garden but I’m not going to miss maintaining it

I wrote about my attempts to shave £150 off my housing costs for the next couple of years. In December, my housemate’s girlfriend moved in with us ostensibly to save them both some money on accommodation. This was at the same time as my other housemate moving out and needing to find a replacement for herself – to occupy the small single room in our 3-bed house. We all agreed that to make the process smoother, we would split the rents for each room like so:

  • My room (the largest of all three): £883.33
  • Room to be shared by the couple: £900
  • Smallest room: £600
  • We also split the bills 4 ways, so each paid £53.75 a month

I took on £100 more than I needed to because I wanted to help out my mates, paying £937.08 per month.

Fast-forward to March / April, when the couple split up, we realised that the rent split was unsustainable. The occupant of the smallest room was unable to take on some of the cost from the couple’s old room and I’d already been paying more than I needed to for 4 months so we had no other option than to move out. Fortunately for us, my mate Kiki* just graduated from medical school and is moving away from London for 2 years so needed to rent her flat. In total, it costs around £2 000 for the rent and we anticipate bills of around £225. I’m also getting the middle room in the new flat so my new housing costs should be in the region of £775 a month.

Unfortunately, we have chosen  simplicity and convenience over frugality

  1. Agency fees: When we first started investigating the potential of moving into the Kiki’s place, we hoped that the agency wouldn’t be involved – saving us all fees for managing and letting the place. Things didn’t quite work out that way and Kiki decided to use the same agency that manages our current let. We hoped that sticking with the same letting agents would negate the need for reference checks and all the other fees but we’re paying them anyway. The fact that this move is happening only 4 months after the newest occupant moved in also means that I’m splitting the fees in half with the remaining half of the couple. My half: £260
  2. Cleaning costs: When we moved into this place, the agents didn’t bother with getting a professional in to do the cleaning. Some bits of the place were outright dirty. The terms of our check-in state that we must leave the place the same way that it was on arrival. Which means that we would be able to get away with a domestic clean, at no cost. Unfortunately, my housemates are lazy and/or away, so we’re going to get a cleaner in for a few hours instead. My third: £20
  3. Man with a van: I have timed the walk from my current place to the new place many times. It’s a 2 minute walk. In theory, we should be able to band together – maybe with a mate or two – and move our stuff without involving a moving van. However, we’re a little bit lazy and wary of the two flights of stairs we need to go up. So we’ve hired a man with a van to do the heavy lifting. My half: £30

Total cost: £310

I’m making a wee bit of money to cover the costs

I’ve been planning to sell some clothes and other stuff I own that is in excellent condition and worth a few pennies. I listed a few via the Shpock app but didn’t make the effort to ensure that I sold stuff and got the money. Last weekend I got serious with selling.

  • I sold a dress and drop crotch jeans that I’d had for months but never  worn: £10
  • I chased up a buyer of my Timberland hexagonal watch which I bought when I knew I didn’t like it and have not worn in 2 years. He’s confirmed he’ll pay on payday: £20
  • I’ve taken pictures of a table football game I got for my 30th and have never used.
  • I also plan to list a couple of office chairs, one still unassembled from Ikea, some more unworn clothes, my road bike, a few other bits and bobs like my cheap sparring pads. I hope that these can raise around £200.
  • A couple of mobile phones that I hope can fetch me another £100

If I were more frugal, I would probably be cleaning and moving myself but I think that my time is a little more valuable than the savings that I can make. I’m also making more money, with relatively little effort, that should totally subsume the moving costs. All in all, this is the least financially stressful move I’ve ever made.

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