When you move, there are all sorts of hidden expenses that can happen that you CAN'T prepare for like: Your car being totaled the day before you move 500 miles to another state (true story), or moving 500 miles to another state with only a moving truck and it breaking down 5 times on the trip (yep--same move!), or once you finally get to the 500 mile away destination it's 110 degrees outside and your tiny apartment's air conditioning isn't working, there are dead humpback crickets all over the floor and you have a small child--so a night in a hotel is in order (sadly, ending to the same move). These kind of things no one can even dream up--but--other expenses you CAN plan for so here are a few of those:
Estimate New Utility Costs - This information you can usually get from your realtor (at least a ball park). They can usually provide you with a general cost per month per utility. Now, this will not necessarily be EXACTLY what the bills will be, but it gives you a starting point. Ask how many lived in the space and then think of how your family will live and adjust accordingly. If the house was owned by an older couple and your moving your family of 6 in the space--the utilities will most likely go up.
Once You Know the Utilities, Call Ahead for Fees or Requirements - If you are moving in the same town, chances are you will know what the requirements are and if you paid a deposit, it may transfer. But, in an out of town move, you have have several deposits you need to pay and there may be different ways they can be paid. Call all the utilities ahead and find out what will be required to get things going. A little research will go a long way in making sure you are prepared.
Estimate Other Services You May Need or Changes In Daily Habits that May Occur - Is your gas cost going to go up or down because of your daily commute changing? Will you need to stop for breakfast or lunch because you can't do that at home anymore? Will there be higher school lunches at your kids' school or other fees? How about other services at your new house like: cable, lawn care, pest removal, pool maintenance, HOA fees or trash service? Seem overwhelming? It can be! But, if you find out all of these things (or as much as you can) BEFORE you move, you know what to expect, what you need and can be ready. I can't tell you the number of times I missed one (or most) of these things and had a melt down because I wasn't prepared. STUFF HAPPENS. Being as ready as you can helps defuse some of the impact that unexpected costs can cause.
Find Out What Final Bills You May Have from Your Current Home - Most utility costs are about a month behind. So a month after you move you will have another bill--and depending on what time of month you move, maybe two bills, or one larger final bill. Talk to your current utility places to find out what these charges may be and give them the date you will be moving so you can find out approximately when the final bill will be coming. In some cases the deposits you may have made may go towards your final bills, in others maybe not. Make sure they all have your new address so nothing gets lost and causes you to have extra fees or charges because it wasn't paid on time.
REMEMBER: Things May Overlap - Above all, be prepared for overlap. Your first larger bill from your new place, may coincide with a final bill from your previous residence. You may have to pay for trash pick up at your new place--while still paying at the other or maybe have to pay your new HOA fees up front instead of the end of the year. Most places will work with you if you keep them informed and do your best to be ready ON TIME. Ignoring old or new charges will just make things worse.
It will take a couple of months before you actually start to really know what your costs will be at your new home--and you will be adjusting as you go along. If you have done your homework you wil be able to handle all the changes that will be heading your way. Hope this helps!