How to Expect the Unexpected When It Comes to Moving Expenses

movingEven before marrying into the military, I did quite a bit of moving. Each time I moved, I learned a little more about how to expect the unexpected when it came to moving expenses. Everyone knows to budget for the truck and boxes and the first month’s rent on the new apartment. But what about all those (not so) little expenses that seem to creep up out of nowhere? Now most of my experience is in the long distance move category, and hiring long distance movers can ultimately save you money in the long run, but I really think the following tips can be applied to any move!

The Unexpected

Food: I would prepare for $50-$100
You are going to eat out a lot more than you realize around the time you move. First, there’s the fact that you do have to eventually pack your kitchen. Then once you get to your new place, you can expect to eat out a little more than usual until you get settled. Even with the best intentions, food expenses are going to increase a bit surrounding a move. Oh yeah, and then there’s stocking your new kitchen…

Gas for the Moving Truck: I would prepare for $50-$100
This one has crept up on me several times. You’ve done it. You’ve managed to pack up all your crap and get to your new digs in one piece. And then you go to return the moving truck and realize that you either have to pay the surcharge for returning it without filling up or go shell out the $50+ it’s going to take to fill up that monster. Bummer.

Randoms for the New Place: I would prepare for $100-$200
Did you budget for new garbage cans? Because I guarantee you’re going to need some. I don’t know why, but every time I’ve moved, I’ve needed at least one small garbage can for a bathroom or office or something. What about cleaning supplies? It’s amazing how toilet bowl cleaner mysteriously disappears from one place to another. And hangers. I always end up needing more hangers.

Baskets, Bins, and Other Things for Organizing: I would prepare for $25-$75
Even if you’re able to reuse a lot from your previous home, your new place will be laid out differently. The closets and cabinets will be different, and so will your organizing needs. So be sure to budget for some new stuff to get your new place in order. You’ll be happy you did when your stuff is nice and organized!

Furniture: This could vary quite a bit depending on your needs.
I know, I know. You had everything you needed in your old place. But I’m sure there’s going to be a need for an end table or a stool or something that you didn’t expect to need in your new place. And there’s nothing worse then sitting down to relax on your couch in your new home and having nowhere to set your Diet Coke. 😉

You get the picture. Expect the unexpected.

Moving usually involves a big change of one sort or another and dealing with a budget crisis is not something you’ll want to add to your plate. So do yourself a favor and over budget for your moving expenses so you don’t get caught with your budget-pants down. And just think, if you come in under budget, you can always just throw that money in savings!

Please keep in mind that while this is what I would budget for it’s important to take your unique circumstances into account when budgeting for a move!

What to Do When You Have No Credit History

Hi. I’m Christine and I’ve never had a credit card. <Hi, Christine.> I’ve also never had a loan in my name or done anything else that would give me “credit history.”

How in the name if 2013 did this happen?

I know. Everyone has had a credit card or a loan. But, since I was fortunate enough not to need student loans to pay for college and in my early twenties I avoided credit cards like they were the plague I made it to my mid-twenties with zero credit history. I was raised in a “don’t buy it if you don’t have money for it” kind of family. (With the exception of houses and sometimes cars.) I bought my first car cash from my dad for $1200 (my life’s savings at the time). I thought I was being smart. I was sure that avoiding credit cards and debt altogether was the best route to financial happiness.

But then I learned that you need credit history for more than buying things you don’t have money for.

Several years later I headed off to graduate school and insisted on living in this little crap hole of an apartment so I could pay all my own bills. It was great until I tried to have the utilities turned on and they ran a credit check. They said they could not turn on my gas because I had no credit history. I had to have my parents put the gas in their name. I was mortified. Fast forward another year or so to when I was living with my then boyfriend (now husband) and I needed to put the utilities in my name before he deployed (otherwise I would have had zero authority on the accounts while he was gone). They were happy to put them in my name…for a deposit of several hundred dollars. I couldn’t even be on the loan for our house because it would have sent our interest rate through the roof. So now here I am, in my mid-twenties, and still have NO credit history.

So what am I going to do about it? As I understand it, I have a few options.

1. Open a credit card with a co-signer.
This is an easy option since my husband has a good credit history. But I don’t like the idea of having to rely on someone else to build my credit history, even if it is my husband.

2. Take out a small loan with a co-signer.
Same benefits and drawbacks as above.

3. Get a “secured” credit card from a bank.
This is when you give the bank cash as “collateral” and the card’s limit generally equals the amount of cash you have given them to open the card. The best thing is that these cards exist for the purpose of building or improving credit so every payment is reported to the credit bureaus. The only catch is that even one missed/late payment could really hurt you.

So what am I going to do?

My plan is to go the secured credit card route. I’m very good about paying my bills on time and am very careful with my money. I plan on using it pay for gas, an expense I budget for anyway. That way I know I’ll use it regularly and have to make payments on it regularly.

Has anyone else experienced this problem? What did you do?

GIVEAWAY – First of its Kind Here – Structured Settlement , Yes Please!

First the important stuff.  Have you ever been in an accident and been receiving checks weekly or monthly from your workers comp carrier?  Ever considered settling for a lump sum and using the money the way you want to?  Well consider a structured settlement to help use the money the way you want to and have access to it the way you want.  It is in essence structured the way you want, if you want more money now that is great and can be worked into it.

I used to work as a workers compensation adjuster and we would urge individuals to consider this type of annuity so that they were in control of the money.  It was also beneficial for the company as we would remove the claim from the employers claim experience.  Thus reducing the premiums that they would have to pay into the foreseeable future.

Speaking from an employer perspective these were great in reducing costs.  But they also were beneficial to the employee as they did not have to worry about checks any longer.  They were guaranteed for as long as the annuity that they would receive the same check amount.

This giveaway was brought to you by, America’s #1 structured settlement and annuity marketplace.


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Top Tips to Beat Student Debt

When it comes to studying, it seems there is no way around leading an expensive lifestyle. Even if you are fairly thrifty with your money, if you are studying full time, you will always need help with your finances.

Luckily though, there are government guidelines put in place that mean the money you lend while you are studying will, more likely than not, be the best loan you will ever take out. But try to remember, it is still debt. Once you have graduated, you will need to start paying it back, but don’t let it get you down, internet essay service Best Custom Essay have some top tips on how to deal with the debt accumulated whilst studying:

Keep to the same lifestyle

Once you have graduated, it doesn’t instantly mean you are now in some sort of financial favor in the world, in fact, many students find their first year of graduation even harder than their time at university. Try to live as though you were still a student, this doesn’t mean you have to get back into your essay writing and studying, just make sure you’re not going overboard on the spending.

It’s also worth remembering how much more expensive things can be when you’re not a student. You’ll no longer have access to that all important student discount that can save you money on everything from clothes to entertainment; and worse still, if you move away from student areas after you’ve graduated, you may find out very quickly that you can’t afford to drink quite so much as the beer is a great deal more expensive, especially in more rural areas.

When it comes to getting a job

Try straight away to get a job under your specialty  Many students who had a part time job during their studies simply take on a full-time position at the same place of work. Remember, you were studying for a reason, don’t let yourself lose sight of your aspirations. Can you recall all of those hours spent on that presentation or essay? You really don’t want that to go to waste.

A job in your desired field will more than likely be better paid than the part time job you acquired at university so try to aim higher. It’s also important to remember that everyone in your university year; including those who have achieved the same degree in the same specialty as you; will be applying for jobs at the same time. With too few jobs to go around as it is, you really must GET IN EARLY. The longer you go without work, the harder it becomes to find it.

Move back home

Don’t feel bad about moving back home for a spell. You can really save money on rent and utilities if you simply move back to your parents’ home. It doesn’t have to be long but it allows you time to get to your feet financially and also offers the opportunity to perhaps work as an intern before getting a better job.

Photo by: Charamelody

Economic Education: Teach Your Kids & Teens About Money


Whether or not you were raised with a solid education in finance and economics, one thing is for sure, you probably want to raise your kids with some understanding of money management. Here are just a few simple lessons parents can teach their kids – whether children or teens – about money before financial independence is reached.

  • Work hard for your money.It’s important to teach your kids that money is earned, not simply deserved.To be willing to work for what you want, whether it be doing chores to earn their allowance, or getting a part-time job for some spending money once they’re of age, this is a valuable lesson to teach while they’re still young.
  • Pay yourself first.When your kids do start to earn money, you should instill in them the importance of saving some of their hard-earned money before spending it all. From a piggy bankon their dresser to their first savings account, children who learn the importance of saving are already at an advantage above their quick-spending counterparts.
  • Don’t spend more than you make.Another financial lesson that will benefit your kids is to teach them to always live within their means. Simply stated, that means that they should never spend more than they earn. Taught young, this lesson may help your teens and young adult children avoid accruing debt that they can’t easily repay.
  • Understand what you need vs. what you want.Help your kids determine how to prioritize their spending so they start out their adult life on the right foot. Do they understand what a need versus a want is? The goal is to help teach young kids to eventually be independent adults that will be able to pay their auto loan payment and rent before buying a new outfit or expensive meal out. They will also learn that while they may want a brand new car, they may only be able to afford a used car instead. Used auto loans are available to help them with affordable financing when they’re ready to buy.
  • Be generous. To help your children become good citizens, neighbors and friends, help them practice generosity. Although not all generosity comes in the form of monetary donations, one way to help your kids be generous with what they have is to start helping them donate to local charities when they’re young. Whether it’s giving away clothes they’ve outgrown and toys they no longer play with, or donating part of their allowance every month, raising kids who are kind, considerate and take joy in sharing what they’ve been blessed with will go a long way.

Generosity can also come in the form of donating large items that you no longer use. For example, you can donate your boat for charity, which will show your children that even your most prized possessions are worth giving up sometimes. When you donate a boat, the money from its sale goes towards children’s charities, which ensures that these kids have opportunities that they otherwise would not. By showing leadership in this situation, you can teach your children about the value of helping others. Hopefully, these lessons will stay with them throughout their lifetime and they will eventually turn into generous adults.

Give your kids the economic education you may never have had with the help of these simple and straightforward financial lessons. From working hard to saving money and giving some away, your children will never forget the money management tips you teach them, and the ones you show them with how you live. So set the example with lessons that create financial students for life.

PHOTO BY: Lucias_Clay

Financial Simplicity Carnival: Three Days Grace Edition

This That and The MBAIt’s never too late, even if I say it will be alright, still I hear you say…sorry I was singing the song Never Too Late by Three Days Grace. Well here it is…welcome to the 12th edition of the Financial Simplicity Carnival.  Thank you to Nick at Step Away From The Mall for starting this great carnival with some of the best bloggers from around the world!
This is my second time hosting a carnival and I am super stoked at hosting this week’s carnival so without further ado here are this week’s editor picks:

Glen Craig presents Education: Your Hedge Against Inflation posted at Free From Broke . You’re wondering what your best hedge against inflation is. Maybe gold? Stocks? How about education? Yes, education can be a great hedge against inflation

Jeremy presents Keeping Up With The Joneses In The Digital Age posted at Modest Money. As the internet has evolved and we truly enter the digital age as a society, the biggest enemy of our personal finances has been quietly growing stronger and stronger. No it’s not inflation. It’s not government taxes. It’s something much less obvious. It’s those pesky Joneses!

Ted Jenkin presents Please Slap My Hand When I Spend Money! posted at Your Smart Money Moves. The simple rule is this. If there is money in your pocket, then it’s sure to catch fire sooner than later and burn a hole in your pocket. It doesn’t matter if it is a new pair of boots you see in a magazine, a remodeling of your bathroom that could probably wait, or staying at the best hotels like a Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons. Gen X’ers have seen a terrible recession over the past few years, but the trend is returning that spending money is a hard habit to break. Gen X’ers have that Cyndi Lauper slang in their minds and ‘just wanna have fun’.

$ Making Money $

MMD presents Yes, People Still Fall for Pyramid Schemes posted at MyMoneyDesign. Do people still fall for get-rich quick schemes? This group of people I came across in OH did. While traveling for business, I stumbled upon a meeting of people at a restaurant who were being given a sales pitch for something that clearly sounded like a pyramid scheme. Here is my story.

Anisha presents The Chase Liquid Prepaid Debit Card: Yeah, It’s A Game-Changer posted at NerdWallet. There’s been a growing trend away from fee-heavy prepaid cards to cheap, debit-like offers. So why is the Chase Liquid so exciting? Because anyone, anywhere in the United States, can get it.

Steve presents Personal Tax Planning posted at 2012 taxes. There are a few ways in which one can achieve this and they include the reduction of one’s income, increasing deductions and making use of tax credits.

Lance presents How I Paid for My Hobby posted at Money Life & More. Hobbies are a lot of fun, but there is one thing that prohibits many from taking part in their favorite hobby as much as they would like to. Cost. Hobbies, while fun, can be expensive. This post explains how I paid for them.

Spending and Budgeting

Shondell presents The Year I Bought Dollar Store Gifts For The Family! posted at Call Me What You Want Even Cheap. This article is about the year I decided to go cheap on Christmas gifts to pay off my mortgage faster. I was one year away from paying it off and knew that if I saved on Christmas gifts, I would have gotten to my goal sooner of having no mortgage.

FMF presents The Difference between Needs and Wants: Getting Spending Under Control posted at Free Money Finance. Achieving financial security is greatly dependent on our ability to make wise choices when it comes to spending money. Spending, not earning, is the key to financial security (though both are important, of course). And yet we live in a society where over-spending is almost the norm. The result for many people is a pile of debt and all the nasty struggles associated with it. It’s certainly not the pathway to financial security.

Emily presents Joint and Separate Money Series: Individualized Marriage and Money Management posted at Evolving Personal Finance. I review a paper wherin the hypothesis is that couples who have more individualized marriages will tend to have more separate money management styles. Results include which group has higher marital satisfaction – joint, separate, or hybrid. What do you think of the authors’ definition of individualized marriage?

Sean presents How is my Credit Line Determined? posted at One Smart Dollar. Understanding how your credit line is determined can be a great way to start understanding your finances.

AverageJoe presents The Waiting is the Hardest Part posted at The Free Financial Advisor. When tragedy strikes many people feel the need to take care of important financial affairs. This could be a huge mistake.


Jason presents Tips to Pick a 529 Plan for Your Child’s College Savings posted at One Money Design. Interested in learning about 529 savings accounts? Learn how to pick an independent 529 plan for your child education savings plan.

Don presents What is Inflation? posted at My Dollar Plan. You hear about inflation all of the time, yet many do not understand what it is or how it is measured. If you’re one of those people, this is a must-read!

Nick presents Sometimes it’s about way more than math posted at Step Away from the Mall. Am I the only one who gets way too caught up in “math” sometimes? Sometimes I lose track of what’s really important to me?

Shannon McNay presents Credit Unions vs. Banks: Which Should You Choose? posted at ReadyForZero Blog. In the years since the financial crisis, scrutiny of banks has only grown worse. It’s enough to make some people want to go back to the old days of stuffing cash under their mattress! However, in order to protect your money it is important that you put it into a bank. The real question is, which banks should you trust? As resentment towards big banks simmers, people are flocking towards their local credit unions for their banking needs. How can you decide which is right for you? We break it down for you here!

JB presents Are Banks Really In It For You? posted at My University Money. Learn from my mistakes and never assume the banks are in it for you. They aren’t, in fact they make a killing off you so don’t make it easy on them whenever they try to push a product on you.

Debt Management

Miranda presents Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps posted at Bargaineering. A look at Dave Ramsey’s classic 7 baby steps program.

Don presents Pay Off Your Student Loans: A Q&A With A Recent Grad posted at MoneySmartGuides. This is an interview with a recent college grad and how she has paid off over $25K in student loans. It shows others in the same situation the debt can be overcome and is inspirational.

Jason Steele presents Key Things You May Not Know About Your Credit Card Until Your Account Is Opened posted at SBT Credit Card Blog. Credit card companies have bad reputations for a reason, one of which is the fact that they hold back key information from consumers when they apply for credit cards.

Khaleef Crumbley presents 4 Reasons Why I Will Not File For Bankruptcy posted at Faithful With A Few. To file for bankruptcy is not an easy decision. Even though it has become more common, here are 4 reasons why I will never do it!

To add a little pizazz to the middle of the week….let’s see how many make it all the way to the bottom?? Something completely random and unrelated to finance…How tall are you?

Thanks for visiting and taking a look at this week’s great posts!!!

Photo By: Jman’s Skittles