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Moving to a new home

By |November 14th, 2018|

How to deal with moving to a new home

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Photo Source: mylilyscleaning.com
I’ve had my fair share of experience in moving, and I’ve learned that the key to a seamless moving experience is planning and organization. If you have a lot of time to prepare for the actual move, then you can really take your time in making sure that moving to a new place will be easy and stress-free. However, if time is a luxury that you don’t have, you’ll have to focus more on an organization. Here are a couple of tips that I can give you.

Declutter

Go through your things and decide on which ones should be packed and included in your new home. Don’t be afraid to throw away stuff that’s already broken which you said you’ll get around to fix or get repaired. Better yet, sell them in a junk shop. You may also want to donate your old clothes, shoes, and other things that can be used in evacuation centers or by those who are underprivileged. If you need extra cash to help with moving, you may also want to consider having a garage sale. I’ve also experienced having enough extra unused clothes and trinkets that ended up being transferred to my stock for Christmas presents an emergency presents. You know, in case you’re invited to an acquaintance’s birthday party and you don’t have time to shop.

Packing is Key

Take time to shop for the right sized boxes and containers to make packing easy. Make sure to get bubble wraps and Styrofoam peanuts for fragile items. Now if you want to save up, one tip is a lot the bubble wraps and Styrofoam only for large fragile items, like your TV. For plates and glassware, I just use old newspapers. You’re gonna wash them all anyway when you unpack, so why spend extra, right? Oh, and it’s advisable to stack your plates vertically when boxing them up. This way, your precious china won’t move around inside the box during transport.

Sharpie Time!

Pack from the inside out. Say the innermost part of the old place is the bedroom, pack your stuff there first all the way out to the living room. Imagine packing your stuff in the living room first and having to go all the way back to your room and pack there. That’s a lot of tip-toeing around packed boxes.

Consume perishables on the days leading up to the move. You wouldn’t know if you’ll get around to unpacking right away and setting up the kitchen first thing you get there, right? Might as well avoid spoilage and wasting your money.

Pack a “carry on” for each member of the family. It could be a box or a bag with your essentials on it. Basically, it should be the box or bag that’s opened first when you arrive at the new place. Let’s face it, we’re all tired and kinda lazy after moving into the new place. Have three-days to a week’s worth of clothes in your carry on. I think it depends on how well you know yourself. Do you see yourself really, and I mean really unpacking your stuff in three days? If not, better add some more. Your carry on should also have your personal hygiene essentials like your toothbrush, small toiletries, whatever you need to get primped up. As for me, my carry on also includes a flashlight, band-aids, alcohol – rubbing alcohol! I know what you’re thinking. You can pack that too if you like. I also pack trash bags, bottled water, wet tissue, and my phone charger.

Clean!

Since we’re not always sure if the new place is really clean, as the last tip, pack a separate box with your go-to cleaning products. It’s one of the first boxes that I open when I move to a new place. This way, you can sleep soundly on your first night in your new home with the assurance that it’s cleaned just the way you like it.

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Budget

By |November 6th, 2018|

A realistic guide to creating your first budget

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Let’s be honest, creating a budget for anything does not sound like a fun activity. In fact, anything that might impose a limit just makes people steer away from it. But if you look at the bright side, it will actually free you from worries about suddenly finding yourself short on funds, having made lots of unnecessary purchases and ultimately, regretting the fact that you did not plan your finances well – if at all.

Like most things that we’re shying away from, all we have to do is get started and don’t overthink things. Get your journal or any piece of paper that you want to write in – maybe your phone if you want to go paperless, a pencil and a calculator. Write down your monthly income on top, then list your bills below that, utilities, mortgage, your kids’ school tuition, etc. Now that you have the basic stuff, break it down a bit more.

Fixed Expenses

Any expenses that do not vary month over month are your fixed expenses. These would include your mortgage or rent, insurance costs, as well as your internet and phone bills. Enter these into your budget list first.

Calculate Average Bills

Check your utility bills over the last 6 months, or if you can, include the year prior and get its average. Do this with any other fluctuating bills.

Prioritize Debts

Payables like car payment, credit card bills and student loans should be listed under debts. Prioritize which ones should be paid off the soonest.

Grocery Budget

Be realistic about this one. Check your grocery receipts and you’ll see that you always spend more on groceries than you think you do. This is especially true when you don’t make a grocery list and even more if you go grocery shopping while you’re hungry. If you don’t have your grocery receipts anymore, just take whatever you think you are spending and add 20% to it.

Occasions
It’s always someone’s birthday in your circle of friends or in your family – especially if you have a big family! Every year is an anniversary and there’s always Christmas every year. So if you think about it, there might be at least one occasion each month. Some might pass by with you just sending out warm greetings, and some you show up to empty-handed. Check your expenses and set a limit on how much you should spend on birthday, anniversary and holiday gifts.

Self Love

Set aside a few dollars a week or a month if you really need to be on a tight budget for entertainment. Just pick one of the things one might consider a “luxury” spend as your weekly or monthly treat.

Check out our blog (link to the blog about saving money) about some small changes that you can make to help you save money and be surprised at how much faster you can increase your savings!

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