Archive | October, 2012

How to Save Money on Moving

23 Oct

My husband and I have been preparing to move. We still need approval via a cooperative board but nonetheless even if we do not receive it, we will be moving anyway since a friend of his is taking over our apartment. Instead of making this a rushed process, we decided to just put together boxes over the next month. I get overwhelmed by this and my husband has a lot of “stuff” so it takes me a long time to pack things away. Not only that, but for insurance purposes and for my own knowledge, I have been listing every single thing as I pack it away. It seems like the optimal time to do it!

But moving can be expensive. When my husband and I first moved in together, we didn’t have any stuff, so it was pretty easy. Now that we have items like an entertainment center and couch, moving seems like it could be a lot of work — even though we live in a small, one-bedroom apartment! As the resident cheapskate, I have come up with these ways to help save a ton of money on our move.

1. Boxes, Boxes and More Boxes. Many people struggle with this one and I admit, I am lucky in this regard. The place I work receives boxes on nearly a daily basis and little by little, I take them home. If you know you are going to be moving, start taking boxes from your workplace way before you begin your move. We live in a tiny one bedroom apartment so having boxes sitting around is not the most glamorous thing but I know it’s for a short while so I suck it up and just ignore the boxes. Boxes are everywhere and all you need to do is ask around. Ask your boss or the person receiving shipments if you can take the empty boxes home from work. If you don’t really receive shipments, ask around – ask your friends, ask your family and even ask local businesses. When I needed some extra boxes one time, I simply walked across the street to a store I frequented and they let me have whatever they had on hand.

2. The Packing Up & Moving Out Part. Packing up your things can take a lot of time which is why we’re starting to early. I recently realized that my brain is converting itself into a minimalist type of person so seeing how many things my husband has already stresses me out! If you start a month or two ahead of time, you can easily pack things up slowly without anybody helping you. Now that you’ve been working on that you need to get your actual move sorted out. This is usually the expensive part but keep in mind the following ways to save money:

  • Renting Your Own Truck. Renting your own moving truck and/or van may save you a lot of money in the long-run. If you don’t have a ton of stuff or have more than one person helping you, this may be a viable option.
  • Using Your Friends’ Abilities. Your friends are an awesome resource. Barter with them and butter them up! Offer to help them with projects in the future or buy them a pizza.
  • But…If you do end up needing to hire movers for whatever reason, shop around first. Call various companies and check their credentials. Do they have insurance in case they break something? Do they have good reviews? Don’t sign-up with the first company you see.

Moving can be an expensive process. I am definitely not looking forward to the move but I am looking forward to starting new and organizing our “stuff” in a new way. I will be implementing a lot of these little tips once the move gets underway!

Have you have an expensive move? What have you done to save some money?

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Starting Your Blog By Shopping Around

16 Oct

My husband and I are looking into starting a blog as side business. Tired of trying to find second jobs without getting anywhere, we decided to focus our efforts on something he truly loves to write about and that I could work on in the background.

When you are trying to set-up your blog, your choices seem endless. Once you know what you want to blog about, you might not know where to go from there. There is so much information on the web it’s hard to even know where to start. In order to avoid becoming overwhelmed, here are some simple baby steps you can take to make things easier for you:

(1) When looking for advice, try to stick to a few different sources at first. Whether you’re checking out books from the library or perusing various websites, I recommend that you start off by looking at only a few resources. One great site to start off at is Blogging with Amy. You might think I’m crazy by saying you should limit your research but I really only recommend you do this at first so that you’re not completely overwhelmed. Once you have a clearer idea of where you’re heading, start expanding your searches into the areas you need to look into.

(2) Decide on some of the “big things” so that you can get started. Once you’ve decided on a topic, you might want to get the “big things” out of the way. Many of these may be things you only consider once; however, they are big hurdles to get out of the way. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The name of your blog – Is someone using what you wanted already? Is it unique, catchy and/or easy to remember? Do you have tagline that you want associated with your name?
  • Domain and hosting – Have you researched where you want to purchase your domain from? GoDaddy.com is not the only domain provider and I would look into other sources (i.e. Namecheap) as well in order to determine which provider will work best for me. Who is going to host your blog? Do you plan on doing all your business through a particular website (i.e. WordPress) or are you going to use multiple entities to bring your blog to life?

(3) Know what the point of your blog will be and who you are addressing. Is this blog for you or are you trying to make this a business? Are you using this blog to network or showcase your talents in an area such as photography? These decisions will ultimately push you in the direction that your blog should go.

For us, this has been a learning experience. Although we just started on this path, it has been a challenge deciding every little thing so far. I just remind myself that over time, everything will be easier and things will eventually go smoothly.

Have you had a challenge starting and staying with a blog?

My Little Update on Life

7 Oct

My husband and I have not really saved any money in about two months. That’s a painful existence for yours truly!
What have we been spending money on begrudgingly?

  • The Co-op: We have been writing checks like it’s nobodies business.
  • The Mortgage: They already started pulling money out of our accounts for mortgage-related fees.
  • Vacation and Gifts: We went on vacation last month. We’ve been writing checks for gifts. It seems to never end!

 

After my previous posts, I still haven’t had any luck in landing a second job. Many places find my hours at my current job to be problematic. My husband hasn’t had much luck either so we are looking into a few different options, such as:

  • Creating a new blog that we would work on together. It would include one or two other people. This would be a blog that we work on seriously and something we would try to make money from—not like my lame attempts here! 😉 The blog would also be completely unrelated to the topics discussed on this blog.
  • Using a website that I might be able to upload things onto for money—if people purchase them.

 

I hope everyone is doing well. My real entry will come soon!