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6 Tips for Moving Out On Your Own for the First Time

6 Tips for Moving Out On Your Own for the First Time

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of moving out on your own for the first time. Maybe you’re headed to college, or finally moving beyond dorm life and out into the “real world” — apartments! Rent! Landlords! Electric bills! Suddenly excitement turns to dread. How the heck are you supposed to manage all those details?! MOM! DAD! HELP! Before you go running back to your childhood bedroom in your parents’ house (you’re a bit beyond those Ninja Turtles sheets, don’t you think?), read through these 6 tips for moving out on your own for the first time. With a little bit of focus and a few fairly easy tricks, it won’t seem quite so daunting.

1. Invest in a good bed

It can be tempting to skimp on your furniture purchases when you’re outfitting your first place, but even if you buy everything else second-hand or for cheap, you should at least buy a good mattress. If you’re not sleeping well, the rest of your life will suffer. Nothing makes you feel older, grumpier, and less excited about your new life than back pain and chronic fatigue. Unless you’re willing to spend time bargain hunting at your local furniture stores, you’re likely to find the best deals online. Amazon.com, for example, has mega deals on high-quality mattresses for under $300 — and if you want to go with Memory Foam, it’ll show up vacuum packed into a box on your doorstep. Your only job? Build yourself a platform, a DIY project that can be done on the cheap.

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    2. Let someone else do the heavy lifting

    Hiring movers might seem like a decadent choice, but you won’t regret it. You have enough to worry about with your move without having to figure out how to get that sofa up the staircase or straining your back with heavy boxes. A well qualified team will make your move quick, easy, and relatively painless — at least, until you have to figure out where to put all of those knick knacks you decided to take with you. Be sure to hire movers who are professional, insured, and experienced, and read their reviews on a third-party site before handing over your cash! Using online tools is a great way to prepare for your move, as it will save you time and money, and help you stay organized. Price comparison and booking tools make finding and booking a mover much easier. You can find information about movers in your area, all in one place, and make inquiries directly in the platform – no need to make endless phone calls. Most of these online moving tools let you see real reviews from past customers, too.

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      3. Learn to cook simple, healthy things

      One of the expenditures Americans spend a whole lot of money is on food. Pre-made meals, takeout, and frozen pizzas cost way more than preparing simple meals for yourself, and are generally full of preservatives or other unpronounceable ingredients that you don’t really want to put in your body. Start by getting to know your local grocery store — and stick to the periphery as much as possible. That’s where you’ll find foods in their most natural form. Make friends with the Bulk Section as well, where you can find large amounts of rice, oats, and other staples typically at lower prices.

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        There are plenty of amazing blogs out there with an abundance of recipes, all downloadable for free. ThugKitchen.com delivers clean eating with some mega sass and humor (steer clear if swear words bother you!). You can also check out Allrecipes.com and The Food Network for easy, quick and healthy recipes. Choose a few recipes that appeal to you, and master them before you worry about becoming any sort of world class chef.

        4. Ditch the fancy cleaning supplies

        All of those different spray bottles of cleaners for wood, porcelain and glass are a waste of money, and generally full of chemicals and synthetic fragrances. You can make your own cleaners for less money and sans chemicals with a few easy ingredients: white vinegar, baking soda, and castile soap. Need to scour your tub? Mix castile soap with baking soda and scrub away the grime. A 50/50 mix of vinegar and water, wiped with a microfiber cloth, will remove the minerals from sink fixtures, the streaks from mirrors, and clean your windows. Pour baking soda into the toilet to coat the bowl, then spray with vinegar and scrub with your toilet brush. And if you’ve got really tough stains, Borax is a natural but really effective powder you can add to your baking soda-castile soap mix.

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        5. Unplug to save electricity

        There’s this thing called the “Phantom Load” – an energy draw that happens when your electronics are plugged in, but not on. That means that the electric meter is still ticking away, racking up your bill, even though you thought you were being good by turning everything off. If you’d really like to keep the electric bill down, unplug your electronics when you’re not using them. Make this easy by plugging things into a power strip/surge protector that has an on/off switch so that you can kill the electricity to your entertainment system, for example, with one flick of a switch.

        6. Make a budget you can follow

        With the technology available these days, it’s really not that difficult to get a picture of your spending habits and create a budget that will help you stay on track. You can either do this yourself by using an Excel sheet, or you can opt to use a mobile app. Mint.com is one such app that, year after year, has raked in the accolades for being easy to use and free — It links to your bank and credit card accounts to seamlessly import all of your purchases and spending. The program categorizes everything the best it can, but you can easily program it to categorize certain locations or purchases under specific budget categories. From there, you can track your spending by category or overall, set savings goals, and even get alerts if you’re nearing your budget limit. With this handy tool in your pocket, there’s no room for overdrafting or missing rent payments!  There are plenty of budget apps out there, so do your research, and choose one that is right for you. Moving out on your own for the first time is a huge milestone in your life.  With these simple hacks and tips, not only will it be a positive next step, but they will help you pave the way for future success in your adult life, for years to come.

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        Last Updated on August 20, 2018

        35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

        35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

        Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

        But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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        The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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        While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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        While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

        If You’re Staying In

        1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
        2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
        3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
        4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
          • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
          • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
          • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
          • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
            • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
            • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
            • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
              • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

              If You Want to Get Away

              1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
              2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
              3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
                • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
                • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
                • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
                • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
                • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
                • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
                  • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
                  • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

                  New & Exciting Experiences

                  1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
                  2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
                    experience.
                    • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
                    • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
                    • Experience white water rafting.
                    • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
                    • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                      • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                      • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                        • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                        • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                        • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                        Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                        Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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