Monthly Archives: January 2016

Be smart on your move

Before you move out, use the Money Smart budget planner to create a budget. The budget will help you add all the costs of home moving and your new living expenses.

You need to be honest with yourself when you do a budget so you can plan for any unexpected and ongoing expenses.

Budget planner

The TrackMySpend app can help you track your spending before and after you move.

TrackMySpend

Ongoing costs

Renting a house or flat can be expensive. Make sure you have enough money to support yourself because you’ll have lots of ongoing costs once you leave home: rent, bond, renter’s insurance, utility bills like gas, water and electricity, food, entertainment and transport, just to name a few.

And don’t forget if you have a credit card or a personal loan too, you’ll need to keep up those regular payments on top of your other bills.

One-off costs

Before you leave home, think about the one-off costs of moving: removalist fees or costs of hiring a moving truck, rental bond, connection fees for phone, internet, gas and electricity, parking permits, furniture and furnishings, linen and kitchenware, just to name a few.

In most cases if you’re renting, you’ll be asked to pay 2 weeks rent in advance and a bond (usually 4 weeks rent) as a security deposit.

Case study: Ryan thinks about moving out

Ryan studies full-time and works part-time at the local newsagent. He takes home about $250 per week. He is currently living at home but looking to rent a furnished single room in a shared house for $400 a month. He wonders if he’ll have enough money for entertainment, let alone emergencies, after he pays his expenses. The only way to find out is to do a budget. After bills, living expenses and rent, he works out he’ll have $12.50 a week left over. Things will be quite tight for a while.

Choosing a place

Smart tip

Try to save 10% of your pay for emergencies  like not being able to work for a week, unexpected bills or extra travel costs. You’ll be glad of those spare dollars.

The location of your rental property could affect your budget, depending on how close it is to public transport and shops. It could mean you end up paying more for a lot of taxis or for petrol.

Here’s where to start looking for places to rent:

  • Visit real estate websites (You can search by suburb, price, number of rooms and type of accommodation (e.g. unit, townhouse or house)).
  • Call real estate agencies in the area to get a current rental list
  • Check rental lists in newspapers or on student notice boards and magazines
  • Ask your friends or work mates

Sharing with flatmates

Smart tip

Put aside some cash to buy groceries and stock up your food on the day you move into your new place.

House sharing is one of the easiest ways to save money when you move out of home. For example, splitting rent and household expenses for a four-bedroom house with three other flatmates could end up cheaper than renting a one-bedroom unit by yourself.

If you’re sharing, set ground rules with your flatmates at the start, even before you move in together.

You and your flatmates should decide how to:

  • Pay for bills
  • Share the cost of rent and utilities
  • Share responsibility for household chores
  • Withdraw from the rental lease when someone moves out
  • Pay a shared cost for food as a group, or shop individually

Formal living arrangements

Sharing a lease with your flatmates is called a formal living arrangement.

There are different contracts you will need to sign when you live in a formal arrangement. You will need to sign the rental agreement as well as any contracts for services that are connected to the property like electricity, gas, water and the internet. These contracts are legally binding, so you and your housemates will be legally responsible for paying bills for these services.

Make sure you understand the contract before you sign it. Can you afford the repayments? Check the small print and obligations of the contract. Can you cancel the contract and what happens if you do? Unfortunately, you cannot cancel some contracts just because you have changed your mind.

If you can’t pay your rent or bills it may affect your credit report. A poor credit report can affect your ability to borrow money in the future.

Informal living arrangements

Smart tip

In shared households, try not to have your name on all the bills. If the bill is addressed only to you, even if you are sharing the costs, you are legally responsible.

There are times when you rent part of a house from another tenant but have not signed the lease. This is known as an informal living arrangement. You will still need to pay for your rent and for services like electricity and gas. However, there is no legal contract as you have not signed a lease.

In a situation like this, the tenant you are renting from will have signed a written tenancy agreement with the owner of the house or unit. This makes them the ‘head-tenant’.

If you are in this situation you should get a written agreement with the head-tenant that covers things like how much rent you will be paying and how shared household costs will be divided and paid. A written agreement can help set agreed rules and can be used to resolve disputes.

Be careful if you allow a housemate to live with you and they are not on the lease or you do not have a written agreement with them. If things don’t work out and they move out or stop paying rent, you could end up out of pocket without any way to get the money back.

Moving out checklist

Here is a checklist of things you need to do before you move out for the first time:

  • Utilities – Set up electricity, phone, internet and pay TV connections.
  • Furniture – Find out if the place comes furnished, or budget for new or second-hand furniture.
  • Renter’s Insurance – Get online quotes if you want to insure your home contents. If you have car insurance, this will also need to be updated as the new address may mean your insurance premium will go up or down.
  • Budget – Complete a budget for your moving expenses, making sure you have enough money to cover the one-off and ongoing costs.
  • Removalists – Book and pay for a removalist, or arrange to get help from family and friends.
  • Research the area – For example, where is the closest bus stop or train station, supermarket, ATM, petrol station and doctor? Are they within walking distance?
  • Bills and loose ends – Pay off any existing bills before moving, and return DVDs or library books and cancel your memberships if necessary. You don’t want late fees hanging over your head.
  • Sell unwanted items – Get rid of any unwanted items you have to raise extra money for items at the new place.
  • Redirect your mail – Make a list of everything that has your address on it or organisations that will need to be notified of your new address in order to send mail to you, such as your driver’s licence, your bank statements, your employer and your Medicare card. Moving Services contains a comprehensive list of who to notify.
  • Look into medical and ambulance cover – Once you move out of home and begin living independently, you may no longer be covered by your parents’ medical insurance.

How to turn any house into a home that you like to stay

Let’s look at some things that can often get overlooked when creating a home things. It is not only create a kind of things for you, but are also easy and free is of course.

Letting Go: It’s possible to focus so much on decor, design, and picking the perfect furniture to reflect your personality and interests that can turn your house into a place of stress. How about taking a quick breather and switching gears for a sec and not allowing that stress to enter your home? Trust it will all eventually come together and just let it all happen when it does. Try cherishing your home in all its different quirky stages. Your mind and wallet will thank you for it in the end.

Make It a Refuge: Do you have a place you go to in your mind that’s a no-stress zone? A place that you sneak away to that just calms you down and clears your mind? For me it’s when I step into a yoga studio — the outside world just seems to melt away. Now wouldn’t it be incredible if that place was your home? How can you make that happen for you? Maybe try taking a few deep breaths before you open the door, or leaving all the negativity outside on the front steps. What can you do to eliminate stress and worry from your house and make it a peaceful, happy place?

Spend Time There: This seems like a no-brainer, right? But it’s not all that easy. How much time do you just spend in your home enjoying it? Do you hang out there and get to know it better? Or do you run out every chance you get? The more time you actually spend in your house, the more you may grow to love it. Even if it’s not your ideal space, you can start to appreciate it and make it work for you.

Share It: Do you share your home with others you love? Do you have friends over often for dinner or a movie? Or do you very rarely invite guests over because your house isn’t perfect? The more happiness and laughter that enters your house, the more it is going to feel like a home.

Make Memories: This is a direct result of the previous tip. If you fill your home with people and laughter, you will be making memories all along the way. Filling your house with memories will quickly turn it from a mere dwelling into a home. You may not look back and remember this house for its amazing picture windows, or french doors, or balcony to the pool, but you will remember the birthday party where your best friend baked their first three layer cake and then the dog promptly knocked it off the table resulting in impromptu ice cream cookie sandwiches with candles stuck in them.

Make your move so simple

How do you know these tips will make your move so simple ?

Asked expert movers, packers, and professional organizers to share their best tips.

So sit back, grab a snack, and dive in!

  1. Get rid of everything.

Okay, maybe not everything, but the more unused and unnecessary items you eliminate from your home, the less stuff you’ll have to pack up, haul across town, unload, and organize.

Certified professional organizer Ellen Delap recommends decluttering your home as soon as you know you’ll be moving.

Be ruthless with your stuff. That coat you think is cute but haven’t worn in four months? Donate it.

The very first coffee maker you ever bought that flavors your morning brew with little pieces of rust? Trash it.

Doing a massive preliminary purge will have the single biggest impact on the efficiency and ease of your entire packing process.

  1. Sort things by category.

Take a cue from Marie Kondo and organize your belongings by category, not by room (note that the category part only applies to the organization process, not the unpacking — that’s a whole separate ordeal).

Instead of spending a day cleaning out your entire bedroom, spend an afternoon sorting through every article of clothing you own.

Scour every coat closet, dirty clothes hamper, and laundry room until you’ve got all your clothes in one place. Then sort.

Do the same thing for books, shoes, important papers, and the like.

Free Bonus: Download our step-by-step KonMari Cheat Sheet so you can easily organize everything in your home just like Marie Kondo.

  1. Schedule a free donation pickup.

Save yourself a trip to your local Goodwill and schedule a free MakeSpace pickup. In addition to picking up and storing practically anything (including furniture), we’ll also pick up your donation and drop it off to Goodwill — at no extra charge.

Pro Tip: If you’d like to donate to a different charity, use donationtown.orgto schedule a free pickup at your home.

All you have to do is put your giveaway items in boxes and leave them on your doorstep.

The good men and women of Donation Town will then pick up your stuff and deliver it to a local charity of your choice.

  1. Set aside stuff to sell.

You probably have a few items you no longer want, but would love to get a little money for. If that’s the case, set these items aside and determine where you can sell them.

If it’s furniture, Craigslist or AptDeco might be your best bet. If it’s brand name clothing, you could try Poshmark or a local consignment store.

For specialty items like a gently used Coach purse or your collection of 90’s Beanie Babies, get on eBay.

Once you have everything sorted, set a date on your calendar to visit the nearest Buffalo Exchange or craft descriptions of the items you plan to sell online.

  1. Research professional moving companies.

Research is never fun. Yelp and Google will overwhelm you with the sheer volume of choices for moving companies to hire, but don’t give in to the pressure and pick the first four-star rating you see.

A moving company can often make or break your entire moving experience, so it’s important to get it right. The more effort you put into finding a reputable company with excellent customer service ahead of time, the less hassle you’ll have on moving day.

Lift NYC recommends double-checking that the moving company you want to hire is licensed with the state you’re in.

“There are tens of thousands of people claiming to be a ‘moving company’ when in actuality it’s just some guy with a van trying to make some extra money,” says Mike Sulkowska of Lift NYC.

Make sure to read the company’s list of services, fine print, and refund or damage policies, too. For example, some companies don’t lift items that aren’t in boxes (so your stuffed-to-the-brim duffel bags won’t make the cut), while others ask for full payment several weeks early.

Find out the specifics so there are no unwelcome surprises come moving day.

Pro Tip: Use Unpakt to find trustworthy moving companies, compare prices, and book your move online in minutes.

  1. Pick the right moving day.

Hire your movers at least a month out so you can plan accordingly. If you have a flexible schedule, play around with potential moving dates and try to find the cheapest time of month to make an appointment.

Moving companies are busiest on weekends, so if you can skip the Saturday chaos and schedule your move for a Tuesday, you might get a significant discount.

  1. Map out the best way to get to your new home.

Whether you’re moving to NYC, across the country, across state lines, or just to a neighboring town, you’re going to need an efficient travel route so you don’t waste your move-in day sitting in gridlock traffic or pulling over three different times to type an address into your GPS.

Figure out the easiest, most efficient way to get where you’re going. Look up potential highway construction schedules ahead of time. And take traffic, detours, and necessary stops into account when you’re making your plan.