Jun 22 2009

Getting settled into our new apartment


Our new apartment is about 14 miles from our previous one, and to me it feels like we’re in an entirely different city. Though I’m somewhat familiar with our new area, it’s still going to take awhile to learn new roads, find the best places to shop, and everything else that goes with living in a new place.

We did it ourselves after all

Though the original plan was to hire movers, we ended up renting a truck from Budget. The moving company came over to give an estimate and they figured it would be no less than six hours for three men to move and unload our belongings. I think it would have been a miracle to do it all that fast.

It would cost $770. I originally thought it would be around $500. The new price was a bit salty, especially since the total price could quickly hit $1,000 if the move took longer.

My dad and Shane’s dad wanted to help. They thought they could move our stuff no problem, and wanted a chance to come out and visit. They’re some of the best dads anyone could hope to have :)

I was concerned about them being able to move my Price is Right bed down all those stairs without injury or damage. The headboard exceeds 500 pounds, and that’s no exaggeration. Combine the insane weight with the bulk and delicate nature of the wood finish (and add 2.5 flights of steps) and you could have quite the disaster.

Fortunately, the three dads know what they’re doing and they’re strong enough to make it happen. The bed was a beast but it (and all my other junk) arrived safely. Everyone was sore and tired afterward, but no one got hurt.

My dad bought some furniture sliders and they worked wonderfully, even on asphalt!


I made a reservation for a U-Haul. To save me a trip, I called ahead to see if the truck was ready. The truck was supposed to be there at 9 a.m. It wasn’t. The guy who handles truck rentals wasn’t even at work yet — he wasn’t expected in until about 10 a.m. At that time, I called the number back and they let my phone ring for a long time, and then someone answered the phone and denied it was the U-haul.

Completely unprofessional and what a hassle! U-Haul supposedly has a guarantee where “your truck is there when we say it will be, or you get $50.” I will contact the company and hopefully get my $50.

By the grace of God, I was able to get a last-minute rental from Budget. The truck was larger than the one I intended to get at U-Haul and it was more expensive.

At the end of the day, we couldn’t find a gas station near Budget that sold diesel. We called several places and asked around, but they’re just hard to find it seems. Arg. Instead of returning the truck full, we had to pay a $30 service charge. Blah.

All told, our move cost about $250 including moving boxes and packing supplies. I had a bunch saved from our last move, but still needed to buy some. The cheapest deal I could find was $0.97 for a medium box at Home Depot.

Our new apartment was listed on Rent.com and since I used it as a referral, I should get a $100 Visa gift card from the site.

Final thoughts

Being a basement-level apartment, we’re going to need some additional lighting to help with dim days. Maybe some mirrors or special bulbs can help. Any suggestions?

The apartment comes with sheer window coverings, but I’ll need to get some mini-blinds or curtains for total privacy. This apartment is configured in a different way from our last one, so I needed to get a baby monitor so I can hear Johnny if he starts to wake.

We now have our own washer and dryer, and it’s so wonderful to have! It’s a front-loader and I think it’ll keep our energy costs down, plus I’ll save all that money I was putting into coin-op machines.

We still have a bit to unpack and organize. I’m looking forward to making this place our home and getting to know my community a little better!

Jun 21 2009

It pays to ask for a free TV



This is a picture of my free 27″ TV sitting on top of my free TV stand. I acquired both during moves.

I got my TV stand a few years ago while moving from one campus apartment to another. I was taking out some trash and saw it sitting next to the dumpster. It was in great shape and clearly whoever discarded it had no space to take it with them. I hurried to the apartment office, grabbed a dolly and wheeled it inside.

I just got my TV this weekend.

After we packed up my possessions onto our rental truck, we headed over to a furniture store to pick up a couch Shane and I bought last weekend. This was the first new piece of furniture we have ever purchased! We got it for 75 percent off regular price because the side had some minor damage. It’s still functional and comfy as could be.

I have a magazine rack next to it and it covers it pretty well. Anyway, back to the story:

The furniture loading dock is adjacent to the Goodwill donations drop-off point. As we pulled in with our truck-and-car caravan, a woman was about to donate her TV.

I caught a glimpse of it, saw that it was much bigger than my 19″ set, and asked her if I could buy it from her.

“Oh just give it to her,” her husband called out.

The woman said she was ready to give it away anyway, and said I could have it.

And all I had to do was ask. The worst that could have happened? She might say “no.” But you won’t know unless you ask!

P.S. Yes, that is Andy Griffith on TV. Lol! Also, I plan to donate my old TV.

Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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