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EdNeuroGrl

Moving Espenses

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I didn't see this on the first couple of pages of posts... hope it is not a repeat.

I need advice for financing a move, deposit on an apartment, and all that.

My credit cards are maxed (and since I am not employed enough to justify a loan) I can't get a loan. I am living on student loans now-- it will BARELY cover my base summer expenses where I am at now, so getting and extra bump for a move to the other side of the US is not an option.

My parents aren't in a position to put forward more than a couple hundred. I'm looking at needing a deposit for an apartment between 1k to 2k, then moving my stuff is probably going to be another 500 or so...

Any advice?

 

Thanks

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I am seriously considering doing a crowd-funding thing and seeing if I can get anything from my extended friends and family... :-/

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I know my department offers short term loans to graduate students. You pay them back through a deduction in your TA wages throughout the year. You could ask your department if this is a possibility.

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This thread might be helpful:

Since you're in a position where your parents can't help and you can't get a loan, it's certainly more difficult to come up with the money. However, here are some suggestions I've come across:

  • Find out if your school offers moving expense loans or emergency loans 
  • Get a summer job and save up
  • Get a part-time job now if your schedule allows it - just 10 hours per week adds up after a few months
  • Since we're still in the middle of the school year, you could try tutoring a few hours per week to earn some money. You can do this locally or explore tutoring on the Internet
  • Sell your plasma - this route is only for the desperate as it's time consuming and can be very uncomfortable and make you tired. Depending on the plasma bank, you can make $200 - $300 per month going in twice per week

 

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Also, if your parents have good credit, they may be able to get a loan for you. You just have to make sure you pay them back! That's what I did, plus they gave me a few hundred dollars for gas money for the journey from east coast to west.

You may also want to consider selling all of your furniture, particularly if you're moving far. It will give you more money to make the move (and you'll save money on renting a truck), and you can usually find used furniture quite cheaply if you don't care about matching colors and perfect condition. I bought a couch, an easy chair, 2 kitchen chairs, a tv stand, and a coffee table for under $100 at a used furniture store and a yard sale. I brought my bed, kitchen table, dressers, and night stands with me, but those items can also be found inexpensively. 

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@EdNeuroGrl do you have a vehicle that you could sell? If so, check out the public transportation options within the city or see if it is possible to walk/bike to school, your apartment, etc. If this is an option, SELL THE CAR! My SO received a lot of recommendations from current graduate students both in NYC and Boston, telling him that the money they got from selling their car was just enough for start-up living expenses.

If, however, this is not an option for you, have you thought about having a graduation/going away party? Some people might think this sounds stupid or cheesy, but when I graduated from high school, throwing a party for family and friends helped me raise over $3,000 and that was just for high school. (I found that most people are surprisingly generous when it comes to graduation parties.) If possible, maybe ask your parents if they would be willing to host the party.

My SO and I are doing both of these things this summer in hopes that we will raise at least $5,000 for the quite pricey move to NYC!

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1 hour ago, EdNeuroGrl said:

I didn't see this on the first couple of pages of posts... hope it is not a repeat.

I need advice for financing a move, deposit on an apartment, and all that.

My credit cards are maxed (and since I am not employed enough to justify a loan) I can't get a loan. I am living on student loans now-- it will BARELY cover my base summer expenses where I am at now, so getting and extra bump for a move to the other side of the US is not an option.

My parents aren't in a position to put forward more than a couple hundred. I'm looking at needing a deposit for an apartment between 1k to 2k, then moving my stuff is probably going to be another 500 or so...

Any advice?

 

Thanks

Deposits are hard to come up with, but my department will definitely help out with that (occasionally). The maxed credit cards make it much harder, for sure. 

As to actual moving costs, $500 seems like a lot. Have you thought about not moving a lot of that stuff? Many of my peers came to grad school with one or two bags, or a carload if they were driving. Granted, if you're driving across the country, that makes sense. 

Selling off furniture, etc. and using that to fund the move is highly advisable. Moving the stuff is expensive, and you can frequently get the same/similar stuff in your new city for about the same you sold your old stuff for, minus the cost of having to move it. It also gives you some bank for the initial move (and deposits), and you can get new stuff once your stipend is flowing in.

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I highly recommend Eigen's suggestion of moving with just a car load of stuff. I wish I could have done that, but between my husband and myself, we had too much stuff that had to come with us so we got a relocube to move the majority of our stuff. He has an extensive insulator collection that he wasn't willing to give up, and I have an armoire that my grandmother gave me that I didn't want to part with. His insulator collection was too heavy for the car (he has over 1200 pounds of glass and porcelain... we spent one night weighing it all to see if we could find some way to mail some and bring the rest in the car) and the armoire wouldn't fit. Without those items, we could have easily packed the car with clothes, our telescope, dishes, tv, pots and pans my mom bought me, etc. and mailed my books and any smaller items that didn't fit for under $100. I could have easily sold my furniture for $400 and used that money to replace most of it used at my destination. Then I would have saved the $2500 it cost for the relocube and uhaul to get my stuff to and from the cube.

Also consider mailing things to your destination if you find that you can't quite fit it all in your car. Books, CDs, DVD's, and I think video games can be shipped media mail which is pretty cheap. I think the library rate is even cheaper if you ship large packages.

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Yeah, it definitely depends on how much you have. My wife and I were in a similar place to Shadowclaw- we moved a full mid-sized U-haul. Neither of us were willing to leave our books & bookshelves, desks, etc. But if we were in a tighter place financially, we probably would have looked at putting some of it in storage and moving with less, and coming back for the rest when we were more financially stable in the new place.

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Selling large furniture through Craigslist or to local friends, as mentioned, is good––having a yard sale can also be a great way to get some quick cash for smaller goods such as movies, books, knickknacks you don't use.

I've also collaborated with a few friends, pooled some of our money together, and helped out another friend in need; if you have a few people you know you can ask for help, even if it is for a little bit, that adds up quickly.

If you are currently in an apartment, do you think you will get your deposit back?

 

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A few things come to mind so I'll just list them:

1) Rather than living alone, find a place where you have a roommate, ideally one who already lives there. That way you'll need a smaller security deposit and fewer furnishings for the new place. That also means you'll have less to move and could potentially move using only your car, if you have a car.

1a) You could also look into subletting since that has fewer upfront expenses and many come furnished.

2) You really can't move that much stuff for $500. I've moved cross country a few times and $500 is basically fuel for the car, food, and a couple of nights in a hotel along the way. I did that when I moved to my PhD program and it was fine. I sold a bunch of stuff on Craig's List before I left and used that money to help pay for gas.

3) Get a side job ASAP. It doesn't really matter what it is because any money you make can either be used to pay down your credit cards or save up money for the move. Babysitting, tutoring, working as a bartender, waitressing, etc. You don't want to be picky put you do want to make whatever you can.

It's definitely a tough situation so you should see if your undergrad or grad institutions offer any financial assistance for a situation like yours. Good luck!

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Can anyone talk about loan options?  I don't have a maxed out credit card, no student debt, and will have a first day bonus if $2000.  The bank said we could do student loans at another bank or a personal loan.  How hard is it to qualify for those student loans?  What would you do?  I was planning on needing a good chunk of money since I'll be trying to get a single apartment to prepare for my fiance to move at the end of the first semester.  Like ~$5000?  My parents won't help but are helping with moving costs.

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Probably better off to sublet/see about on campus graduate housing your first semester, and then when your fiancé comes down you can both look for a place together. 

This will significantly decrease your initial costs, and at the end of the first semester you should have the savings you need to put down a deposit on a place of your own.

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@EdNeuroGrl I've done this a couple of times - moving across the country for love of academia and having to finance it myself. Now, like folk have said above, the less you move with, the better off you are. For me, I'm married and have children, so there is less stuff I can just sell on craigslist and buy elsewhere later. There are just some non-negotiables, like my books, my wife's piano, and the kid's toy boxes from grandpa. That said:

  • First task: come up with a plan, budget, and a timeline. Know every date and deadline and how much money you need when. Like, when do you need your deposit, do you need to rent a truck/trailer, how much will it cost to hook up the internet at the new place, how much in groceries will you need in the first week, etc.
  • Ebay worked great for me. Find all the little things in your house that you don't need that will sell for more than $10 (I don't eBay for less than minimum wage). Over the course of a year, I made a few thousand that way and it helped a lot. I mean everything, shoes and clothing, books, kitchen utensils, camping gear, tools - it really adds up. Personally, I hate dealing with craigslist, but it's good for things that don't ship well, like bicycles and furniture. For anything worth less than $10, if you don't need it, get rid of it - the less stuff you move, the more you will be happy. We're moving in 4 months and I have a huge stack in the basement that I keep adding to - it's the sell/give away pile. Be ruthless with yourself. 
  • Have a graduation/going away party and solicit gifts. I know it's looked at as being shameless, but we've done this twice and it really helped.
  • Depending on where you are in relation to friends... only move what you need if you ever foresee yourself going back. When we first moved after undergrad, we left a ton of stuff in friends' basements and attics. On subsequent trips "home" we always took a car-load or small trailer's worth back with us. Remember, you're going to be moving again in a couple of years - so maybe just store anything you don't need for your PhD. We had friends who did this for grad work in the UK, when they came back, they opened their storage locker, removed a box of keepsakes, and then auctioned the whole locker for $3k. 
  • An odd-ball option if you're on a standard freight track, which I guess you would be on, is to go with a partial load service. There are a lot of freight companies (like ABF, etc.) who will move a pallet at a time on their own schedule for comparatively cheap. Freight companies hate to send trucks that are half-full across the country, so they often will sell the remaining space to folk who have "partial loads" If you can get your stuff to the shipper, put it on a pallet, and shrink wrap it, they can usually take it. I did this a lot at my old job and you'd be surprised what you can move. That said, when looking at my own situation, it was a financially better deal to go with a big truck from Penske and drive it myself.   

Best of luck, having to move cross-country while being poor sucks mightily.

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For those of you moving with just a carload of stuff, I'm guessing you drove with someone?  I'm also going to be doing a cross country move and since I don't have anyone to drive with me I'd worry all that stuff in my car would attract unwanted attention.  Plus it'd probably be a pain to unload/reload when staying at a hotel.

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14 hours ago, biochemgirl67 said:

Can anyone talk about loan options?  I don't have a maxed out credit card, no student debt, and will have a first day bonus if $2000.  The bank said we could do student loans at another bank or a personal loan.  How hard is it to qualify for those student loans?  What would you do?  I was planning on needing a good chunk of money since I'll be trying to get a single apartment to prepare for my fiance to move at the end of the first semester.  Like ~$5000?  My parents won't help but are helping with moving costs.

Do you mean federal loans or private? Federal loans are pretty easy to qualify for (just fill out your FAFSA), you can also look into the PLUS loans if your direct loans are exhausted (and they are also easy to qualify for - you really just need to have a credit report free of deliquencies). Private loans are more difficult - not only are they credit-based, but they are income-based and they generally want proof of income.

3 hours ago, MarineBluePsy said:

For those of you moving with just a carload of stuff, I'm guessing you drove with someone?  I'm also going to be doing a cross country move and since I don't have anyone to drive with me I'd worry all that stuff in my car would attract unwanted attention.  Plus it'd probably be a pain to unload/reload when staying at a hotel.

I drove with my husband and two cats. I actually didn't bring anything into the hotel aside from my suitcase (and the cats of course). It worked out fine until someone stole my bike off the car in Reno (the last night of the journey). I had actually planned to bring my bike inside since it was much easier to steal than the stuff inside the car, but the first night of our 8 day journey we were so tired that we just went to sleep. Nothing happened so I left the bike on the car the whole time. I REALLY should have brought it in while in Reno - the motel was sooo shady and I almost decided to just forget about the money I'd lose from canceling last minute and go to another place. I even thought to myself, "gee, I really should bring in the bike" while eating dinner. I still kick myself for that - it was a $600 bike!

Anyway, I'm not sure anyone will go through the trouble of breaking into your car if it's just full of boxes and there's no indication of value. Probably depends on the neighborhood of the hotel. One tip - one of my committee members said if you get renters insurance prior to the move, the stuff in your car is covered. I didn't have it beforehand though, so I can't confirm it. Not sure if car insurance would cover it. Maybe under comprehensive coverage.

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Um, work? I work two full-time jobs. I sleep 2-3 hours about half the week. If you think all you can do is 40 hour weeks, think again. If you push yourself you'll be surprised what you're capable of.

Edited by westy3789

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@westy3789There are many reasons that taking on a ton of work may not be possible for OP right now so this answer is neither helpful nor kind.

For example, maybe OP is already in a full time graduate program and is prohibited under their terms of financial aid from taking on additional work. Or they are an international student and same problem. Or they are taking care of a sick relative. You don't know, so the judgement is really not necessary or useful.

And while I admire your work ethic, sleeping 2-3 hours a day is obviously not healthy and can be very dangerous. The other advice in the thread is much more realistic and useful.

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17 hours ago, shadowclaw said:

I drove with my husband and two cats. I actually didn't bring anything into the hotel aside from my suitcase (and the cats of course). It worked out fine until someone stole my bike off the car in Reno (the last night of the journey). I had actually planned to bring my bike inside since it was much easier to steal than the stuff inside the car, but the first night of our 8 day journey we were so tired that we just went to sleep. Nothing happened so I left the bike on the car the whole time. I REALLY should have brought it in while in Reno - the motel was sooo shady and I almost decided to just forget about the money I'd lose from canceling last minute and go to another place. I even thought to myself, "gee, I really should bring in the bike" while eating dinner. I still kick myself for that - it was a $600 bike!

Anyway, I'm not sure anyone will go through the trouble of breaking into your car if it's just full of boxes and there's no indication of value. Probably depends on the neighborhood of the hotel. One tip - one of my committee members said if you get renters insurance prior to the move, the stuff in your car is covered. I didn't have it beforehand though, so I can't confirm it. Not sure if car insurance would cover it. Maybe under comprehensive coverage.

Ouch that must have been some bike.  I have renter's insurance which does cover my possessions wherever they are, but I won't risk it.  I don't plan to stay in any shady places, but you never know when going to an area for the first time.  If it can't fit in the trunk or my purse then I'll pay to ship it.

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17 hours ago, shadowclaw said:

Do you mean federal loans or private? Federal loans are pretty easy to qualify for (just fill out your FAFSA), you can also look into the PLUS loans if your direct loans are exhausted (and they are also easy to qualify for - you really just need to have a credit report free of deliquencies). Private loans are more difficult - not only are they credit-based, but they are income-based and they generally want proof of income.

I just realized that I'll actually need less than I think... by a lot.  I'm going to look into some options, but I really should only need $1500 - $2000 and will be able to totally cover it with my first-day bonus. 

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On 3/3/2016 at 7:49 PM, MarineBluePsy said:

For those of you moving with just a carload of stuff, I'm guessing you drove with someone?  I'm also going to be doing a cross country move and since I don't have anyone to drive with me I'd worry all that stuff in my car would attract unwanted attention.  Plus it'd probably be a pain to unload/reload when staying at a hotel.

We moved across Canada in 2010 with a carload of stuff. We took everything up to our room that was visible from the outside. That is, everything on the back seat etc but we didn't take stuff up from the trunk. We were careful to not open the trunk unless absolutely necessary so it's not obvious that we're moving with all of our stuff. The things in the backseat were just a couple of very large suitcases and some boxes, stuffed with things we're moving, but to a would-be thief, we would just look like overpackers instead of people trying to move everything they owned! We stopped in wine country along the way and got several bottles so we moved them up too so they wouldn't experience as extreme temperature changes. Use a dolly/cart from the hotel if they have one. For some more sketchy places, we might have moved everything (not 100% remembering everything).

We were willing to pay a little bit more to stay at less sketchy places because we were making the move into a mini vacation/holiday too. We did the drive in about 20 days, usually one day of driving, then 1-2 days visiting a city and then continuing. Since we were staying at each place for 2 or 3 nights, we didn't mind moving things up as much---it wasn't like we did it every day.

23 hours ago, shadowclaw said:

One tip - one of my committee members said if you get renters insurance prior to the move, the stuff in your car is covered. I didn't have it beforehand though, so I can't confirm it. Not sure if car insurance would cover it. Maybe under comprehensive coverage.

We have renters insurance and it does cover things stolen from our car. When we moved from Canada to the US via UHaul U-Box pod, our renters policy also covered the contents of the UHaul Pod. This policy is valid even when you no longer live in your old place where you first took out the policy---the policy covers you and your belongings/liability. So don't cancel when you move, keep the policy until you get to the new place and then add your new residence to the policy. There is a deductible though and you will have to be able to prove the value of your stuff, so for valuable things, you should have documentation and when you set up your policy, make sure you have right options and riders to cover what you need. 

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On 3/3/2016 at 10:49 PM, MarineBluePsy said:

For those of you moving with just a carload of stuff, I'm guessing you drove with someone?  I'm also going to be doing a cross country move and since I don't have anyone to drive with me I'd worry all that stuff in my car would attract unwanted attention.  Plus it'd probably be a pain to unload/reload when staying at a hotel.

Once I drove with someone and three times I didn't (unless you count the dog I had for two of those trips). I didn't bring my stuff in at night. Even when I go on road trips now (I do a 15+ hour trip each summer), the only things I bring in at night are my laptop bag, duffel bag with clothes, and any craft beer I've bought along the way (for temperature reasons, not because I'm worried it will get stolen). I always make sure that things which look valuable are in the trunk but I had plenty of stuff in the backseat that was visible if you'd looked in. Then again, I also have tinted windows, which can make seeing in more difficult. I stayed in reputable-ish hotels, though that varied some when traveling with the dog. Pre-dog, I stayed at: Fairfield Inn & Suites, Courtyard by Marriott, and Hampton Inn. Post-dog, there's a lot more La Quintas. Maybe I've just been lucky but, the biggest problems I've had have been related to a switch going bad inside my car in the midst of a trip.

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As for moving, I agree with everyone else, selling off as much as you can will definitely lessen the burden of moving. With some lighter items, shipping may also be a less expensive option for moving papers/clothes/or shoes than taking up valuable vehicle space which could be reserved for larger furniture. Books if you have them and aren't attached can also be a quick way to get cash. As for making money fast, these are not always the most effective or dependable but try looking for short term work- sometimes you can find jobs on craigslist or through online listings that are only for a day/a couple of hours. Not knowing your situation, this could be a possible solution if you can't commit to a job but have some spare time to work. Some ideas: house cleaning, working at private events (ie: concerts or even catering). If you have experience in academic events from highschool you can sometimes get hired at tournaments for the day- not sure about New Mexico, but here in Texas it's easy to get hired as a debate judge if you have experience from high school debating or even just experience teaching/in communications/know the right people. I judge tournaments on the weekends all the time and the pay can range from $100-300 a weekend. I would definitely say ask your department about this. You can ask without revealing your financial situation, I would suggest something along the lines of, "I'm really excited about the program, but the costs of moving is a major difficulty for me. The move from x (your location) to y (school's location) is significant, and I was wondering if the school has resources for this transition, or if this is something the department every assists with? If not, is there someone you could refer me to that may be able to help navigate me through the moving process"- it certainly can't hurt to ask, odds are faculty have also had to make moves for graduate school and positions at other schools, and even if they can't help they'll certainly be sympathetic to the cause- so it's not like it'll seem odd that you're concerned with moving costs

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