First Time Moving Out TIps

First Time Moving Out – Top Tips

It’s a big day in anyone’s life when they move into their first apartment. However, no one just up and one day moves into one. It takes a lot of strategic pre-planning and budgeting because if all goes well, you’re establishing good credit. If it doesn’t, late rent or an eviction is something that can stay with you for years to come. That’s not to scare you. It’s simply to encourage you to do as much preparing as you can so that you can enjoy your first apartment with total peace and no regrets.

Here Are The Top Five Tips For Your First Time Moving Out:

Check Your Credit

9.5 times out of 10, the person that you’re going to want to rent from is going to check your credit and so you might as well before they do. There is a bit of a catch twenty-two here. If this is your first time moving out into an apartment, this might also reflect the fact that you don’t have a lot of past credit history and so while you don’t have any “bad” credit, no credit can be looked upon as being something similar. If this is the case, you can build your credit by getting a prepaid credit card, making purchases and paying them off immediately. You might also want to get a couple of bills in your name to establish payment history as well. However, if time is of the essence, there are landlords that do show some mercy in these matters. They’re usually not commercial property companies, but personal owners. Craigslist is a good place to start looking for people who are willing to work with you even if your credit is not the best (or the most active). Be prepared to pay a steeper security deposit (in most cases), though.

Plan a Budget

Creating a budget will help reduce your stress by making sure you’re financial ready for your first time moving out.  If this is your first apartment, then this is probably your first time paying for a series of monthly bills. Water, electricity, cable and food are not luxuries, they are necessities. This means that you have to make sure that you allot enough every month to cover these expenses. When it comes to the electricity, bear in mind that in extreme cold or heat, the bill will fluctuate (you actually might want to put aside $100 extra bucks in the summer and winter months to cover it).

Shop Around

Like pretty much everything else in this world with a price tag, apartments also have deals going on. Therefore, it’s best to not just go with the first one that catches your eye or works within your budget. If you’ve decided that you want to check out some Upper West Side apartments for rent, do your research: which ones have the most amenities, how much is the security deposit, which ones are close to subway or bus routes as well as cleaners and grocery stores? Also, if you can, try and speak with a tenant or two to get an understanding on what the noise levels are like and if there is staff available to tend to the property in a timely manner. Never look for an apartment like you don’t have options. You always do.

Check Your Lease (and check it twice)

There are a lot of people who find out some things the hard way about their rental agreement because they didn’t read the fine print. For instance, if you are going with a private renter and the lease says “as is”, this means that repairs that aren’t major, they are not liable for (so also do a thorough inspection of the property that you’re renting before signing). Another thing to review is if rent is due on the last day of the month or the first and how much grace you are given to actually turn it in (some places give 5, others may give as much as 10). And, if you’re thinking it’s a place where you’ll want to stay for a while, also be sure to check out what it says about renewing your lease. Plus, if you want to leave after a year, get some clarity on when your security deposit will be refunded to you (something that a lot of people forget about discussing).

Don’t Pay Out-of-Pocket For Repairs

One of the biggest differences between paying rent and paying a mortgage is that when you’re renting property, it doesn’t belong to you. So, when the refrigerator breaks down, the faucets stop working or there are electrical or plumbing issues, they are not your (financial) concern; they are your landlord’s. My first time moving out, I made the mistake of paying for repairs out of pocket.  When there is an issue with your place, notify your landlord. If it’s dire, most state tenant laws make it mandatory that a landlord check out the problem within 24 hours with up to a few days to make the repair. Don’t allow your landlords to cause you to think that you must pocket the expenses. At the very least (with a private owner), work out an arrangement where if you do pay for it (keep all receipts), they will either reimburse you or take it out of the next month’s rent.

Being prepared for your first time moving out will help make this a great experience!

What Is DRIPs Dividend Reinvestment Plans

What Are DRIPs? – Dividend Reinvestment Plans

DRIP stands for Dividend Reinvestment Plan. Sometimes you have the option to participate in a Dividend Reinvestment Plan, or DRIP, when buy stock in a company. It is very simple. When you buy a stock you can choose to have all the dividends reinvested in the stock.

For example, let’s say you buy some stock from CVS. If you buy 20 shares of stock and they pay dividends of $.50, you will receive $10 in dividends. Instead of paying you, they will automatically reinvest it and buy you more stock. If they stock cost $20 per stock, they will buy you ½ of a share of the company.

How can you participate in DRIPs?

Some stock brokerage firms will give you the option to participate in DRIPs through them. With fidelity, they will automatically reinvest your dividends for you in more stock.

You can also participate directly with the company. You can send a check directly to the company and pay much smaller fees. It is also better because you don’t need to buy a large amount of stock shares, you can start very small sometimes as low as $100.

For example CVS’s plan of how to invest directly to a DRIP, see CVS’s plan here. With this plan, there is not transaction fee for the reinvestment of dividends.

Why should you use a DRIP?

Investing in DRIPs is a great way to start investing when you have little money. You can invest $100 in a company directly and watch it grow through capital gains and reinvested dividends. By reinvesting dividends, you will also receive more shares.

Some plans require you to own one share of stock to start. If you are investing directly, it is easiest to just buy a share online through sites such as or You can also purchase these as gifts for children.

If you are interested in investing and you don’t want to have to invest $1,000 or more to start, you should consider participating in a DRIP. You can also invest very inexpensively through Their commissions are on $4.95 per transactions and you can invest as little as you want.

Give it a try and start making money! If you are under 18, you should talk with your parents for help.

What Is A Money Market Fund

What Is A Money Market Fund?

Money market funds are very similar to mutual funds. With a mutual fund, your money is pooled with other investor’s money and it is all divided among many different investments.

Money market funds are the same, except the money is invested in government securities. They are not federally insured like general savings accounts, but they are lower in risk than regular mutual funds.

What types of securities will my money be invested in?

Money market fund accounts invest in highly liquid and low risk securities. Liquid means that it can be taken out very quickly. A savings account in your bank is highly liquid because you could go to the bank and take out money right away. Real estate has low liquidity because it would take time to get the money back that you invested into it.

The government securities that they invest in are usually certificates of deposit (aka CDs), commercial paper of companies, and other short term investments. In the U.S. these funds are regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission or SEC.

How do Money Market Funds work?

The value of a money market fund is always $1. The value doesn’t fluctuate like a share of stock, it earns interest similar to a bond. The securities always include short term bonds that reach maturity in 90 days or less. This allows for low risk.

If you are interested in investing in a fund, I would suggest a traditional mutual fund. They are higher risk, but can probably earn you more money. If you are interested in low risk government securities and don’t have a lot to invest, I suggest going for government bonds.

What Are Dividends - Stock Dividends

What Are Dividends – Stock Dividends

If you are new to investments, you may or may not know what dividends are. Hopefully you understand what a stock is and how it makes money. It is simply a piece of a company that you can own. Let’s say a company has 1,000,000 shares of stock that cost $10 each. You can purchase 10 shares for $100 dollars.

How do you make money from stocks?

Over time, the value of these shares of stock may increase or decrease. This is based on the supply and demand principle of economics. As more people want to buy stock from a particular company, the price of that stock increases. The reverse happens when more people are selling their shares, the price goes down.

Where do dividends fit into all of this?

When a corporation is doing well, they may decide to pay dividends. This is a payment to their shareholders separate from stock increases. The increase from their stock doesn’t come from the corporation, but the dividends do.

The amount of dividends depends on the corporation’s net income and how much they are willing to pay. It could be anywhere from $.25 to $1 or more per share. So, if you have 100 shares of stock of a company and they decide to issue $.50 per share in dividends, you will make an extra $50. This is usually done on a quarterly basis.

Should you search for dividend paying stock?

Some companies almost always pay dividends. These stocks are popular among retirees because it is another source of income. Whether or not you look for dividend paying stock is entirely up to you.

I wouldn’t suggest you buy stock only based the fact that they pay dividends. You should conduct proper research of any company you are willing to buy stock in and there is no problem making dividends one of your criteria.

Of course, if you are young, you have more time and can take more risk. Many of the younger companies don’t pay dividends because they are still becoming established, but they might give you a much higher return.

How Do Bonds Work Bonds 101

How Do Bonds Work? – Bonds 101

For this articles I’m going give you the basics, so you’ll be able to answer “How do bonds work?”. During my undergrad I had a finance class that dedicated 1/4th of the semester to bonds. Lucky for you, I’ll cover what every basic investor should know before investing in bonds. Bonds are another popular investment and teens can invest in bonds, too. They are less risky than stocks and therefore usually have a smaller return. In other words, you’ll probably make more money off of stocks. It is often recommended to make bonds only about 30% of your portfolio.

Bonds may be a little less nerve racking than stocks. If you check your stocks everyday, you might give yourself many unnecessary anxiety attacks. If you have bonds, there are no prices to check.

A bond is a certificate of debt issued by a government or corporation guaranteeing payment of the original investment plus interest by a specified future date, according to the dictionary. This means that the government or a business sells a bond to you for a certain amount of money and after a certain period of time they will pay it back and then some.

For example, you may buy a bond from a corporation for $1,000 and after 10 years they will pay you back the $1,000 dollars plus, let’s say 6%, which would be $60. All your really doing is lending someone money and getting paid for it.

Different Types of Bonds

There are several different types of bonds. There are government bonds, corporate bonds, and municipal bonds. Government bonds are issued by the U.S. government, corporate bonds are issued by corporations, and municipal bonds are issued by local and state governments.

You may have gotten savings bonds from relatives or as awards. These are EE bonds and are available in the denominations $50, $75, $100, $200, $500, $1,000, $2,000, and $10,000. The U.S. treasury also offers I Bonds, Treasury bills, Treasury notes and other bonds. Government bonds are usually the least risky bonds.

Corporate bonds are rated based on the quality and safety of a bond. The higher the rating, AAA the highest, the better, and D is the worst. The lower the rating the more risk there is, but this also means you will probably get a much higher return. A bond with a D rating may promise a 20% return, but they are also probably very unlikely to pay you. Low rated bonds are often called junk bonds.