What Every 18 Year Old Should Know

From easiest to hardest.

  1. You’re a legal adult now. Always be respectful and don’t be stupid, but if you get arrested, refuse to talk until your court-appointed lawyer gets there. Cops are usually OK, but sometimes they fuck people. It’s not worth ruining the rest of your life.
  2. Don’t drink and drive. Seriously. Just call a fucking cab. Or call a friend or family. Had a friend derail her life for 5 years for a DWI after she drank at a graduation party and drove home.
  3. Sexuality is a spectrum. Enjoy it. But do so smartly. Always wear a condom. Always be mindful of the other person’s feelings. And if you’re using condoms, remember to only use water-based lube, like KY. Other shit might hurt or deteriorate the integrity of the condom. Oh, and stop getting embarrassed about sex things. No one knows what they’re doing at 18. Explore and make mistakes. Talk about stuff with your partners. As long as you’re respectful, this is what’s important.
  4. Relationships are fucking tough. Be open about everything once you’re with a partner in a serious relationship. Talk about what you don’t like, about what your fears are, about what you need from a relationship. Never be afraid to leave a bad situation, or one that’s not fulfilling. Or if you just want sex, say that. You’re an adult. Talk openly with trusted people.
  5. There is no perfect mate. I’m a married man, been with my lady for a decade. But there are many great women I could have ended up with, and she could’ve ended up with some great men. You need to look for a partner you can respect, one who will help you become a better person (in health, love, life, education, finances, etc.). Red flags are: insecurities that stifle communication; financial problems from drugs, gambling, shopping, etc.; abusive attitude that makes you feel like shit (or where you make them feel like shit); serious cultural differences (we’re talking, s/he wants you to convert but you don’t want to); or serious differences in goals (not/wanting children; not/wanting to stay in the same city; things that seem nonnegotiable). Even if you’re with someone really fantastic, if you think it’s not going to work out for a good reason, don’t be afraid to leave. The world is full of beautiful people. You will find one eventually. But it’s misery to be with the wrong person for you.
  6. When breaking up, don’t shit all over the other person. Keep things amicable. If it’s a serious relationship, chances are that other person had good qualities. You may want their help later. Hell, you may end up with them later.
  7. You need friends. Get to know people better than yourself–morally, financially, professionally, whatever. You hang with deadbeats, you’ll become a deadbeat. You hang with successful people, you’ll pick up their tips, tricks, and mindset.
  8. Read more. Read things that challenge you. But in all things, just get a voracious appetite for learning about what interests you. For most of us, that’s not literature. But it could be history, economics, psychology, DIY projects, programming, or carpentry or whatever else. I have yet to find something that cannot be improved with a bit of reading. And library cards are free! Actually, public libraries are pretty fucking awesome, especially in cities, as they usually organize free events, games, parties, and lectures. Universities do the same. Check that out too.
  9. If possible, start putting back 10% of your income. (A) Save enough to cover 3-6 months of living expenses (for when shit inevitably goes down). (B) Once you’ve saved your emergency fund, start to put your money into stocks or mutual funds. 10% isn’t much in your day-to-day life, but if you can start early, that money will work for you later.
  10. Sustained effort and tenacity are key to success. In anything from sports to business to art, you are going to suck at the beginning and make tons of mistakes. So you just stay humble, keep learning, keep doing the right things (perfect practice makes perfect). Then, when you get better and start to excel relative to your peers, you’re inevitably going to fuck up, get hurt, slip into depression, whatever. Get back out there. Sure, cry if you need to, take stock of your losses. But then dust yourself off and get back up. You are so much more powerful the longer you’ve been doing something, especially when training the right way. Athletically, a person who’s consistently trained for years with good nutrition will be able to go pro or train others well. Intellectually, a person who’s learned lots in a field and written on it becomes an expert. Financially, a person who’s learned a niche or a market soon knows which businesses to pass on and which investments to make. But none of this happens without momentum. None of this happens without lots of mistakes.
  11. Avoid pyramid schemes and multi-level marketing companies. The economy is choppy, and you’ll likely be applying for jobs in a rough spot some day. If the company requires you to pay lots of up-front fees and demands that you recruit others (especially without giving them a quality product), just pass. After I had advanced degrees, I had to wait tables. Sometimes you gotta pay your dues. But it’s so much better than being taken advantage of.
  12. Develop good habits in nutrition and health. This is probably my greatest regret. I was a great high school athlete but let myself go to shit in college. What I needed to realize is that I didn’t need to work out 6 days a week. I just needed to work out 3 days a week, really. What I needed to realize is that every meal didn’t need to be clean. But if I could eat a nutritious breakfast and a light dinner, it didn’t matter what lunch was most times.
  13. Everything comes with a cost. Have one or two things you’re passionate about. But also realize what that does to the rest of your life. Let’s say you’re passionate about video games and you want to go pro. Then fucking breathe that shit. Get better. Join a league. Read constantly. Invest in good gear. Start YouTubing. But also realize that you need to balance essential stuff in your life–long-term savings, friends and loved ones, health, etc. Realize that certain things that were once important to you–partying with friends, joining that soccer league, saving the extra 5% of your money–are going to be harder the more your major passion falls out of alignment with it. This doesn’t mean you should neglect essential stuff from above. It does mean that you should be honest to how a sincere and long-term interest will change the trajectory of your life. That’s okay.
  14. Meaning in life is what you make it. Explore ideas. Attend many different churches; read some good philosophy or great works in literature. If you find something that helps you to keep everything in perspective and that gives you a reply to nagging questions, go with it. But if shit seems absolutely certain, and if someone starts demanding lots of you in a gruff way, leave. You’re probably in a cult, or some dogmatic, shit religion.

You’ll find that life is ambiguous, perplexing, full of struggle, entangled. But you’ll also find things that make you unequivocally and uniquely happy. You’ll find answers to questions that, sure, might not have everything, but they have just enough for you to ask new and better questions. You’ll find goals (family, love, charity, etc.) that will help you make it through the hard times.

Essential Items for Your Kitchen That Will Last a Lifetime

There are several items that should buy for any kitchen that will last a lifetime. A big criteria used in picking these products is that products must be durable & practical. This is not a place for untested products or newest gadgets. The emphasis here is on items that have been tested and proven in the field.


The Kitchen:

Devices that require power:

  1. Coffee Maker – The general consensus seems just to buy a French Press, grinder, and kettle. For espresso, get a moka pot. If you want something electric, try a Bunn. If you have a Bunn, please look online to see if a recall has been announced for your model. Some models of Bunns constantly keep a heating element on in order to keep the water in them hot and ready to brew.
  2. Toaster – Buying a toaster oven seems to be the route one should take. You can cook plenty more things using a toaster oven than a conventional toaster. That said, toasters peaked in design decades ago so getting an old toaster at a thrift store. Outside of reliable ovens, Dualit toasters feature a minimum of wear since you effectively lift the toast up.
  3. Popcorn popper – Good news, if you go stovetop there is no need for anything other than a normal cooking pot.
  4. Crock pot/slow cooker – Seems like you want to go for the “Crock Pot” brand slow cookers. Allows you to get things cooking while you’re at work or school, etc, without worrying about burning your residence down. Buy a CROCK POT. A slow cooker is not a crock pot, crock pot is a name brand and they make excellent cookers. The other brands aren’t bad but don’t have the endurance and quality as true crock pots do.Buy one with a knob. The digital interfaces are just flair waiting to break, you need warm low and high, that’s it.Ideally buy used. Go to goodwill or yardsales and look for crockpots (name brand again) from the 60’s or 70’s. Look for old. They were made really well back in the days and still work. Not to say new isn’t just as good, they just did a better job making anything back in the day.
  5. Juicer – The Champion Juicer and most seem to agree.


Things that go in a drawer:

  1. Can opener -Rhe Swing-A-Way can opener which is currently made in China.
  2. Cheese Grater –  This by OXO seems to be the highest rated alternative.
  3. Kitchen Knives – A lot of the decision comes down to your preferred style. Some people prefer the thick and heavy German knives, and the more expensive lines coming out of Henckels and Wusthof are well-made and will last a lifetime if treated well, as will lesser-known German brands like Messermeister and Franz Gude.Another option, if you are willing to care for knives that will rust if not kept dry, are carbon steel Sabatiers from France. They have a different geometry than German knives – less belly, which I prefer, but you may not prefer if you like to “rock chop.” There is a lot of variation in Sabatier quality and I would only buy the vintage models with the elephant logo.My personal preference is for handmade Japanese kitchen knives. Japanese knives are thinner than Germans, have a profile like the Sabatiers, and are made of harder steel which can hold a more acute edge without folding. There is some variation in steel and fit & finish, but they will all last a lifetime if properly maintained. If cost were no object I would love to own a bunch of Hattori KD knives, but even if I won the lottery I probably wouldn’t spend more than my other dream knives, Nenox S1, which are also quite expensive (I own one of these, which I bought used from a line cook). Hattori, who makes the S1 for Nenox, also has a cheaper line sold online called Hattori FH which is excellent. Masamoto and Aritsugu dominate the professional market in Japan, and are very well-made but a little lacking in fit and finish. Other brands of note include (but not limited to) Sugimoto (particularly famous for their Chinese cleavers), Misono, Takeda, Ryusen, Suisin, Ikkanshi Tadatsuna, and Konosuke. Cheaper but still terrific brands include MAC and Tojiro.Also, I would not go out looking for a “set” – start with a chef’s knife and a paring knife, maybe a bread knife, and if you find yourself doing a lot of a specialized tasks that would benefit from a specialized knife, get that knife later. For instance, if I were starting over and had a lot of money to spend, I would get a 270mm Nenox S1 gyuto (chef’s knife), a 3.5 mm (edit: 3.5 inch not mm) Shun paring knife (the Japanese makers tend not to make paring knives), and a Franz Gude 320 mm bread knife. If I were on a budget, a Tojiro Gyuto, the same paring knife, and skip the bread knife.Whatever you choose, it is worthwhile to learn how to sharpen your knives yourself – that is a subject for another thread.
  4. Bottle Opener – The Pulltap’s “waiter’s friend” like this one is the way to go. The two key features are the teflon-coated worm, which can be replaced when the teflon coating wears out, and the two-step “foot” the you use for leverage to pull the cork. It requires only marginally more effort than the Rabbit style and all of its various copies thanks to the double action. I’ve been in the wine business for more than 5 years and this is what virtually everyone in the field uses every day.The Rabbits have several moving parts that tend to wear out and break after awhile. Rabbits also don’t work very well with synthetic corks- they have a nasty habit of punching them into the bottle. The winged style and and its ilk usually have very thick worms which can shred the cork and cause it to crumble in to the bottle. This is particularly a problem with corks on older bottles which tend to be more delicate. It probably goes without saying, but those battery powered and gas-pressured openers are complete gimmicks and not worth the hassle or the money..
  5. Pizza Cutter – Its probably not the cutter – most people either cut on those steel pans or a pizza stone. This can/will/does ruin a pizza cutter in just a few uses.The next time you buy one, invest a nice, large, polythylene/plastic cutting board to cut your pizzas on. This will give the cutter somthing a bit soft to bite into instead of wearing down the blade on a steel/stone surface. Even wood would be good, but the plastic ones are preferred.

Things that you cook with:

  1. Cast Iron Pans – Once a piece of cast iron cookware is properly cleaned and seasoned, flavor absorption isn’t that much of a problem, plus it creates more of a non-stick surface.
  2. Bakewear – Glass and stoneware can shatter or crack, and anecdotally, this seems to be more common than one would hope. Most metal bakeware is steel coated with nonstick coating, and we all know how durable nonstick is. (And then the steel rusts.) Aluminum seems like it might be perfect for the task. Is that really the only kind that can be expected to last?
  3. Baking sheets – If they get grungy, like yours, you can scour them with a steel scouring pad, that will get anything off.The come in Full (18×26), Half (18×13), and Quarter (9×13) sizes. Full Size is too big for most consumer ovens, but Half is perfect.
  4. Pots and Such – It doesn’t make any sense to buy a set of a single type of cookware, be it cast iron, steel-clad aluminum, steel-lined copper, or whatever. Different materials have different thermal properties which may be advantageous or disadvantageous for any given application, or may just be overkill. Cast iron is great for searing but terrible for a traditional French sauce or a custard.Cast iron will last a lifetime, but so will well-maintained Staub, Le Creuset, Bourgeat, Mauviel, Falk Culinair, Demeyere, All-Clad…


  1. Cutting Board – The longevity of end-grain butcher blocks is well-known, and these are the best-made butcher blocks that I have been able to find. They’re made by a guy that does nothing but make cutting boards. He will make you one in any size, not just those listed on the site. Compared to other end-grain boards, he uses larger pieces of wood, which minimizes the amount of glue needed to hold the boards together.Compared to edge-grain, end-grain is easier on knife edges. Mr. Smith uses soft woods, which also helps. It is also forgiving in that small scratches fade with time as the fibers reexpand and fill the gaps. Larger defects can be sanded out if necessary.Regular oiling is a must to maintain butcher blocks, but fancy oils aren’t necessary – I get mineral oil from the laxative aisle at Target for $1.50.
  2. Glass preserving jars are insanely useful for storing leftover pasta sauce, coffee, soups, beans… just about anything that can be poured. Small footprint, lots of volume. I use them all the time.
  3. Widemouth pint mason jars. Durable, cheap, microwave safe, cheap replaceable lids, totally 100% leakproof. I have mason jars that are 20 years old and still used regularly. The lids have been standardized for 100 years. What more do you want?


A few thoughts on kitchen gadgets and such:

  • Nearly every community thrift shop has readily available kitchen pots, pans, and doohickies from our grandparents time.
  • Yet, nearly every community has outlets selling newer, more modern, “improved” kitchen doohickies and gadgets. The question then becomes sorting out the tried, true and tested from the marketing crappola, with a full understanding that marketing dubious kitchen gadgets predates us all.
  • In just 100 years we’ve gone from wood cook-stoves and enameled iron pots to microwaves and stainless steel blends in everything from knives to pots and pans.
  • In just 20-30 years we’ve gone from stainless knives being low quality and not recommended to stainless knives completely dominating both residential and commercial kitchens.
  • Quite a good many of the kitchen gadgets people inquire about are electric appliances that simply weren’t in common use 50-100 years ago. Will they still be popular in another 50-100 years? Who knows!
  • But, what we do know is what winds up for sale for pennies on the dollar in every thrift, antique and junk shop, and that’s extraneous kitchen gadgets. You can learn a lot by what’snot present in most second hand kitchen departments and by what’s priced quite high in those shops. Notice how vintage cast iron is priced, and notice the general absence of high end knives, larger stainless steel stock pots, stainless steel pressure cookers. People tend to hang onto items they find to be of particular value. But then, notice how many electric coffee makers, grills, blenders, toasters, fondue pots, waffle irons and chafing dishes are present and how relatively cheap they are.

42 Things to Consider Before Renting an Apartment List

There are many different things to consider when renting an apartment. If you want to leave the nest on strong footing, there are some important things to consider. Keep in mind that moving out of the house means learning to pay bills on time, and the rent bill should be your highest priority when it comes to spending your money.

What to Consider before renting an Apartment

  1. Check for cell reception.
  2. Inspect tops of cabinets, behind stove/fridge, for poop. If there are red/brown stains in the corners where the ceiling meets the walls, it’s bed bugs. If there is a line of white powder along the baseboards, it can mean roaches, but more likely bedbug treatment has been performed. White powder behind fridge, stove, etc. is usually boric acid or diatomaceous earth used to treat roaches. Brown or tan kernel sized paste is also used against roaches. Check the Bed Bug Registry online and ask if the building has a history of any pest problems.
  3. Inspect drawer under the oven and kitchen drawers.
  4. Check the water pressure on cold, on hot, on both, and how long it takes to get warm.
  5. Bring a socket tester and test all outlets. Also make sure there are enough outlets in each room, and enough 3-prong ones.
  6. Ask the neighbors what the worst part of the building, street, neighborhood is.
  7. Request to see the exact unit you will be moving into, NOT a showcase apartment. If they refuse to at least show you an actual unit, be suspicious.
  8. Check to see if you have a designated parking spot (and assure its cost, if any, is satisfactory). How many visitors can you have at a time & is that enough for you? On a Fri/Sat night, or any other evening/night, are there even any available spots? What happens if someone takes your spot?
  9. Drive through the area during rush hour if commuting via car.
  10. What’s in close walking distance? (food, bars, stores, etc)
  11. If touring multiple units, take pictures of each for later comparison. When you decide on one, time-stamp photograph any damage and make sure landlord is notified of it in writing prior to move-in so you aren’t blamed for it later.
  12. Research state tenant’s rights laws.
  13. Make sure you’re completely clear on all terms of the lease and know what utilities you’ll be paying and what payment method you’ll need to use.
  14. When driving around, take note of what kinds of cars are parked around, and if they’re substantially different from yours, your potential new neighbors lifestyle may differ from your own.
  15. Call a pizza place and see if they deliver there after dark. If not, the place may have a history as being unsafe.
  16. Make sure there’s an Internet provider suitable to your preferences.
  17. An experienced landlord is usually better to deal with than an inexperienced one.
  18. Get an idea of the general price range of utilities such as heat and AC for the unit. Ask neighbors in similar units the general price range for heating/cooling.
  19. Google your potential new landlord. Look up online property records in the county you are in. Slumlords will generally have lots of liens against them and/or have multiple properties in foreclosure.
  20. Assure the windows are double-paned/double-glazed and in good repair if the area is cold to avoid high heating bills. See if the windows open and close easily.
  21. Look up crime statistics for the area and ask the police how often they have been called to the street/complex in the last 6 months.
  22. An apartment with laundry facilities will save you money. If they don’t have them, check the prices/quality of the nearest ones.
  23. www.apartmentratings.com may be a useful resource.
  24. Drive through the area at 10pm one day, 2am the next, and see what kind of activity is occurring, especially on Fri/Sat nights. Walk through the complex around 8pm.
  25. Be wary of any musty smells that could indicate water damage. Too many air fresheners may be an attempt to hide this.
  26. Fill all sinks/tubs. Drain simultaneously and flush each toilet during.
  27. Ask if they accept section 8 or convicted felons, if you care about those things.
  28. Find out who does the maintenance (some handyman, a legit company, the landlord?). What are their policies on work orders? Can they be submitted online? What is their response time guarantee for after hours emergencies? If it’s just a single landlord and not a property management company, do they have someone you can call when they go on vacation and the hot water heater breaks?
  29. Make sure the building managers or owners are local.
  30. When scoping out potential neighborhoods, check out the local grocery stores to get a good sense of the type of people that live in that neighborhood. Also check the closest gas station late at night.
  31. Check your responsibilities as a tenant. After moving in many landlords require you to pay the cost of a stopped up toilet, pest infestations, and require you to shovel snow from sidewalk/mow the grass on areas around the house, or clean gutters. They may also require you to pay the cost to fix supplied appliances.
  32. Dress well, and ask for a discount.
  33. If surrounding places have belongings left sitting on the porches (toys, stoves, seating, decorations), it’s a good sign for little/no theft and a kid-friendly environment.
  34. If the leasing agent or landlord promises to do something before you move in, it needs to be written into the lease or it may not happen.
  35. Assure the unit has adequate storage space for your needs.
  36. 1st floor apartments are most convenient for thieves, and the most frequently broken into.
  37. It’s usually best to avoid living in the same building as your landlord, unless the other tenants vouch for them.
  38. If there’s a homeowner’s association, find out its rules.
  39. Find out the policy on smoking, pets, noise, and visitors.
  40. If you must break the lease, what are the consequences/options?
  41. What’s the average rental time for apartments in the building? If people aren’t staying long, it’s a bad sign.
  42. Try to get a look at as many different options in the area as possible so you can see if what they’re offering is competitively priced for the size/type of unit you’re seeking.

When hunting for an apartment, many renters fall into the same ugly trap: They get swept away with visions of painting the walls deep purple and having cocktail parties every night, while completely ignoring the particulars like landlord rules and fees that come back to seriously bite. So before you sign your lease, WAIT. Take time to ask yourself and your roommates a series of very important questions, because they will make or break your apartment renting experience… and potentially your bank account.

Pet Ownership in your First Place: Things to Consider


Whether you are striking out on your own or with a new family in tow, a pet can be a great way to complete your family and make that apartment feel more like a home.


What to consider when buying a pet?

From dogs to cats to rabbited, there are many different things to consider when getting a pet at home. However, the realities and responsibilities of owning a pet can be a source of friction, depending on your lease, your level of personal responsibility, and how many people are living with you. There are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you run out and adopt that furry, feathery, or scaly friend and bring it back to chez vous. Think about these questions before getting a pet and bringing a pet into your family home.


Question 1: Are you allowed to have a pet?

dog-catWhile most of us agree that animals are pretty fantastic companions, some rental properties do not allow pets of any kind. Others may allow only certain kinds of pets, such as no dogs or cats, but fish, small mammals, and birds are okay. You will have to get permission from your landlord most likely to have a pet when renting an apartment. Even if dogs and cats are allowed, there may be restrictions based on size and breed, especially for dogs. This information should be in your lease agreement, along with any special costs that may come along with bringing a pet into your new home. A typical pet fee for an apartment might be between $50-100 a month.


Additional Pet Costs in Apartments

These costs include a pet deposit, to take care of any extra cleaning that needs to be done when you move out (like fur-balls that you couldn’t get up with your pet hair vacuum); and extra rent per month for your pet. Whatever you do, don’t violate your lease by getting a pet that isn’t allowed. You’ll end up with a choice between your new family member and an eviction notice, and that’s never something you want to face. Make sure you can have a pet in your apartment by checking with your landlord first on any pet restrictions in your lease. The main thing is that you have to be allowed to have a cat by your apartment complex. Nothing is riskier than to try to hide an illegal cat–sooner or later someone will pay the price
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College Dorm Must Have Item – The Mini Fridge


Mini Fridge with Lock

When I was in college, the most important item I owned was a mini fridge that had a lock. Gone are the days when a mini bar fridge is only found on motel and hotel rooms. Nowadays, many people have this into their home. Due to the versatile sizes of the mini fridge, the idea fits perfectly within places like sleeping quarters, study, lounge room or somewhere else at home when a conventional refrigerator is too large. Also, they are available in different styles, shapes and colors so they can match to the decor of your home.


Buying the best mini-fridge

Even during summer or hot seasons, this mini fridge proves to be handy when you want to get close to your favorite cold drinks while watching the television or having some conversation with friends and family. There are several different things to remember when shopping for a mini-fridge.  Although mini fridges are smaller and usually much cheaper than regular refrigerators, they both do the exact same thing;  keep food cold or frozen. Mini-fridges are perfect substitutes for refrigerators in college dorm rooms or RVs, or when you are running out of room in a main refrigerator.


Freezer Compartment in a Mini-Fridge

If the mini fridge has a freezer compartment, you can even have ice cream or ice blocks anytime you want without going to the kitchen. A mini bar is also useful during special events like game nights, dinner parties or cocktail parties. There is no need for you to rummage the full main fridge because you can use the mini bar and get the drinks you want in there.

But most people prefer using mini bar fridges or display cooler in their bedroom since they are completely silent compared to conventional refrigerator. Such units are also frost free so it is perfectly fine for you to store perishable goods at the right temperature without the freezer burn. It is important to check how big the freezer is in the mini-fridge. Different mini-fridges can vary quite a bit in the size of their freezers. If you find yourself needing more storage space in the freezer, it may be worthwhile to also get a separate mini-freeze to go along with your mini-fridge.


Reliability of a Mini-Fridge

Another great reason why it is good to have this in your home or even your office is these fridges are durable and reliable when it comes to maintenance. If you choose the type which has freezer feature, you will have to defrost every six months or so and there are no other additional hassles that come with the maintenance of this mini fridge. Defrost the mini-fridge freezer ensures that there is not too much ice building up and that the fridge remains clean.

Most of these mini units feature innovative insulation and lock technology which is very helpful in keeping even temperature throughout and in keeping warm air out and cold air in effectively. This means that it can consume less electricity helping you keep the power bill down. Today’s mini-fridges have very efficient energy costs. For a family that does not use much storage space in their main refrigerator, it may make sense to use a smaller mini-fridge to keep energy costs low.

A lot of modern homes today make mini bar fridges a great accessory. They are versatile, small in size and very convenient. You can use it during dinner parties or when you need to have convenient drink close. When it comes to the price, you will be more fascinated because they are not overly priced. They can be found on most appliance stores but they are also available on the internet where you can choose from a wide range of these units in terms of color, design and style. The one downside of buying a mini-fridge on the internet is that shipping costs could be high. Mini-fridges are pretty heavy to ship. This is when it might be easier to head to a store to pick it up in person.


Mini-Fridge Size and Mini-Fridge Capacity

Portable fridges comes in so many different sizes, and the available storage space varies widely from 6 cubic feet to less than 1 cubic foot. It is absoultely essential that you find out how big a mini-fridge you would need before buying on.  Choose a mini-fridge with the right capacity for what you intend to put in it and no bigger. If you simply want to keep a few beverage cans cold, then a small countertop fridge will do. If you will be using the fridge to store food, in addition to drinks, than you will want one that is much bigger and might feature a freezer.

The smallest mini fridges (sometimes called cube fridges), are good for keeping beverages cool and little else. Most of these models are about 17 to 21 inches square in size — small enough to fit beneath a desk — inexpensive and usually made of cheap components that make them inefficient and unreliable. Midsize mini refrigerators cost slightly more than cubes, but they perform better with roughly the same footprint. The larger models are about 24 to 28 inches tall and have a capacity of 2.5 to 2.8 cubic feet.

Getting even larger, there are two door mini fridges that have a larger freezer component. Tese models have a separate freezer space, similar to a full-sized top-freezer. Their thermostats are located in the freezer, so temperature performance is much better in that section than in the refrigerator. This would be recommended if you intend to keep lots of different frozen foods.


Availability of Mini Bar Fridges

When on the lookout for a mini bar fridge, you can search around so many websites to find and compare the best and most affordable deals. Many stores online offer discount rates on their display cooler and you will be surprised at the amazing prices they can offer you. There are many bits of information offered on the internet such as review sites that can help you choose the perfect fridge for your home or office.

Compact refrigerators are a great way to store leftovers and other essentials without putting too much of a dent in your wallet. Depending on your living space and daily demands, you may opt for a larger unit with a better cooling capacity for storing larger quantities of food or a much smaller and simpler fridge for beverages. Certain features, such as guaranteed quiet operation or a designated beverage holder, might prompt you to choose one unit over the next.


Other College Dorm Room Essentials

  • You have to have a mattress topper. Those dorm beds are the most uncomfortable things ever.
  • A good pair of headphones. You will live in a tiny room with another person. Wearing headphones can make you feel like you are by yourself.
  • Everyone always forgets things that are only used weekly instead of daily, like nail clippers and laundry detergent. Don’t forget those.
  • A brita water pitcher (Dorm water for whatever reason always seems nasty)
  • A mini fridge
  • Toliet Paper – Just something people forget when moving into a new place for the first time and the thing you will immediately hate not having.
  • A really good chair, something you can sit in for 8 hrs if needed.
  • A Costco sized bottle of Aleve/Ibuprofen. After night of drinking, BEFORE you go to bed, take one along with drinking a full glass of water = zero hang over. NO TYLENOL with drinking
  • A Costco sized bottle of imodium (come on you’re going to eat cheap ramen noodles and crap your stomach isn’t always going to be great)
  • Laundry transportation, Bags preferably.
  • A good foam pad – http://www.thefoamfactory.com/
  • Pots and pans. Or at least a pot. Mac and cheese/ramen work much better this way.
  • Silverware. Also at least one plate, bowl, cup…but preferably more. coordinate with your roommates
  • Bathrobe. Unless you and your new roomies are uh super friendly right away.
  • If your parents are taking you dorm shopping stock up on stupid stuff you don’t want to spend your money on. (Shampoo, razors, deoderant, etc)
  • Shower shoes. Dorm showers are (typically) not the cleanest places. Get yourself those, a shower caddy, and a nice robe to wear from the dorm to your showers and back.
  • A plunger, if you have non-communal bathrooms. My freshman year my room was the only one on the hall with a plunger and we had people knocking on our door a few times a week to borrow it.
  • Don’t worry if you over pack too much you’ll figure out what you need.

Moving Out For The First Time – The Definite Guide through your Fears, Money, and Life Skills

Moving out for the First Time - A Definitive Guide to moving out of your parents house

I moved out for the first time when I was 16. I was eager to try the adult life and dumb enough to do it without any plan. I simply packed up my things (it was just about a bag worth of stuff) and left to live at my girlfriends’ for a couple of months.

Looking back now, I think I was an idiot.

Sure, I was independent, but as a result, I dropped out of school, and couldn’t get a job, because I didn’t know everything I later learned about getting jobs. To be clear, I still think moving out early is a very positive decision, but it must be done with enough preparation and plan, and definitely not ‘on a whim’ or out of teenage anger. Things don’t turn out as expected, so you better buckle up for a crazy ride.

I’m starting to sound like your parents. Let’s just move on.

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Is it the Right Time to Move out of Your Parents House?


We all love our parents, but we cannot afford to stay with them all our lives. At one point in life, moving out of parent’s house becomes a necessity. We need privacy as we grow up, and you realize that you cannot get that while living in your parent’s house. If you’re over 25 years old and still sleeping in a twin size bed wondering what you’re doing with your life, this is the time when ideas of moving out on your own for the first start lingering in your head.


Is it the Right Time to Move out of Your Parents House?

However, to many people knowing when it is the right time is like cracking a hard nut. Some of us are so quick into moving out and they end up regretting their decisions. To others, getting out of their parent’s house is like a bad nightmare even when they are in there mid-thirties. Buddy, that is so embarrassing. Well, the following are the basic tips to know it is the right time to move out of parents house. Look at the tips for moving out o fyour parent’s house.


When you have frequent misunderstanding with your parents and other siblings

Not many parents can tell their children to leave their house even if they become of age. However, you can know it is time for moving out from how you relate with your parents. If your conversation with your parents has changed to yelling and arguments, it is the right time to consider moving out of parents house. You do not want to be arguing with your parents all the time when living at their house.

When parents require you to start contributing for rent and other expenses

We don’t say it is bad to help your parents with some expenses if you have the ability, and you find it worth. However, parents should not demand you to pay for a house you have lived freely since your childhood. Well, if you start experiencing such demands, moving out on your own for first time is the only source of peace. You might be how surprised that living on your own is cheaper that you might think.


If you are over 30 years old

At this age, you are certainly sure about many things in your life and moving out of parents house can never be a mistake. More so, it is embarrassing to be colliding with your mum on your way from the bathroom with only a towel on your waist at this age. You better consider moving out and avoid unnecessary embarrassments when you are more than 30 years old.


When you consider getting married, moving out is inevitable

It is so embarrassing to share your parents house with your wife. You probably do not want to live in your parents house with your future wife or husband. Imagine have the romance life in the small bedroom in your parent’s house? It is so awkward. At this time, moving out of parents house is necessary before you experience lifetime embarrassment from your parents.


When you start going out frequently, consider moving out

If you want your parents to get mad, then start going out frequently at night. It is even shaming to knock at your parent’s door past midnight drunk and sometimes with a friend who could not reach his home. If you are of age, and you love going out, moving out on your own for first time will save you from frequent arguments with your parents.


Set a Deadline to Move Out of Parents House

Once you’ve decided that it is time to move out of your parents house you must start planning. It is important to set a deadline, give the family your tearful notice, and begin counting down the days until you move out of your parent’s house. Figure out how much you’ll need to put aside for a security deposit, first month’s rent, moving and furniture costs. Start the apartment hunt!


Priorities When Moving Out of Parent’s House

  1. Job. This funds the other three. But pick one in a high density neighborhood, because:
  2. Housing. Your home base needs to be close to services, shops, and employment opportunities.
  3. Transportation. A big expense, to be avoided. See #2.
  4. Education. Don’t start right after a move. You have to get your short-term affairs in order and running on autopilot, plus have a big nest egg saved up, before you can plan for a huge, long-term strategic commitment like this one.

Moving Out of Parents House – Are You Ready?


Moving out of parents house is not as easy as it seems as there are many factors to consider. Many have made the decision of if they are ready to move out of their parents’ house just because they want to live independently with no one telling them what to do and what not to do only to find out that they aren’t ready yet. If you are moving out on your own for first time, it will be best to read on and see if you are actually ready.
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7 Signs That You Need To Move Out Of Your Parents House


Staying at home may seem like the perfect solution for a rent free, easy approach to get a start on life. However, there are signs that show it is time to move on. You will see apparent signs that let you know that it is time to change where you live. Considering certain signs with moving out of parents’ house allows you to make the first steps to setting your own house rules while enjoying a new setting and lifestyle. Following are 7 signs that let you know it is time to move out of your parents house.


7 Signs That You Need To Move Out Of Your Parents House

  1. Rent Payment.

    A subtle trick that parents use to say that you should be moving out is to start asking for rent payments. Instead of paying rent for your room, find a new place that gives you the space that you need.

  2. Subtle Comments.

    Many parents will throw subtle hints and comments that let you know they think you should move. If they are making statements about moving out on your own for first time, then you will want to take the subtle hints seriously.

  3. Too Many Arguments.

    Often, parents keep you living at home as a way to keep specific house rules in place. If you are finding that you are arguing over the little things, then it is time to look at moving out to maintain peaceful relationships.

  4. Building Credentials.

    It is easy to stay in your parent’s house and not work or build your education. When you move out, it allows you to get a full-time job and to begin building your credentials. This will help you later in life for the career or lifestyle that you want to lead.

  5. Curfew Past 18?

    Parents that are overlooking your party life can interfere with the lifestyle that you want. Moving out on your own for first time also means that you set your own hours and parties, and social events won’t be interfered with.

  6. Get the Girl or Guy.

    Most that are over a certain age aren’t seen as attractive if they are still living at home. Moving out of parents’ house immediately builds interest from the girl that you like while allowing you to enjoy the relationship benefits of having your own place.

  7. A Free Lifestyle.

    Your parents job was to raise you into eating the right foods or to create a specific schedule to get you to a certain point. If you want to explore more options, then moving out on your own for first time will introduce you into embracing new possibilities.

From tension in the home to the desire to live a different way, are many reasons to consider moving out. You will open the world of exploration and into the lifestyle that you are interested in being in. By stepping out the door, you will easily be able to savors the relationship with your parents and can find a solution to living the way you want.

5 Tips for a Budget Friendly College Move In Day

5 Tips for a Budget friendly Move

If you’ve moved away from home to go to college before, then you may have a lot of opinions about living on-campus versus living off, where the cool parts of town are, and who your favorite (& worst) roommates were. Or, you’re at least forming them, depending on what year you are in. Maybe you’ve moved every year, or you’re about to.

During my college career, I moved a total of five times. And, each time was hectic and unplanned. I’ve recruited unwilling friends and borrowed my dad’s truck for multiple trips across town. Truth be told, I’ve hated every minute of it.

Making a College Budget

Since college I’ve moved 3 more times. And, guess what? According to statistics, I’ve got 3.4 more times to go (but I bet I have more). You’ve potentially got a lot more moves to go through as well. And drawing from my experiences, I’ve gathered some budget-friendly tips for college move in day, so your next move can run smoother (aka less stressful).

Go the Hybrid-Move Route.

The cheapest way is to do everything yourself. But let’s face it– it sucks having that responsibility! Finding a vehicle to borrow, recruiting reliable help, and potentially injuring yourself with heavy-lifting is simply not worth the trouble. But, while hiring a full-service company is ideal, the cost is simply unjustifiable. A Hybrid Move combines best of both worlds.

What exactly is hybrid moving? You rent the truck or shipping container, and then separately hire the number of movers you need for the hours you’ll need them. It does require a little more organization up-front, but the money you’ll save is worth it. Plus, you don’t have to think twice about how you’re going to move that cool piano your ex-roommate abandoned.

Sell, Donate & Ditch.

On second thought, maybe you should cash in on that piano. Not only will you make a pretty sum of money, but you’ll have a lighter load to move. Smaller/less stuff will mean a cheaper truck or container to rent, as well as fewer hours of moving labor help to pay for.

Plus, having cash during a potentially-costly time in your life will feel good. Hopefully you’ll stress less over whether or not you’ll get your deposit back, and if it’ll be in time to give to the next landlord.

Moving for a New Job?

If you’re fresh out of college and was just offered the job of your dreams, then congratulations! This is a huge win not only for your career, but potentially for your pocketbook (at least during tax season). Indeed, some moving expenses related to work are tax-deductible, so check into current tax laws to see what applies in your state, and save all your moving-related receipts.

Don’t Buy Boxes– Rather, Find Them!

It may be tempting to pay for moving-specific boxes. But, let’s face it– that’s lazy. Most establishments you frequent regularly are begging you to take their boxes.I’ve heard the boxes from liquor stores are good because they are built more sturdily than most and you can just ask the stock person if you can have them.

For example, a friend of mine scored big at the local gas station during her last move. She found one that kept a pile of flattened cardboard boxes behind the counter. When asked what they were used for, the clerk responded that they were from shipments, and they were just waiting for their dumpster to be emptied before throwing them out. She asked if she could have them, and he gladly gave them all to her.

I’ve also found great boxes at liquor stores. While often times these boxes aren’t the biggest, they are designed for holding multiple, heavy bottles at once, so you can rest assured that your boxes won’t fall apart during your move. And, similar to my friend’s new favorite gas station, liquor stores tend to always have boxes they’d like to get rid, and generally ASAP. Go to any Grocery stores in the afternoon. Everyday they restock their shelves and teardown boxes. Ask them if they can set some boxes aside for you. Nursing home. Call and ask for someone in housekeeping. Ask for empty diaper boxes. They’re sturdy and have handles and aren’t so big that they get super heavy when filled. Ask for a certain number and promise to pick them up at a certain time. Bigger places will have more.


Where to get free packing paper!

If you have a neighbor or family member/friend who gets the paper, just ask them to toss you all their old papers instead of throwing them out/recycling them. I use newspaper when I do art projects all the time and my parents get the newspaper every day, so when I’m low on paper I just ask them to fill up a bag full of paper from their recycling bin and hand it off to me.

Go to the grocery store or another store that sells papers and ask if you can have any old/unsold papers at the end of the day/week. Just explain you’re moving and if they have any free boxes/papers/etc you would really appreciate it. You could just take a bunch, I’m sure it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I think it’s nicer/better to ask.


Pay in Pizza and Beer.

Finally, if anything, here’s the best insider secret I can possibly give you. Pizza and beer can move mountains. Seriously. Call up the laziest friend you know. If you’re in college, you know at least one person who wakes up at 5 pm, right? Ask them if they’d help you for free pizza and beer. Chances are, they will.

Truth be told, you haven’t seen this person work or even lift a finger (how do they go to class or pay rent?) the whole time you’ve known them. Yet, here they are, holding one end of your couch while schmoozing with your dad, who’s holding the other end. And knowing that tip alone, makes moving not so bad after all.


Using Amtrak to Move Cheaply Across the Country

Regarding moving costs: If you don’t have any pieces of big furniture to move (and aren’t driving), by far the cheapest way to do it is Amtrak. You pack things up into medium sized boxes and drop it off to ship maybe the day before you fly out. When I did it, I think the cost was something like $50 plus $0.50 per pound, so I moved all my books and shoes and offseason clothing and dishes and such for less than $150. I flew Southwest, checked 2 enormous bags, and that was that! If you know anyone in the area who has a car that can help you pick them up at the station, that’s great but otherwise I think renting a truck at Home Depot or via something like the Getaround app is also pretty cheap.

If you go Amtrak, shipping for small items becomes so cheap that you can actually acquire stuff over time and move it there instead of having to wait and get it all there your first week. At my school, at the end of the year there would always be people throwing away tons of completely usable housewares and items like pantry staples and spices. That, combined with my parent’s castoffs, were enough to keep me going for a while.

Spread Your Wings Without Blitzing Your Bank Account – The Secrets of Saving Money When You Leave Home

The Secrets of Saving Money when you move out for the first time

Leaving home is a massively exciting time. A life event. A rite of passage. The very first step on what will hopefully be a very long and enjoyable journey through independent adult life. However, the process of moving out can of course be just a little daunting at times, though. There’s absolutely no shame in admitting this. Moving house always rates highly in lists of stressful situations – and that applies to people who are veterans as well as first-timers.

The Secrets of Saving Money When You Leave Home

Life out there in the big bad world is going to be a lot of fun. But in order to get the most out of it, there is inevitably going to have to be some budgeting and general financial forethought. And while it would be nice to move out with a big pile of cash and no financial restrictions, the chances are that, like most of us, you’ll be moving out with a modest cash flow.

So, in order to help you get the most out of that modest cash flow, I’ve written this post in the hopes that I can help you save some cash during the weeks and months after moving out of the parental home. This post won’t make you rich or provide a magical snake-oil formula that makes currency rain down from the sky. But I hope that at the very least it highlights some of the danger points where we can find ourselves in a money-wasting zone, as well as some tips on how a prudent existence needn’t be a dull one.

Here our my Secrets of Saving Money When You Leave Home:

Repeat after me: it’s a learning process

There’s an old saying, and it goes like this – calm seas don’t make sailors. Experience is what shapes us. And life’s vicissitudes – be they financial, emotional, or whatever – are what give us our depth of character. All of which means that (despite our best intentions) there may be surprises or challenges along the way. We might even (whisper it softly) make mistakes.

Well, guess what? You’re only human. So by all means seek out and follow the best advice. But find the ability to forgive yourself if you don’t manage to be a paragon of financial virtue 100% of the time from day one.

Looking after your money, budgeting and saving is a learning process.

And none of us are above learning – no matter our level of experience.


Be prepared for contingencies – create an emergency fund

You never know what’s round the corner. You could meet the romantic partner of your dreams tomorrow, and suddenly need to buy some new clothes and pay for half (or all) of a meal at a fancy restaurant. A more prosaic scenario – you could lose your phone and need to purchase a new handset.

The simple fact is that the future is full of all this future stuff – none of which we can see yet but some of which will require expenditure. So get into the habit of having a lot of cash that is there simply for contingencies.


Trade down

It is pretty astonishing how much money you can save from trading down. You do this by looking at all of your weekly or monthly purchases and then trying out cheaper versions of them. So if you always buy one brand of a product, try out a private label or non-brand version of the same. If it’s tolerable, stick with it. If it isn’t, go back to your usual brand.

With brand goods the marketing, advertising and package design can add quite significantly to the price. And also very often the difference between a branded product and a budget one are minimal – to the extent that if we were presented both products unwrapped, it would be nigh on impossible to tell the difference.


Saving on banking, loans, utilities, and other necessities

It pays to shop around with banking and utilities just as much as it does with any other products. Maybe not as fun, but just as potentially useful in terms of keeping your expenditure lean and mean. Money saving check sites are all good and well, but they just tell you who provide the cheapest service, not the best. Personally, I like to seek out those who have won awards for their services. Organizations such as Moneyfacts (my go to site for such information) do the research for you, so you don’t have to. They do tend to pick out the best of the best when it comes to such matters, and they even hand out badges of honor to the winners of their awards, for example. So, keep an eye out for the providers who brandish these badges oh so proudly and find out as much as you can about any financial products you sign up for, well in advance of signing up, of course.


Understand shopper psychology

I remember being in the gleaming, futuristic computer and electrical floor of a department store more or less on the day a new version of a famous MP3 player was released.

Oh my, it looked so good. I mean like, wow!

My knees began to tremble. Suddenly my belly became a chasm, empty and yawning except for a flash of pure electricity bouncing around inside it like a firework.

I picked the thing up. The beautiful, perfect display model. Its OLED screen seemed to beam back at me with nothing but appeal radiating from every pixel.

I began to salivate.

I could feel my bank card starting itch.

And then something happened that I didn’t expect. Some voice, deep within me, said ‘Hey! You already have an MP3 player. You don’t need a new one yet. You can buy this one in the future when you do need one”.

The voice was right. I breathed deeply, counted to ten, and walked slowly backwards away from the MP3 player. Finding a zone of safety near a display of steam kettles, I closed my eyes briefly, and re-focused myself. Then I walked briskly out of the store, welcoming the grey of the late afternoon sky as I made my escape through the automated revolving door.

Have you ever been in a situation where it almost feels like a supernatural force is making you buy stuff? If you have, you are far from alone. In fact, there is even a recognized health condition known as compulsive buying disorder, which is believed to affect over 1 in 20 of the US population.

Now, while my experience with the MP3 player could hardly be classified as a compulsive buying disorder episode, it was very much a visceral thing. I wanted that MP3 player, soooo badly. But the difference is that I was able to resist its charms until months later when, with a small windfall, I was able to purchase it. And a great purchase it was too – I still use it every day!

The simple fact of the matter is that even for the majority of us who don’t have a buying disorder, temptation abounds. Of course it does. When you go to the supermarket, take a look at any item – be it a plastic bottle of lavatory cleaner or a can of beans. The product has been designed to look as appealing as possible by its manufacturer. It’s been placed by the store in the most appropriate place for it to receive your attention. It may even be on offer! Suddenly it becomes apparent that your purchase of the item is encouraged by these factors. So if you’re not looking to spend money, the best way is to avoid temptation altogether. It’s simply a fact that a trip to the supermarket often seems to include a few unplanned purchases. We’re hunter-gatherers. Of course we’re gonna go for a few extras when we’re out in the ultra-modern foraging space the modern retail space provides.

Control your Finances

And finally…

One last thing.

One of the most amazing things I’ve found is that if you keep a daily journal of your expenses, you get a sense of control over your finances that really makes a difference. By jotting down every single purchase, you can see starkly on the page each daily expenditure and how it compares with other days. For those of you who are a bit more tech savvy, there a lot of great budgeting apps out there. I would recommend TOSHL if you prefer tapping than jotting.

I don’t know if journalizing my expenditure sends a message to the subconscious or what, but it seems to work wonders. I think it may be because when you can see everything on the page, there’s less likelihood of getting an ostrich mentality in times when the expenditure is more than it should be. You make the necessary adjustments as you go, and all is calm.

This post was guest-written by Chris from Spend It Like Beckham.

My name is Chris and I write about all things financial in the world of football and everyday life. Money saving advice is always useful, no matter who you are, so I try to communicate my life experiences to help those who need it. You can find me over at Spend It Like Beckham or you can follow me on Twitter @officialsilb.

Infographic: Is It Time To Move Out?

Infographic: Is it time to Move out?

So it’s time to move out. We learned a lot about young people moving out while researching this project. We were amazed at just how many young people live at home. And as you can imagine most are students.

We also learned about the oddity of the NorthEastern part of the United States and girls of all things. This was an interesting project and we encourage you to explore our infographic.


When should you move out of parent’s home?

Moving out from parents’ houses has declined in the last couple of years, despite the end of the recession. This infographic explores how many young people (millennials) still live at home and why, and their demographics. I couldn’t resist but to add some text blocks to break up the dull imagery :)

Moving out - how many millennials still live at home?

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20 Remarkable Tips For Significantly Lowering Your Bills And Renting The Right Apartment

20 Remarkable tips for lowering your bills and renting the right apartment

This is the part 2 of our ‘saving money when moving out’ series. We are listing 20 great tips for lowering your bills and choosing the right apartment for yourself. Get ready for the ultimate list of non-obvious money-saving tricks. This can help you save tons on money on stuff you are already doing and then have some money to save!

It’s time for Thrifty Moving Out series part 2 where I share load of cool tips and advice for first-time movers. The tips are broken down into 3 parts:
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22+ Insider Tips For Saving Money On Food And Buying Groceries When You Finally Move Out

22+ Insider tips for saving money on food and buying groceries when you finally move out

Moving out from your parents’ house can be quite a challenge, especially since many parents do a pretty lousy job of introducing their children to the skills they’ll be needing when they’re on their own. But fear not! It’s still perfectly doable even if you’ve been sheltered from the outside world, and even in these economical times.
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