Valdosta Daily Times

March 24, 2013

Brittany's Budget Diary: Au revoir! That’s fancy talk for peace out

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Well, my dear budgeteers, your worst nightmares are coming true. No, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” “C” lister Lisa Vanderpump didn’t win “Dancing with the Stars”  (yet) and Alice’s premonition to the Volturi from “Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2” didn’t end up being reality (thank you, Lord), but I am leaving Valdosta and The Valdosta Daily Times.

By the time you read this, I will be in Savannah where my hubby has taken a job with the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department. Before you go jump off a cliff, hold tight. Because my Budget Diary is clearly the most important thing The Times publishes every week (this is based off my own calculations of course ...) I have been signed on to remain a forever budgeteer for as long as I can convince my boss that I am in fact valuable.

So, for a bit, my diary will take a drastic turn as it becomes my unemployed chronicle as I make my way through Savannah with little money, no job prospects and living in my parents’ spare room with my husband, two dogs and 16-pound cat. Needless to say, it’s going to be pretty magical.

I will be venturing into a new part of my life as I try to achieve a job making more money and buying a house, and lucky you, you get to make that journey with me.

I didn’t want to shun my budgeteers in front of the others, but my new page,, only has 75 likes. I have officially deleted my old page and it is imperative that you follow my new one.

Seriously, do you want to miss out on pictures of myself curled up in the fetal position as I wait by the phone hoping for a job interview? You will only see something that sad and struggling on “Two and a Half Men” and let’s face it, I am far more entertaining than Ashton Kutcher.

Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @VDT_Brittany. I will be posting updates on my general well-being (because I know you care), outfits I wear to job interviews, budget cuts as I start to save for a down payment on a house, and more.

It’s a scary road I’m walking, but I wouldn’t rather have anyone else on this journey but you ... and maybe Emma Stone. I just feel like she would be a really awesome best friend.

All that being said, I won’t spend this entire article lamenting. I do have a few tidbits of valuable advice on the art of moving without money.

— Don’t spend your bucks on boxes. I probably easily used upward towards 40 boxes to move and despite their simple design, they are not cheap! That is why I dumpster dived for all my boxes. There are stores all over town that get shipments in daily and all of them just throw out the boxes. I just walked into various businesses and got permission to pull them out of their dumpsters. I may have lost some of my dignity in the dumpster, but I certainly didn’t lose a buck.

— Use newspapers to wrap your fragile goods. A pack of packing paper costs at least $10 for roughly 200 sheets. That sounds like a lot, but it’s not. If you know you’re going to move (and are a loyal subscriber of The Valdosta Daily Times) start saving your newspapers. Re-purpose them rather than just throwing them out! Also, if you can avoid using bubble wrap, do so. It’s the most expensive packing material.

— Don’t just throw stuff in a box. The less boxes you pack, the less money you spend. Moving trucks are very expensive and if you pack responsibly and neatly, you can get a smaller truck that doesn’t cost you as much money.

— During your moving process, you will probably be using paper plates and plastic cups. If you buy styrofoam plates (which are usually cheaper), you can also use them to pack your dishes. Instead of buying special boxes and materials to pack up your glass pates, wrap the plates in newspapers and then place a styrofoam plate in between each one as you stack them on top of each other.

— Don’t tape up your boxes until you are completely done packing. This will help you avoid having to pack boxes with random, misplaced things. Make sure you mark each box with a marker and stack like boxes together (from kitchen, living room, etc.) so if you find something from the bedroom you forgot to pack, you can easily put it in its designated box.

Well, my budgeteers, that’s all I have for you this week. Wish me luck and the next time I write to you, it will be from the second greatest city in the world, Savannah! Valdosta is the first greatest city, of course.