The 10 Worst States for Millennials


Millennials are struggling. With rising student debt, stagnant wages, and avocado toast, many are working hard to hardly get by.

It is no surprise millennials are struggling financially. As a group, 24-39 years old earn less and have less assets than their parents did a generation ago. However, just like the job market and cost of living, where you live matters. We analyzed all 50 states and the District of Columbia to uncover where it is hardest for millennials to thrive.

Below we detail the criteria we used to rank the states and have the full ranked list. But first, let’s see the 10 states where millennials have it the roughest.

The south dominates this list with 5 of the top 10 being southern states. The other 5? Include some areas notorious for high costs of living or in economic distress.

Keep reading to see why these states have the least to offer millennials and to see the full list.

How We Determined The Worst States For Millennials

Each state and DC were ranked 1 to 51 in four categories:

  • Millennial Unemployment Rate
  • Average Student Loan Debt
  • Millennial Home Ownership
  • Percent Of Millennials Living In Poverty

All four categories were then averaged together, each weighted equally. The lower score in each category, the lower the rank. For example, DC’s $55,400 was the highest average student loan debt, earning it a rank of #1 for student loan debt.

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We used the most recent American Community Survey 2014-2018 data from the U.S. Census Bureau to get unemployment rate by state for those 25-34. The ACS data also provided the poverty rate by state for the 25-34 age demographic.

To analyze millennial home ownership, we once again used the ACS data to find the percentage of homeowners under 35 in each state.

To gather average student loan debt by millennial borrower, we used the most recent report from

If your state isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see where it lands on the full list. Otherwise, learn more about why these states are the worst place to be a millennial.

1. Mississippi

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Unemployment: 10%
Poverty Rate: 29%
Homeownership: 10%

It is no surprise to see Mississippi top the list of worst places to be a millennial. Mississippi often comes in dead last in education and quality of life metrics. Why is it so hard being a millennial in
the Magnolia state?

More than 1-in-4 Mississippi millennials live in poverty, in addition to facing the worst unemployment in the nation. While housing in Mississippi is relatively affordable, it’s simply not enough to help the millennials struggling just to get by.

2. Florida

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Unemployment: 7%
Poverty Rate: 22%
Homeownership: 7%

Florida may be a beloved destination for vacationers, but millennial residents may find themselves experiencing hardship. Not only do Floridian millennials stand a 22% chance of living in poverty, the state also the 3rd worst Millennial homeownership rate in the nation.

The beautiful surroundings can only provide so much comfort to adults striving to make a living.

3. Alabama

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Unemployment: 8%
Poverty Rate: 27%
Homeownership: 10%

Alabama comes in at #3 for the worst place to be a millennial. While unemployment for millennials is 2% lower than Mississippi, it’s still not great. 27% of Alabama millennials are below the federal poverty rate.

4. South Carolina

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Unemployment: 7%
Poverty Rate: 22%
Homeownership: 10%

Just graduating college in South Carolina sets you up for an average $38,300 in student loan debt. Considering 7% of millennials are unemployed, it can’t be easy paying off those hefty student loan payments.

5. Georgia

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Unemployment: 7%
Poverty Rate: 21%
Homeownership: 10%

Georgia tells a similar story to other southern states that top the list– a high poverty rate, paired with less than stellar unemployment. Toss in the high average student debt and it’s easy to see it isn’t all peaches for millennials in the peach state.

6. North Carolina

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Unemployment: 7%
Poverty Rate: 22%
Homeownership: 10%

North Carolina has similar stats to its neighbor, South Carolina- paired with worst homeownership and slightly less crippling debt.

7. West Virginia

west virginia class=

Unemployment: 9%
Poverty Rate: 32%
Homeownership: 9%

West Virginia is one of the states with a shrinking population. Every year residents are packing up and moving in hopes of a brighter future. Millennials in West Virginia have the highest poverty rate in the nation, with a depressing 1-3 live below the poverty level).

Pair that with sky high unemployment, and chances are pretty good wherever they move, the grass is greener.

8. New Mexico

new mexico class=

Unemployment: 8%
Poverty Rate: 27%
Homeownership: 10%

Why is it so rough being a millennial in New Mexico? A terrible 8% unemployment rate. Since jobs make creature comforts affordable, like food and shelter, this doesn’t bode well for millennials who call New Mexico home.

9. Oregon

oregon class=

Unemployment: 6%
Poverty Rate: 23%
Homeownership: 9%

In Oregon, more millennials are working than most other states. However judging from dismal homeownership rate and a surprisingly high poverty rate, folks are working just to get by in Oregon.

10. California

california class=

Unemployment: 7%
Poverty Rate: 20%
Homeownership: 8%

California may be the golden state, but for millennials living there may not look so shiny. High home costs mean home ownership is out of reach for many millennials. When paired with high unemployment and an unpleasantly high poverty rate, it earns California its spot at #10.

Some states offer Millennials worst opportunities than others

There you have it, the 10 states where millennials have the hardest time thriving.

At the end of the day, millennials are struggling nationwide. However, some states have less job opportunities, higher costs of living, and other blockers to achieving the American Dream– or even just not living in desperate poverty.

Where should millennials go for the best opportunities? Out west! Western states dominate the top 10 best states for millennials.

Best States For Millennials

  1. North Dakota
  2. Nebraska
  3. Iowa
  4. South Dakota
  5. Wyoming
  6. Minnesota
  7. Utah
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Kansas
  10. Colorado

If your state wasn’t in the top 10, you can see where it landed below.

See Where Your State Fell On The List:

Rank Geographic Area Name Unemployment(%) Poverty Rate(%) Homeownership(%) Student Debt
1 Mississippi 9 28 10 $36,700
1 Florida 6 21 7 $39,700
3 Alabama 8 26 10 $37,100
4 South Carolina 7 21 9 $38,300
5 Georgia 7 20 9 $41,500
6 North Carolina 6 21 9 $37,500
7 West Virginia 8 32 9 $31,800
8 New Mexico 8 27 10 $33,600
9 Oregon 6 22 9 $36,900
10 California 6 20 8 $36,400
11 New York 6 18 7 $37,800
12 Michigan 7 22 10 $35,900
13 Louisiana 7 26 11 $34,400
13 Tennessee 6 22 10 $36,200
15 Delaware 6 17 9 $37,000
15 Connecticut 7 17 7 $34,900
15 Hawaii 4 20 6 $36,500
18 Arizona 6 22 9 $34,100
19 New Jersey 6 17 7 $35,100
20 Illinois 6 18 10 $37,600
21 Maryland 6 15 9 $42,700
22 Pennsylvania 6 19 9 $35,400
23 Kentucky 6 24 11 $32,500
23 Ohio 6 21 10 $34,600
25 Nevada 6 20 10 $33,600
26 Maine 5 22 9 $32,500
26 Arkansas 6 24 11 $33,300
26 Virginia 5 16 9 $39,000
29 Rhode Island 6 18 8 $31,800
30 Vermont 4 15 8 $36,700
31 Missouri 5 20 11 $35,400
32 Massachusetts 5 16 8 $34,100
33 New Hampshire 3 15 8 $36,700
34 Washington 5 17 10 $35,000
35 Indiana 5 21 11 $32,800
36 Alaska 7 15 12 $33,600
37 Idaho 4 23 12 $32,600
37 District of Columbia 5 10 12 $55,400
39 Montana 4 21 10 $33,300
40 Oklahoma 5 23 12 $31,500
41 Texas 5 18 11 $32,800
42 Colorado 4 15 11 $35,800
43 Kansas 4 20 12 $32,500
44 Wisconsin 4 16 10 $31,800
45 Utah 3 20 15 $32,200
46 Minnesota 3 14 12 $33,400
47 Wyoming 5 17 13 $31,000
48 Iowa 3 19 13 $30,500
48 South Dakota 3 19 14 $31,100
50 Nebraska 3 17 13 $32,100
51 North Dakota 2 13 16 $29,200

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14 Stores With the Best Return Policies

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The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be leaving few things unchanged. Some retail stores, whether brick-and-mortar or online (or both), are loosening their policies on returns, says ModernRetail, an industry publication. This buys customer goodwill and gives the companies time to process returned products. Other retailers may have tightened previously liberal returns policies.

To help ensure that you and the recipients of your gifts can exchange a too-small sweater or return an extra toaster, consider shopping at stores like these, whose return policies are more customer-centered. We’ve summed up the rules. We link to each store’s policy so you can read the fine print, including exceptions and caveats.

1. Costco

Trong Nguyen /

Selling everything from cucumbers to caskets, Costco says it stands behind its products 100%. That means full refunds on almost anything. A caveat: Some products — mainly electronics and appliances — must be returned within 90 days of purchase for a full refund.

Exceptions include diamonds, which are subject to special terms, and cigarettes and alcohol, which may not be returned where prohibited by law.

Love shopping at Costco? See “18 Surprising Things You Can Buy at Costco.”

2. Lands’ End

Ken Wolter /

The Lands’ End return policy is short and sweet. If you aren’t happy with a product, return it at any time for a refund or exchange.

The policy says:

“Refund requests received within 90 days of purchase will be issued to the original form of payment when available. Refund requests received beyond 90 days from the date of purchase or refund requests without a Lands’ End proof of purchase will be issued a Lands’ End Merchandise Credit.”

3. Ikea

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Thanks to its “No-Nonsense — 365 Days to Change Your Mind” policy, Ikea is one of the best stores for customer returns.

As the policy name suggests, shoppers get one year (365 days) to make a return for a full refund — for new and unopened products.

But you must have a receipt. If you don’t, the store will attempt to locate your purchase in its system. Failing that, you’ll get merchandise credit equal to the lowest selling price of the purchase from the previous 365 days.

Opened products may be returned within 180 days. You’ll need proof of purchase for a full refund.

If you love shopping at Ikea, here some tips: “4 Ways to Save More Money at Ikea.”

4. Bath & Body Works

Tooykrub /

If you’re looking for a sweetly scented gift, Bath & Body Works can be a good place to go.

In case the fragrance you selected from the vast selection isn’t just what they wanted, the store has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Return a product for any reason with a receipt for a full refund. No receipt? Your refund will be for the lowest selling price of the item.

5. REI

Joshua Rainey Photography /

REI is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. The store has a liberal return policy. In brief, you can return or exchange almost anything from the store within one year.

Outdoor electronics must be returned within 90 days. Tip: REI won’t take returns on items for normal wear and tear or damage caused by accidents or improper use. Used gear is covered by the policy, but must be returned within 30 days. REI Store Garage Sale (as is) purchases aren’t covered — those sales are final.

6. Zappos

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You don’t need to worry about buying the wrong shoes online when you purchase from Zappos. The shoe retailer allows 365 days to return unused products and will pay for the return shipping.

So, if those strappy heels don’t look quite as cute on you as they did on the model, you can send them right back. Just don’t wear them to a party first; returns must be unworn and in the original packaging with original tags attached.

7. Athleta /

A division of Gap, Athleta specializes in workout gear for women. Other stores (including other Gap brands) may only take back unwashed or unworn items, but Athleta lets you return anything for any reason within 60 days, thanks to its Give-It-a-Workout Guarantee. An exception: final sale goods.

Athleta covers the shipping cost for returns and exchanges.

8. Nordstrom

Northfoto /

The days when Nordstrom let shoppers return anything in practically any condition for any reason are in the past. But the chain’s return policy remains one of the best around.

It says:

“We handle returns on a case-by-case basis with the ultimate objective of making our customers happy.”

You can return a purchase without a receipt, and the retailer will try to find it in its computer system. If it can’t, customers may show identification to receive a Nordstrom gift card for the current price.

9. L.L. Bean

E.J. Johnson Photography /

The L.L. Bean policy says it will accept returned products that don’t live up to customer expectations within one year of purchase. It’s even better for purchases made before Feb. 9, 2018. These are not subject to the one-year limit.

The retailer adds:

“After one year, we will consider any items for return that are defective due to materials or craftsmanship.”

10. Macy’s

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Macy’s once-mighty chain of department stores is in the midst of a three-year plan to close one-fifth of its stores — shutting roughly 125 locations in all.

But many of its stores still are in business. Macy’s return policy gives shoppers 90 days to take back a purchase. Returned goods must be in original, salable condition with the original tags.

Some exceptions are carved out. These include products from certain lines and manufacturers, lighting, area rugs, tech accessories and watches, dresses, furs, foods and beverages, and furniture and mattresses.

11. Kohl’s

Kohl's store
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Hassle-free returns are a Kohl’s tradition, although the rules can be a bit more complicated than the name implies.

An in-store purchase with an original receipt can receive a refund or an even exchange up to 180 days after the original purchase date, with an exception for premium electronics. If you don’t have a receipt, and the store can’t find one, you may get a merchandise credit based on the lowest discounted 13-week sale price of the item.

12. Target

Jonathan Weiss /

Target’s return policy varies, depending on what you purchased, its condition and whether you paid with a Target REDcard.

Most goods that are returned within 90 days, are unopened and in new condition can receive a refund or exchange. Read the policy and check your sales receipt or packing slip for exceptions.

Target allows up to a year to return Target-owned brands or registry purchases.

Using your Target RedCard to make the purchase earns you an extra 30 days to make returns.

Returns by mail are postage-free; you can download and print a prepaid mailing label.

13. JC Penney

Supannee_Hickman /

As with Target, JC Penney’s return policy varies significantly based on what you’ve purchased and whether you have a receipt. Here are the highlights:

  • Most purchases can be returned with a receipt for a full refund or exchange. No time window is given. Read the policy to see exceptions.
  • When you return something without a receipt, the refund with be issued as a JC Penney gift card; you’ll get the amount of the lowest selling price in the last 45 days and you’ll need to show a photo ID.

14. Bed Bath & Beyond

City of Angels /

Bed Bath & Beyond promises “Easy Exchanges & Returns.” If you have a receipt, you’re in luck. Returns and exchanges can be made (postage-free) online or in stores that are open to the public (this doesn’t include curbside only locations).

You can take back unwanted goods, with exceptions, for a refund in the original form of payment, within 90 days with your receipt. You may be asked to show ID.

Without a receipt, things get a little trickier. If it was purchased within the last 365 days, Bed Bath & Beyond will try to find a record of the transaction. If they can’t, and you are returning new and unopened goods, you may be able to get an exchange or merchandise credit for the current selling price minus 20%.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.


What to Bring to College—The Ultimate Packing List

After the stress of submitting college applications and waiting for the results, an exciting task for preparing for college comes next: packing.

Of course, figuring out what to bring to college can cause some angst, but it’s also a liberating beginning to a brand-new chapter. Preparing for this new experience doesn’t have to be a struggle.

Here is a breakdown of things that college freshmen should plan on bringing with them.

School Supplies

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the only necessary supplies are a laptop and phone. Additional supplies can help students manage their college courses.

Writing information down can help you remember it better , and it can be less distracting having school information in a physical planner, away from all those social media apps.

When it comes to taking notes, some professors don’t want everyone on their computers during class, and some don’t mind. It’s a good idea to have a notebook for each class just in case, along with pens, pencils, and highlighters.

Check the specific course requirements as well. The syllabus for each class should be available early enough to read through and see if the professor lists any required materials. If you’re taking a math class, for example, a specific type of calculator may be required.

Depending on how many books students have to lug around campus, they may want to invest in a nice backpack or messenger-style bag. The most suitable bag will also depend on students’ schedule, how long they’re on campus, and how many classes they have in a row.

It might be good to wait to choose this item after you’ve selected your courses and can see what each day is going to require.

Shower Supplies

Students who choose to live in the dorms will need to bring shower supplies with them. Sharing a bathroom is going to be another adjustment in starting college. There are a few must-haves for a comfortable experience.

Shower shoes are one of these musts. A cheap pair of flip-flops will do the trick. These are shoes that are worn only while taking a shower. What’s the deal? They help to prevent athlete’s foot, a fungal infection that can result from public showers. Just make sure to rinse and dry off the shoes after each use.

A shower caddy is another essential. Most students will likely be walking from the dorm room to the shower, so they’ll have to bring all shower supplies with them. A portable container makes this much easier.

The caddy will have room for your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and so on, and some of them also come with hangers, so they could potentially be hung up in the shower. In choosing a shower caddy, look for one that is waterproof and has holes in it so it doesn’t fill up with water.

Last, don’t forget the towels. At home, there’s always a stack of clean towels ready to be used. This won’t be the case in the dorms.

In addition to towels, it might be handy to have a robe that can be thrown on while walking from the dorm room to the bathroom and back.


Hopefully, students already have a solid array of clothes to choose from. If they’re moving out of state for college, they definitely should check what the weather will be like all year in their new home. If students are used to living in a place where the weather doesn’t change much, they’ll have to add clothing to their wardrobe that’s appropriate for each season.

Dressing for college is more fun than high school for many because there isn’t a dress code. This is a great time for students to explore how they like to express themselves through clothing.

Some college students opt to be comfortable, rocking sweatpants to lectures. Others who are looking to make a good impression on professors—or romantic interests—may dress accordingly.

Don’t Forget Shoes

College campuses are much bigger than most high schools, so investing in a good pair of walking shoes is important. Classes may end up being a solid 15- to 20-minute walk away from each other.

It’ll take a toll on a student’s mood and physical comfort if they try to handle that walk in heels, unsupported sandals, or ill-fitting shoes.

Shoes take up a lot of space while packing, so trying to bring just the necessary pairs is wise. If your college is in a state that will experience cold or snowy winters, make sure to invest in some warm boots.

Bedding and Room Necessities

What else do students need to bring to a college dorm? Most dorm rooms will come with a bed but not sheets. Pack a couple of sets of sheets and a nice comforter. Some college students also recommend bringing a mattress pad and backrest pillow because you may spend more time in that bed than expected.

here’s a dorm room essentials list to figure out what else to bring. It’s vital to look into the school’s list of restricted items so you know what you should not bring to college. The college may also list the furnishings that come with the room. Check out your school’s website first so you don’t buy something that’s already there.

It can also be helpful for students to contact their roommates ahead of time and see if they’re planning to bring anything that could be shared.

It’s not a bad idea to pack on the light side. Most things you need can be ordered online anyway, so that way students won’t waste money.

Planning how to make the most of the small space provided in a college dorm is going to be great practice for when students are ready to move into apartments.

The Takeaway

The packing list has been made and the shopping trip planned, so what’s next? Paying for everything. There are a lot of options for financing the entire college experience, and students can try to get help from more than one avenue if they need to.

Students seeking financial aid should look into scholarships and grants and then federal aid. If federal student loans do not cover the full need, or if a student is not eligible for federal aid, private loans may be an option.

Private loans are issued by private financial institutions. A co-signer is often necessary. Look for loans that don’t have origination fees and offer extra services like co-signer release and hardship deferment.

To learn more, here is a guide to private student loans. Be aware that all the aid given cannot add up to more than the cost of attendance.

Families that decide that a private loan could be useful can see what SoFi has to offer. SoFi private student loans come with competitive rates, flexible repayment options, and no origination fees, no late fees, and no insufficient-funds fees.

Interested in a SoFi Private Student Loan? Check your rate with ease.

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5 Unique Ways College Entrepreneurs Can Earn a Great Side Income

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As demand increased, Chappell and Finfrock compared their class schedules and came up with a set work schedule. They take orders throughout the week, but bake only on Monday and Wednesday, and weekends if needed. Customers pick up their own orders from a box outside their house.

Early Risers Sourdough Bread Business

“I sit down and cut all the pieces and put them in a stack. Then if I get two shirts sewn per day it doesn’t end up being a ton of work at once,” she said.
They used their savings to buy ingredients and a few pans, then landed a big order. A friend’s father ordered 50 loaves to give to his employees at a technology consulting business.
Chappell and her dad made a few loaves over the summer while she was home in Atlanta, then she and Finfrock worked on perfecting it.

Two girls photograph freshly baked bread they made.
Finfrock, left, and Chappell have sold 308 loaves of homemade sourdough bread since they started Early Risers Sourdough in October 2020. Photo courtesy of Julia Finfrock

The uniform design allows for more mass production because she has focused work sessions for cutting and others for sewing.
The company’s “Lift and Tell” program encourages “outgoing students interested in marketing” to spread the word about the moving services available year-round by handing out flyers or posting on social media. These marketers make per referral, capped at ,000.
Though Knack is based on one-on-one help, tutors may lead small group sessions. In these cases, their rate goes up 50% for two students, 80% for three and 100% for four. For example, if a tutor makes an hour for one student, they make an hour for two, an hour for three and an hour for four.
“We really had to think about what people were willing to pay and consider how much time it took to make and the cost of our ingredients,” Finfrock said.
At first, she charged each for the shirts, but they sold out in minutes. She raised the price to and they sell well.
“My grandmother taught me how to sew on my Barbie sewing machine probably when I was 7,” Trout recalled. “Then in eighth grade I nannied for a family in return for sewing lessons from the mom.”

JannyTans Spray Tans

“We kept reading about it and changing things and eventually we perfected it,” said Chappell. “We kept trying different amounts of salt. And we had to get the temperature of the oven right. We had to get it brown enough without burning the outside but cook it through.”
College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving also hires college students as well as other people who can lift 50 pounds. According to, the pay ranges from .63 per hour for a manager on duty to .73 per hour for a higher-level consultant.
Then the quarantine and a realization about textile waste changed her business model.
Sarah Chappell and Julia Finfrock have sold 308 loaves of homemade sourdough bread since they started Early Risers Sourdough in October 2020. What started as a distraction borne out of the pandemic surge in sourdough popularity has become a thriving business for the two seniors and roommates at Vanderbilt University.

A college student stands with her sunless spray tan kit in her backyard.
Skidmore, 21, a senior at Vanderbilt University, made extra money by selling sunless spray tans for $15 to friends. Skidmore was photographed at her family’s St. Petersburg, Fla., home with the machine and popup tent she uses. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

There is a learning curve. (Remember the mistakes Ross Geller made on “Friends” when they asked if he got his spray tan on the sun?)
So she started buying clothes made of fabric with interesting designs that she could cut and use as “raw” fabric. She used a pattern for a sleeveless shirt with four different pieces that could be cut from various clothing articles she bought. Now she could buy something that was priced really low because maybe it had a stain, or wasn’t stylish, yet it still supplied fabric for individual pieces of the shirts.
An estimated 11 million tons of textiles ending up in landfills each year, plenty of it from unsold thrift store clothing.

Knack Tutoring 

But traditional jobs have become scarcer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are five less obvious ways college entrepreneurs are earning money, gaining experience and setting themselves up for impressive resumes.
She’d been working as a lifeguard at the university pool when it was shut down in August because of COVID-19. Then she remembered having met someone with a spray tanning business, who shared the secrets of the trade.
So, with an average of 10 to 20 tans a week at each, she’s making 0 to 0 weekly minus the cost of the solution. Skidmore created an Instagram for her business, JannyTans, and taught herself about spray tanning.
“It was a lot of trial and error,” Finfrock said.

A woman models overalls made. In the other two photos, pants and a long sleeve shirt are shown. All items of clothing were made from thrift store fabrics.
Christie Gillies models an outfit made by Trout, not pictured, founder of PuppyCatCo. Trout makes $700 to $1,500 a month selling pants and sleeveless tops she sews out of fabric from thrift store clothing. Photos courtesy of Ella Trout


Katherine Snow Smith is a freelance reporter and editor in St. Petersburg, Fla., and author of Rules for the Southern Rulebreaker: Missteps and Lessons Learned.
Along with making money while in college, a key part of Knack is the connections it offers for tutors and employers. Businesses that sponsor and supplement the cost of tutoring review tutors for job opportunities. On campuses where there are sponsorships or the university pays for the tutoring (so that it’s free to students), tutors’ rates are set and average an hour. Because Knack has been paid by the university or a sponsor, tutors collect their payment in full.  In cases when tutors set their own rate, Knack collects a fee of 2.9 percent plus .30 per transaction.
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“I got into all of these YouTube videos of people upcycling their clothing during quarantine. It made me think I should start making my products out of thrift store clothes instead of adding more new clothing. It would actually save me money (on supplies) and be better for the environment,” she said.
“I started sewing just for fun during the quarantine because I had so much more time on my hands,” Trout said. “Around that time, it dawned on me that I was not being very environmentally conscious with the T-shirts I was importing for screen printing.” She bought T-shirts made overseas in bulk for .99 each and sold them for and up after screen-printing them by hand.
“We knew we had a guaranteed source of revenue coming in the next few days, so it forced us to use the money we had made so far and buy more supplies,” Finfrock said. They bought proofing baskets to help shape the dough and two more Dutch ovens. The baskets made the bread look and taste better, and boosted sales on campus. Her on-the-job learning has taught her a few things about running her tanning business. Skidmore uses baby wipes to clean up drips and wipe off the solution that sticks to polished nails. A towel is also a must, for clients to stand on while they are in the tent, which comes with the machine. A tan usually lasts about 10 days if clients don’t exfoliate too much.
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At first, Trout bought dresses, shirts and pants then upcycled them by adding patches she designed or drawing original art on the clothes. They sold well on her Instagram, puppycatco, but it was hard to predict costs and the time it would take to create since each product was a new endeavor.
“It’s definitely more reliable to be able to produce more of the same design,” Trout explained. “Every product will be unique because it’s made from different material, but the pattern remains the same.”
Ella Trout, a student at the University of Vermont, makes 0 to ,500 a month selling pants and sleeveless tops she sews out of fabric from thrift store clothing. The 20-year-old college entrepreneur started her business, PuppyCatCo, selling T-shirts she screen-printed with her original designs of dogs and cats a couple years earlier.
Trout has sewn since she was a child.
“We hear tutors saying ‘I was able to pay my rent because of Knack’ and ‘this gave me the flexibility to earn extra money because I have a kid at home or I have another full-time job,’ said Samyr Qureshi, Knack CEO and co-founder. “We’ve also heard students say they wouldn’t have walked across the stage to graduate without their tutor.”

Moving Means Money

Friends doubled as taste testers and declared the bread good enough to sell. So they came up with the name EarlyRisers, started an Instagram account and priced the bread at a loaf.
“It definitely took a little bit of practice. I watched a lot of YouTube tutorials,” Skidmore said.  “My roommates were kind enough to be the first guinea pigs. But they looked a lot better than I thought they were going to look.”
College kids wanting to make extra money can always drive for Uber or deliver food for DoorDash, Grubhub or similar apps. They can also bus tables, wait tables, work in commercial kitchens or provide childcare, of course.
Knack is an app that matches students and tutors within the same college. The tutors have taken the courses students need help in and proven they were successful. Tutors make an average of an hour, and in most cases, that’s paid by the university.
The entrepreneurs recently added new flavors, such as chocolate chip, sundried tomato and basil, rosemary and garlic, that sell for and .
Skidmore ordered the 0 Aura Allure Spray Tan Machine that came with three trial sizes of different toned solutions. Each full-sized bottle of solution is . “Normally I can get about 35 to 40 tans out of one of those bottles,” she said. <!–


It gives students boxes, then they pack up the contents of their dorm rooms or apartments when they are moving. College Truckers employees take the boxes to a storage unit near campus for up to three months. When the next term starts, the boxes are delivered to wherever the student is living. Pricing is based on the number and size of boxes and starts at a minimum of 5 for about 60 cubic feet of packing and storage space.

How to Price Your Home in Arizona

When you’re getting ready to sell your home, it can be overwhelming. There’s so much to do, including packing up your home, finding a real estate agent, and getting your home listed. When it comes to listing, pricing your home can be confusing, especially in a hot and diverse market like Arizona.

There are multiple factors that come into play when you’re trying to determine how to price your home in Arizona, and it’s never as easy as looking at online estimates about what you can get. You want to get it right; if you come in at a price too high, it can limit the number of potential buyers who show up to tour your home. If you come in too low, however, while you might find a lot of interested buyers, you could potentially cost yourself tens of thousands of dollars.

There’s a lot on the line, so we’re going to go over how to price your home in Arizona so you can sell it quickly for the highest price possible.

Don’t Abide Only by the Estimates of Third Party Sites

Some real estate sites allow you to look up any home and see an estimate for what it’s currently worth. They typically look at the price the house last sold for and factor that into changing trends in the area in general. While factoring in trends over time to assess your current home’s worth isn’t a bad call, the reality is that these sites don’t have enough information about your home to be the final determination.

These sites don’t track major upgrades to a home that drastically affect value, like the addition of a privacy fence in the yard or a remodeled master bath. Conversely, if your immediate neighbor’s home sells for 350k, they may assume that yours could get close to that… despite the fact that they had fully remodeled the interior while your home has the same build-grade interior from 20 years ago.

While these numbers can be a solid starting point, take them with a grain of salt until you consult a professional.

Instead, Talk With a Agent to Get Your Comparative Model Analysis (CMA)

When you’re looking at pricing your home, the best thing you can do is to start with a comparative model analysis (CMA). To do a CMA, you’ll need to talk with an agent. When you work with a Homie agent, they’ll look at similar homes around you to determine what your home is worth. They look at all the details that could impact prices. They factor in upgrades, amenities, and the home’s age. All of this information is then used to come up with a good price for you.

It’s important to factor all of these variables into play. Your neighbor may have the same size home you do, for example, but the two homes could be in drastically different shape, even if they had the exact same square footage and layout. Looking at images of the home and listed amenities (like new piping or a one-year-old AC unit) in addition to the standard metrics will help determine the true value of your home.

If you’re curious about what your home is currently worth, including all those details that are a part of a Comparative Model Analysis, Homie offers a free home value report. Click here to request your report from our team of experts.

Never Assume There Will Be a Bidding War

In hot markets, bidding wars aren’t uncommon. A seller may receive multiple offers at break-neck speed that exceed the original listing price on high-value, in-demand homes. While bidding wars could happen on any property (especially in currently in-demand areas like many places in Arizona, where more people are moving into the state), you don’t want to rely on a bidding war to happen in order to get your true target cost. Intentionally listing the property at a lower value than you should, in hope of inciting a bidding war, can backfire and cost you significantly in the process.

Work With a Real Estate Agent

There are clearly a number of factors to consider when you’re selling your home, and Arizona is currently a hot market that’s moving quickly. Working with a licensed real estate agent can help you at every point of the selling process, including the all-important step of pricing your home correctly.

Local real estate agents, like the ones at Homie, live and breathe home prices. They’re extremely familiar with market trends in your immediate area. They know how in-demand housing in your city is, and how valued homes in your actual neighborhood are. They’re also aware of things that are hard to track through pure data alone, such as the increased value of an open floorplan that most people want, for example, or what (if any) small upgrades you should make to your house to make a big impression.

Turn to a Homie

Homie has experienced, licensed agents in Arizona who charge an affordable, set flat fee for selling your home. Here at Homie, we know the market well and will help you ensure you’re pricing your home competitively while still getting every penny for it that you should.

Selling your home is a big decision, and deciding what price to list your home at is a crucial part of the process. Any home that you’ve bought is an investment, and you want to treat it as such. The steps laid out above can help you price your Arizona home well, especially when you’re working with an experienced local real estate agent.

Looking for help when deciding how to price your home in Arizona? Learn more about how Homie’s real estate agents can save you thousands and sell your home quickly here.

Get more tips for selling your home in Arizona!

How To Find a Real Estate Agent in Arizona
Arizona Home Buying and Selling Webinars
The Best months to Plan a Move in Arizona

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5 Considerations Before Becoming a Digital Nomad in the U.S.

Where would you live if you could work from anywhere? The idea of geographic independence had remained just that for many workers — an idea — until the pandemic offered an opportunity to try it in action. Many U.S. workers found themselves working from home in 2020, which actually turned out to be “work from anywhere,” giving them a firsthand taste of digital nomadism.

Now, as more companies promise ongoing flexible remote-working opportunities in 2021 and beyond, some employees are weighing the benefits, complexities and uncertainties of giving up a permanent home for good.

Yet there’s far more to becoming a digital nomad than packing your stuff into storage. From taxes to transportation, here are five factors to keep in mind before hitting the road as a U.S.-based nomad.

1. Taxes

While domestic nomads don’t have to worry about overseas tax rules, they must still navigate the complex web of state income taxes. Since each state has its own independent rules, this can get overwhelming in a hurry.

“The general idea for freelancers is that states want to tax people based on where their butt is, doing work,” explains Adam Nubern, the founder of Nuventure CPA, which specializes in digital nomad taxation. “So if your butt is in Arizona doing work, then Arizona is more often than not going to want to tax you.”

Freelancers and others who earn self-employment income must either navigate these rules on their own or hire a professional to do so for them. And full-time employees earning W-2 income face another challenge: Pitching nomadism to their employers.

“Set expectations that your employer will not want to do this,” Nubern says. “They may have to file in each state you will be in. The complexity, especially for a small employer, can be a massive knowledge and compliance hurdle.”

For example, if you spend a tax year in six different states, your employer could be expected to file returns in each, navigating the reciprocal tax agreements between them. Some states even lack these agreements, so “they will not give a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for the amount you pay to the other state,” according to Nubern. In other words: You could get taxed twice.

2. Quality of life

Geographic independence is about much more than byzantine tax codes, of course. The big appeal of becoming a digital nomad is that it allows you to work where you want rather than live where you work. What makes for a high quality of life differs from person to person, but it’s important to start thinking about what matters most to you.

“I personally love staying in places that have great hiking and nature, right outside of the major U.S. cities,” says Julia Lipton, founder of venture capital fund Awesome People Ventures, who is approaching her four-year mark as a nomad. She cites Sausalito and Encinitas in California; Beacon, New York; and the Oregon coast as examples of beautiful locales not far from urban cores.

Consider listing several locations and scoring each across several criteria, including (based on your preferences):

  • Public transit.

  • Walkability.

  • Arts and culture.

And keep in mind that the stakes are much lower as a digital nomad. If you don’t enjoy a particular destination, you can always move on.

3. Cost of living

Geographic independence can, in theory, significantly reduce your cost of living. That’s why the “Silicon Valley exodus” has seen tech workers fleeing the expensive Bay Area for greener, more affordable pastures.

Yet for digital nomads, estimating the real cost of living requires more than simply adding up the cost in a particular area and dividing it by the time spent there. That’s because nomadism incurs additional costs, including:

  • Transportation within and between destinations.

  • Higher short-term lodging costs.

  • Higher food costs (if you eat out more).

Plus, unlike internationally traveling digital nomads who can leverage extremely low costs in other countries, U.S.-based nomads confront bigger financial hurdles.

“When I first started doing this, I was living in places like Thailand where for $500, I could live in a hut on the beach,” Lipton says. “In the U.S., especially because I like to be near my friends in expensive cities, it’s harder to make the math work.”

Cost-of-living calculators are helpful for determining the relative priciness of potential destinations (Hawaii is really expensive, as it turns out), but don’t capture the cost of moving around. One way to mitigate these costs is to move less: Stay in each destination for several months or seasons, rather than several weeks.

Another factor to consider: Some employers offer salaries based on location. So if you decide to move from the Bay Area to, say, Detroit, you could get a pay cut that offsets cost-of-living savings. Make sure you understand these policies before packing up.

4. Lodging

Whether hopping between cities or between national parks, finding good, affordable housing poses one of the biggest challenges to domestic digital nomads. There’s no one solution to solving the housing riddle, but some potential strategies include:

  • Long-term vacation rentals.

  • Traditional sublets.

  • Housesitting and swapping.

  • RV or van life.

These approaches are not mutually exclusive, and many nomads cycle among housing opportunities. Getting creative, combining strategies and thinking outside the box is the best way to avoid overpaying.

“I try to keep my monthly rent below $2,000. This means I have to be crafty and try to sublet local markets or make deals with people off of Airbnb,” Lipton says.

5. Transportation

Getting around is obviously a big part of being a nomad, and it’s worth considering different strategies for how to handle it. Indeed, the means of transportation will determine where you can reasonably go.

For example, you could fly between cities, and then either rent a car or rely on public transportation at your destination. This maximizes flexibility in terms of where and when you travel, but limits the range of potential home bases to major cities. Or, you could drive between destinations, which solves the problem of getting around once you’re there, but will be difficult if you’re traveling far or trying to park in dense urban centers.

Again, it all comes down to preference.

“I travel by plane and pick places where I don’t need a car,” Lipton says. “Exploring by foot is one of my favorite activities, so I try to optimize for that.“

If you’re looking to escape into nature, you’ll want to have a vehicle (and find a way to get reliable internet service from the road). And keep in mind that you can mix and match these strategies as you go — there’s no need to lock yourself into a particular strategy until you find what works.

The bottom line

Location flexibility has suddenly become the new normal. Untethered to a specific office or city, many are considering uprooting themselves for good and traveling the country as digital nomads. This lifestyle affords many perks, as well as some potentially unforeseen financial consequences.

It’s all about finding the right balance of high quality of life with low cost of living while juggling tax rules and transportation options. It’s a challenge to get it all right, but part of the beauty of being a nomad is that you can take chances. If something doesn’t work: Move!

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:


How to Move Long-Distance With a Pet Dog or Cat – Transportation Tips

Moving long-distance is hard. From finding a new home and booking movers to actually transporting your family and possessions to your new city or town, it can be overwhelming and exhausting for most people.

Adding pets into the mix just complicates an already challenging situation. Of course, you want to bring your furry family members with you, but how can you get Bingo or Mittens to another city, state, or country comfortably and with the least amount of stress possible?

Although long-distance moves can be harder with cats and dogs, planning ahead and considering their needs can make a world of difference. Breaking your plan into three parts can help to make sure you’re prepared before you move, while you travel, and when you arrive at your new address.

Pet Planning Before You Move

As most pet owners know, pets can be extremely sensitive to new situations and experiences. Giving them time to adjust to new circumstances before a move can make a huge difference in their stress levels — and your own.

Here are some tips for how to prepare to move long-distance with a pet before moving day.

Plan Your Pet’s Transportation

You have three options when it comes to moving with your pet. You can drive with them in a vehicle, you can fly together, or you can hire a pet transportation service.

Driving With Your Pet

If you’re going to drive with your pet, there are a number of different ways to prepare them for the journey.

If you plan to use a kennel or pet carrier, make sure that you give your cat or dog time to adjust to it before moving day. Leave the crate open and in an area of your home that your pet has access to. Make it inviting by putting a soft bed or blanket inside and feeding them treats and food in the carrier. If they have a favorite toy, encourage them to play with it in the crate.

If your cat or dog is small, try closing the kennel door once they’re comfortable and lifting the carrier up, and walking a short distance with it. Pets who are unfamiliar with being transported in a crate will need time to adjust to the feeling of being carried. Once your pet feels comfortable with the crate, try taking them for short trips around the block to see how to react to being in a vehicle.

If they seem to be anxious or afraid, cover the kennel with a light blanket or towel to help your pet feel more secure. Often, this is a great way to stop any whining or crying because it makes them feel safer and keeps them from seeing out the windows, which can be distressing.

Be sure to choose a carrier that is large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around in. Because you may need to provide a litter box or training pad and food and water bowls, it should be big enough to give your pet separate space to sleep and rest as well as relieve themselves and access food and water.

Make sure that the kennel fits in a part of your vehicle that you can access and monitor while on the road. Don’t put your pets in a trunk or trailer. Ideally, you’ll want them to be secured in the back seat of your vehicle so that you can check on them frequently and access them if there’s a problem.

Double-check that your vehicle’s climate controls — air conditioning and heat — are working, and never leave your pet in a hot or cold vehicle unattended while you eat, sleep, or take a driving break.

Flying With Your Pet

Flying with your pet can be an attractive option for a lot of pet owners. It’s faster than driving and can be much easier to plan because you won’t have to worry about stopping to eat or rest.

However, flying is much more restrictive than driving because you have to comply with airline rules.

Airlines charge fees to transport your pet, and how much depends on the airline, your pet’s size, and whether they fly in the cabin or in the cargo hold.

Cats and dogs are required to stay in a crate while flying, regardless of whether they’re with you or in cargo, so it’s important to kennel train them before a flight to help them to become familiar with being contained. Include an ID tag and your contact information — phone number, address, and email — on your pet’s kennel in case you get separated.

Depending on whether your pet flies in cargo or with you, they’ll need to go through security and may briefly be required to be removed from their kennel so that airport staff can confirm they’re safe to fly. You may also need to provide documentation regarding vaccines and health certificates from a veterinarian, so check your airline’s requirements in advance to find out what you’ll need before your board.

Keep in mind that airlines can refuse to allow your pet to travel at any point leading up to your flight. If you’re flying with your cat or dog for the first time, make sure you have a backup plan. If your pet is in severe distress, acts aggressively, or disrupts other passengers leading up to takeoff, you may be asked to make alternative arrangements.

Whenever possible, book a direct flight to keep air travel times to a minimum. Although some pets fly very well, others are affected by the change in air pressure, noise, and confined space.

Pet Transportation Services

If you aren’t able to drive cross-country yourself, but you don’t want to put your pet through the stress of flying, pet couriers can be a perfect alternative.

Pet transportation services are companies that specialize in driving pets from point A to point B while their owners drive, fly, or leave early to prepare their new home. Many of these services have specialized vehicles with built-in kennels and make frequent stops for walks and bathroom breaks.

Aside from doing the actual driving, some pet couriers can help to arrange both vehicle and plane transportation for pets, including permits, documentation requirements, and moves overseas.

This can be especially helpful for people who are moving to another country or who want to arrive before their pets so that they can be there to meet a moving company or set up a new home.

Make sure to research pet transportation companies beforehand and look for positive reviews from the Better Business Bureau. Look for additional feedback on Google or Yelp to see what other customers thought about the service. You can also ask your vet, trainer, or other pet owners for recommendations. Because you’re entrusting them with your furry friend on a stressful journey, choose a company that you feel comfortable with and that can send you photo and video updates along the way.

Get a Vet Checkup

Regardless of which method of transportation you choose, it’s important to ensure that your pet is in good condition before you start your journey. Your vet should make sure your cat or dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and that they’re in good health and able to travel. Even if you’re flying or using a pet transportation service within the United States, you’ll still need to have your pet’s health records and vaccination certificates handy.

If your pet has a tendency to be anxious or distressed when traveling, your vet can offer options to help ease their stress. This may be in the form of a mild sedative or a pheromone spray. They can also offer advice specific to your pet’s medical history and any health issues or conditions they have.

It may be difficult to get your pet in for a vet visit in cities or towns you’re not familiar with. Consider asking your current vet if they know any good veterinary clinics in your new area, and confirm their contact information so that you can get your pet’s health records transferred to a new vet when you arrive.

Update Your Pet Insurance

If you have pet insurance, make sure you update your information and ask your insurer about travel coverage for your pet while you’re on the move. Confirm whether they offer insurance in your new city or state as well — some providers may only offer benefits in specific areas. If your insurance provider doesn’t offer service in your new area, ask them if they have partners or sister companies where you’ll be moving.

If not, start researching new insurance providers with solid travel coverage for your pet and set it up before you leave on moving day.

Stock Up On Pet Supplies

You’re going to need supplies for your trip, especially if you’re driving with your pet in tow. What you’ll need depends on whether you have a cat or a dog. Make sure to visit before you leave to prepare for your trip to stock up on your pet’s preferred items.

Cat Supplies

  • Enough cat litter for your trip
  • A small, easy-to-clean litter box
  • Wet and dry cat food
  • Food and water bowls — preferably that attach to a kennel
  • Extra blankets and bed
  • Cat scratcher
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Collar, harness, and leash
  • Sturdy, generously sized kennel
  • Prescriptions
  • ID tags
  • Health and vaccination certificates
  • Unscented, sensitive baby wipes to clean messes

Dog Supplies

  • Training pads
  • Extra leash, harness, and collar
  • Food and treats
  • ID tags
  • Health and vaccination certificates
  • Medications or prescriptions
  • Chew and puzzle toys
  • Waste bags
  • Collapsible food and water bowls
  • Extra blankets and bed
  • Kennel
  • Unscented, sensitive baby wipes in case of accidents or messes

Update Your Pet’s Microchip Information

If your pet has a microchip or tattoo, make sure that your contact information is correct. This includes your pet’s name and description as well as health issues, and your name, address, and phone number. You can also list an additional contact, like a family member or friend in your pet’s hometown in case they make their way back to your old house.

Update your pet’s information on the microchip company’s website and call your vet to ensure your information with them is up-to-date as well. Notify them of your new address and phone number so that they can get in touch with you if they’re contacted in the event your pet gets lost.

If your pet doesn’t have a microchip, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your vet to book an implant, which is a quick and simple procedure.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that your pet’s ID tag is current and includes a working phone number for you or your veterinary office.

Planning For Travel With a Pet

Once you have prepared, you can start thinking about how you’ll handle traveling to your new state or city with your furry friend. Now’s the time to start thinking about where you’ll stay, when to stop, and how long your travel time will be.

Find Pet-Friendly Accommodations

If you’re driving, or if you’re flying and have long layovers or cancellations, you’re going to need a place for you and your pet to rest between legs of your journey.

Start by planning out your route. If you’re taking a road trip, pick which cities and towns you want to stop in along the way. Try to choose populated areas where you can find a vet, mechanic, or pet store if you need them.

Once you know where you want to stop, check out which hotels, motels, or Airbnb rentals in the area offer pet-friendly stays. Because pet-friendly accommodations can be harder to find, it’s essential that you don’t wait to book until the last minute. Confirm that your lodging allows the type of pet that you have — some only allow dogs, while others allow cats as well.

If you do choose a hotel or motel, you may end up having to pay an additional nonrefundable pet fee on top of your stay. It’s usually anywhere from $15 to $50 and covers the extra cleaning associated with a pet-friendly room. Airbnbs may or may not come with additional pet fees, depending on the host and house rules.

Plan Your Route, Breaks, and Overnight Stops

When you take a road trip on your own, you have the luxury of sightseeing and stopping to visit friends or family members along the way. When you’re traveling with a pet, you often want to get to your destination as quickly as possible.

Being in a vehicle for hours on end can be hard on cats and dogs, so you need to consider how long your travel time will be each day. You may have to stick to 6- to 8-hour daily drives for longer trips as opposed to 12- to 14-hour drives that you would be able to handle on your own.

You’ll also need to adjust your driving time to include walks, bathroom breaks, and food and water stops for your pet. Dogs may need to stop and stretch their legs more than you do, and cats can be finicky during travel and may reach their daily limit of driving before you’re ready to stop.

Remember that it can be hard to stick to a strict schedule with pets, so leave yourself a lot of wiggle room. Pets may become car sick, hyper, or distressed, and may need extra breaks before they’re ready to keep going.

Check on your pet frequently to ensure they’re comfortable and that their kennel or carrier is clean and secure. If possible, have someone drive with you so that, if your pet gets stuck or spills a water bowl, they can handle it without you having to pull over. If you don’t have that option, try to choose a pet carrier that can be secured with a seat belt to add stability and safety.

If you’re flying, make sure that your kennel and food and water bowls meet your airline’s requirements. Remind flight staff that you are traveling with a pet to ensure that everyone is aware you have a furry friend on board. Be sure to adhere to cabin rules by keeping your pet’s carrier under your seat and closed. Air travel can be especially stressful for pets, so following the rules can help to keep you, your furry friend, and other passengers safe and comfortable during your flight.

If you’re traveling cross-country, you should be aware of different state laws, especially if you have an exotic pet or a controversial breed of dog. Not all states allow the same animals, or even certain dog breeds, to cross their borders, so plan ahead if you need to cross state lines.

Prepackage Food, Treats, and Litter

Instead of bringing an entire box of litter or food into a pet-friendly hotel room, keep the box in your vehicle filled with separate individually packaged bags that you can grab as you need them. Each night when you stop, grab one bag of litter and food and leave the rest in your vehicle. It will make packing and unpacking your car each day much easier and faster.

Keep items that you’ll need frequently in a separate bag, like waste bags, treats, medication, leashes, collars, and a full water bottle.

If your pet tends to eat and drink less while traveling, try bringing along some wet food to encourage them to take in some liquids and calories. But be wary of giving them anything that might cause an upset stomach. An accident in the car while you’re on the road can be unpleasant for everyone. Talk to your vet if your pet has a sensitive stomach for tips on how to best ensure they’re happy and full during your trip.

Planning For Your Pet’s Arrival in a New Home

Once you know how and when you plan to travel to your new home, you can start to think about making your pet’s transition to a new home easier. It can take pets longer to acclimate to new surroundings, but you can help to make them feel at ease by thinking ahead.

Keep Your Pet’s Possessions

A lot of pets like consistency. They like their own beds, toys, and litter boxes. Although you might be tempted to replace old belongings for your new space, your pets will appreciate consistency and familiarity. Bring their favorite scratch posts, beds, blankets, and pet furniture such as a cat tower to your new house, and wait to replace it until your pet has settled in.

Make Your New Home Pet-Friendly

If possible, make your new home pet-friendly before, or soon after, your pet arrives. For dogs, if you have a yard, ensure it’s fenced and clean so that they have room to play. You can also install a doggy door and have a dog house ready for them to use.

For cats, have a scratch post set up and give them lots of places to hide and rest. Cats can be a lot more apprehensive about new spaces than dogs, so consider putting them in a room with a bed, food, water, and litter box until the movers are gone and your house is organized. This gives them a chance to adjust to new smells and sounds and prevents them from bolting out the door while you’re unloading the moving truck.

Order or Buy Pet Supplies For Your New Home

Make sure you have your pet’s favorite food, litter, and treats on hand in your new home. New food can cause upset stomachs on its own, but it can be even worse for an animal adjusting to a different space.

Find a local pet store that sells your brand so that you know where to find your pet’s supplies when you start to run low. It’s useful to know whether you have a pet store close to you or if you have to drive across town when you need to restock. You can also shop online through Chewy.

Check Your New Location’s Pet Bylaws and Waste Guidelines

Different cities have different rules and bylaws about cats and dogs. Some will require you to register your pet with your city for a small fee as well as provide proof of spay/neuter and vaccinations. They also have different limits on the number of pets you are allowed to have and what kind.

Give your new city or town government a call before your pet arrives and ask about details like registration, fees, noise ordinances related to pets, or bylaws related to outdoor cats. Knowing what can get your pet into trouble helps to prevent issues in the future.

On top of bylaws, you should find out how you’re expected to dispose of your pet’s waste. Different cities handle pet waste differently, so find out what you’re supposed to do with it beforehand.

Find a New Vet

Even if your pet is doing well, you’ll still need to find a vet for annual checkups, vaccinations, and any prescription refills. If your previous vet wasn’t able to offer any recommendations, ask neighbors and coworkers who they use.

You can also use a televet like Pawp. You’ll have 24/7 access to a veterinarian with instant video chats. Being prepared will make things easier if there’s an emergency or your pet isn’t feeling well.

Final Word

Whether you’re relocating for work or personal reasons, moving long-distance with a pet doesn’t need to be overly complicated. By planning ahead and considering your pet’s needs before, during, and after a move, you can make their transition easier on everyone involved.

Tailor the specifics to your pet and think about how they’ve handled traveling or moving in the past to get a feel for how well they’ll acclimate to their new surroundings. By managing potential issues beforehand, you can prepare yourself for any situation, reducing stress and worry on your part and your pet’s.


Everything You Need to Know About Employer Relocation Packages

Moving for work? Make sure you know exactly how much help you can expect from your employer.

If your company has asked you to move to a new city or state for work, you’re not alone. Each year, nearly seven million people in the United States relocate because of their jobs.

Before you start packing boxes, it’s important to know what your employer will and won’t offer in terms of relocation assistance, and how that could affect both your move and your pocketbook.

Make no assumptions

Approximately 70 percent of U.S. companies offer relocation incentives for employees or new hires. If a relocation package isn’t discussed with your offer, you’ll need to start the conversation yourself. Ask for what you want, including all the services and compensation you’ll need for your move.

In 2012, companies spent an average of $19,303 to move a new hire renter and upward of $90,000 to move a current employee homeowner, according to the Worldwide ERC, the association for professionals who oversee employee transfers. Do your research to figure out what your move will cost, and make sure your relocation package is adequate. If it’s not, see if you can negotiate changes.

Ask about extras

No two companies offer the same relocation packages. Some will cover just the basics, while others will transfer vehicles, provide cultural training, help pay closing costs or mortgage points buy down, or even provide employment assistance for an accompanying spouse or partner.

If you’re a homeowner being asked to relocate, you’ll know you’ve hit the jackpot if your relocation package includes a Guaranteed Buy Out (GBO). With a GBO, the relocation company hires two independent appraisers prior to listing your home. If you’re unable to sell the property on your own within a certain time period, the company will buy your home for the average of the two appraisals.

Doing it yourself

If your company’s relocation package is of the barebones variety, you may want to explore your DIY alternatives.

Moving all your household items using your own vehicle is the least expensive do-it-yourself option, but it comes with risks. Without professional packing and moving services, you increase the chance of your belongings being damaged. This option can be physically and emotionally draining, plus it can take a toll on relationships with friends and family you’ve asked to help. This type of move works best if your new home is not far from your old one.

Another DIY option is renting a moving truck. A large-capacity truck is easier to load and unload than a car, and allows you to accomplish the task with fewer trips back and forth. In addition to the cost of renting the truck, you’ll need to buy gas to get the vehicle from one place to another, and you may be required to purchase additional insurance.

Self-service moving uses portable storage containers, and is a blend of DIY moving and professional moving. These services drop off large storage containers at your current residence. You pack and load the containers yourself, on your own timeline. When the containers are full, the moving company transports them to your new home or, if you’re not ready to move in just yet, they can take the containers to their warehouse, where they will store your belongings.

Tax implications

If your job requires you to relocate, your moving costs and the expense of traveling to your new location could be deductible if they meet certain IRS standards regarding distance and time worked after the move.

Payments made directly by your employer to your moving company do not need to be reported on your W-2 form. However, if your employer gives you a lump sum payment to cover moving expenses, that money is fully taxable as earnings. Depending on the program specifics, either you or your company must bear the associated tax cost of including these amounts in your wages.

Interpreting these tax laws can be complicated. Be sure to hold onto all your moving receipts and consult with your tax or legal advisor to ensure you stay on the right side of the IRS.

Ask questions, do your research and seek out professional advice to make sure your move is a good one.

Top photo from Shutterstock.


Originally published September 1, 2015.