Money at 30: The 5 Best Purchases I’ve Made When Moving Into My New Place

Much to my surprise, it’s now been over a month since my wife and I first moved into our new apartment. In case you missed it, after six years of living in the same place, we decided it was time for a little upgrade that also happens to be a bit of a downsize. While we’re loving our new home, there have been a few things we felt the need to purchase in order to make it perfect. So, with that in mind, I wanted to highlight the five best purchases we’ve made during our move, how we managed to save money on some of them, and why I think each item was worth the price we paid.

Hand-truck dolly

Okay, I’m actually starting off this list with a bit of a cheat. That’s because we didn’t actually buy this dolly since moving or even for our move. Instead, we picked it up at Aldi a few months ago with the intention of using it for future D23 Expos, where our Disney fan site often exhibits.

Anyway, this folding hand truck cost us less than $20 and proved to be invaluable during our move. Between the moving van we rented, the elevator in our new building, the Bankers boxes we packed most of our stuff in, the entire process couldn’t have been much easier thanks to this Aldi dolly, (unless we paid someone to move everything instead of just the heavy stuff). Now, the dolly sits anxiously by our front door, waiting for its next task — and I’m sure its day will come once again.

Counter-height chairs

One of the plans we made to help ease the transition from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom apartment was to rid ourselves of our old kitchen table. This wasn’t too much of a loss since the table itself was previously used and had been a gift. While the table itself was still serviceable (if unremarkable), we figured it’d be better to do away with it and just have the butcher block island that’s included with our new place pull double duty.

In order for this plan to work, we needed to purchase some stools/high chairs. Luckily, thanks to a special Amex Offer on my American Express Platinum card, we had what amounted to a $100 credit to Home Depot. Sure enough, we were able to find a pair of seats that matches our specifications and ended up costing us only about $50 total once the Amex Offer statement credit was factored in. Incidentally, just as our butcher block is serving multiple purposes, these chairs may also prove useful in other areas. For example, we’re considering adding a table to our deck and just moving the chairs out there when we want to use them. They also happen to be the perfect height for our podcast/video desk, so we’ll be getting plenty of use out of this nifty purchase.

A step stool

While our current kitchen is a major upgrade from the small galley kitchen found in our old place, one downside is that the counters feel remarkably tall. Personally, I can kind of reach to the top — but it’s a no-go for my wife. Thus, we decided to go shopping for a step stool that would meet our needs.

What we found was a wooden step stool made by IKEA but sold on Amazon. At $40, it wasn’t the cheapest option, but the height and look matched what we were looking for since we planned on storing it under the aforementioned butcher block. However, since the stool would be out in the open, we decided to have a little more fun with it. Thus, my wife purchased a small can of “antique aqua” stain to add a pop of color to our kitchen. All in all, I think it looks great while also allowing us to make the most of our storage space.


I promise not to make this more awkward than it has to be but… we decided to buy a bidet attachment. This is something I’ve considered investing in since I first visited Japan many years ago, but the prevalence of attachments coupled with the excuse to buy one that the move provided meant it was time. It was probably also a good thing that we waited to order it until we moved so that I could verify that the attachment would work properly in our new bathroom (which it obviously does).

Once again, Tushy wasn’t exactly the cheapest option available, but I had heard good reviews. Plus, between a promo code I had from a YouTube show I watch and a $30 PayPal credit that’s once again thanks to my Amex Platinum, the total cost was about $50. With that, the only other thing I’ll say is *thumbs up*.

Rubber caps

Finally, although the instalation of my Tushy went as well as it could go, there was one complicating factor I discovered after the fact. Becuase the attachment made our toilet seat ever so much higher, the lid had trouble clearing the metal storage rack when you put it up. It would manage to sneak its way under eventually, but it was certainly inelegant.

That’s when we took back to Amazon to see about a solution. What we came up with was the thought that, if we could put rubber caps on the legs of the metal rack, perhaps it would give it enough lift to fix the issue. In the event that failed, we could also use the caps to put on the feet of my office chair, which was something I’d considered anyway (on the wood floors, the chair is susceptible to sliding and I worry about scratching the wood). Well, I’m happy to report that the caps worked perfectly for both of these use cases! Therefore, I’m ready to declare this $10 well spent.

Overall, these five purchases have helped make the transition to our new home much easier — and, for as cheesy as it sounds, made our quality of life just that much better. What’s also awesome is that, when you total up the cost of these items minus any credits or coupons, the security deposit refund we got from our old place actually covers these expenses. Considering that I really didn’t expect to see that money again, I count this as an absolute win.


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site and has recently starting publsihing his own personal finance blog at

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