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Start up costs

Start up costs

Old Jun 18th 2003, 8:27 am
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Default Start up costs

We are trying to work out how much it's going to cost to get things up and running over the first couple of months in the US. (Texas)

Things that sping to mind are connection charges for phone, cable, internet, gas, electric etc. Also gym membership

I recon that insurances are going to hit us hard initially. How much could we expect to pay for auto insurance on something mid-sized?

Apart from those things mentioned, can anyone come up with any charges that we might get hit with that don't appear above?

What about stuff like hi-fi and TV. Is it best to hunt out used bargains just to get started?

I'm allowing £10,000 for moving, furnishing and start up costs. Is this likely to be enough? A good used car £5000 on top.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

G1ant
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Old Jun 18th 2003, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Start up costs

We budgeted $10,000 and that fell short but my wife has expensive tastes.

I don't know the circumstances of your moving to Texas but if it is for work most companies will have a discount scheme for a Gym.

If you have no credit history all the utilities companies will want a deposit I think the Electric was $250 and others where simular so set aside a $1000 for utilities. If you are renting you will need 2 months rent to start with.

Insurance will be the hardest thing, if you cannot get a company to accept your UK driving record they may charge up to $3000 for 6 months (no kidding).

You can pick up a decent telly and dvd for under $200 but furniture itself can be quite expensive especially beds, if you get a decent bed matress for under $700 you have done well. The good news is that there are normally a lot sales on.

If you just want to buy cheap just to get started go to yard sales, there are always lots around.

Good Luck

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Originally posted by g1ant
We are trying to work out how much it's going to cost to get things up and running over the first couple of months in the US. (Texas)

Things that sping to mind are connection charges for phone, cable, internet, gas, electric etc. Also gym membership

I recon that insurances are going to hit us hard initially. How much could we expect to pay for auto insurance on something mid-sized?

Apart from those things mentioned, can anyone come up with any charges that we might get hit with that don't appear above?

What about stuff like hi-fi and TV. Is it best to hunt out used bargains just to get started?

I'm allowing £10,000 for moving, furnishing and start up costs. Is this likely to be enough? A good used car £5000 on top.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

G1ant
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Old Jun 18th 2003, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: Start up costs

Originally posted by Patrick
Insurance will be the hardest thing, if you cannot get a company to accept your UK driving record they may charge up to $3000 for 6 months (no kidding).
Thanks Patrick. My wife is a USC who has been living in the UK for 6 years. Prior to that she will have had a US licence and insurance for over 20 years.

Will that count, and will she be able to insure a car for two drivers, so thereby covering me?

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Old Jun 18th 2003, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: Start up costs

Originally posted by g1ant
We are trying to work out how much it's going to cost to get things up and running over the first couple of months in the US. (Texas)

Things that sping to mind are connection charges for phone, cable, internet, gas, electric etc. Also gym membership

I recon that insurances are going to hit us hard initially. How much could we expect to pay for auto insurance on something mid-sized?

Apart from those things mentioned, can anyone come up with any charges that we might get hit with that don't appear above?

What about stuff like hi-fi and TV. Is it best to hunt out used bargains just to get started?

I'm allowing £10,000 for moving, furnishing and start up costs. Is this likely to be enough? A good used car £5000 on top.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

G1ant
I hope that somebody living in Texas will be able to help. Prices vary a lot throughout the country so I would hesitate to answer your question (I live in NC).

If one of you is American, then you will be an advantageous position of having a credit history in the US. However, if neither of you is American, you will have no credit history in the US and you will probably have to pay higher interest rates on motor vehicles and other loans.

You don't mention if you'll be renting or buying a home. There's taxes associated with buying and owning a home. Please check the state government's website. There's bound to be information on the property tax for homes and vehicles (if applicable).



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Old Jun 18th 2003, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: Start up costs

Originally posted by g1ant ..... Will that count, and will she be able to insure a car for two drivers, so thereby covering me?
When we first moved to the US, or in my wife's case back to the US, we moved to New York, which I believe to be a relatively expensive place to get car insurance and we got a good rate from Geico for a new, high performance, car. I think that it was about $1,200 for the first six months, with my wife as the first-named driver. Down in Texas you should be able to do better than that.
Originally posted by Patrick
..... but furniture itself can be quite expensive especially beds, if you get a decent bed matress for under $700 you have done well. The good news is that there are normally a lot sales on. ....
Have a look around the main furniture showrooms near where you move to, and make a note of the brand names that you like and/ or are well made, then have a look for any "clearance showrooms" - many of the big furniture retailers have them and they sell off ex-showroom, seconds, damaged, and production sample furniture. You may find some real bargains there - and one that we used to visit when we lived in Virginia had piles of mattresses for sale too, with top-brand name mattresses for as little as $500-$600.

Good luck!

BTW Ford is currently advertizing a Focus ZX3 (the hot-hatch version) for under $10k, and I presume that the lower spec models are a good bit cheaper. So, depending on how far you can stretch the budget, and what sort of vehicle you are looking for, you may be able to get a new car instead of a second-hand one.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 18th 2003 at 4:52 pm.
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Old Jun 18th 2003, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Start up costs

Originally posted by NC Penguin
If one of you is American, then you will be an advantageous position of having a credit history in the US. However, if neither of you is American, you will have no credit history in the US and you will probably have to pay higher interest rates on motor vehicles and other loans.
Somehow I think that my "no credit at all" will be better than what she will be coming back to.

Originally posted by NC Penguin
You don't mention if you'll be renting or buying a home. There's taxes associated with buying and owning a home. Please check the state government's website. There's bound to be information on the property tax for homes and vehicles (if applicable).
NC Penguin
We will be buying a home and probably have plenty left to open a bank account and hopefully buy favour with the bank manager. If you have a reasonable wad of cash in a savings account or bond, would that make things easier with regard to getting credit cards and things?

Property taxes seems very high in Texas but then again they don't have state income tax, so I guess you can't have it both ways.

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Old Jun 18th 2003, 5:25 pm
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Car insurance is pretty high in TX (particularly Houston where I am) - we pay about $2000 a year for two not particularly exciting cars - both now over 4 years old. Regular house insurance down here is also becoming a nightmare after the recent tropical storms, (one of the insurance companies has pulled out of TX so there's not much competition).

Property tax high - about 4% here in someneighbourhoods.

Utilities may require a deposit, but not all - a friend (UK citizen) recently arrived and he managed to avoid this (not sure how).

Electrical items, although not expensive, will mount up, as you replace not only the big stuff, but toasters, kettles, hoover etc. Check on target.com if you want an idea of what all this will set you back.

Hope that helps.

Kirsty
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Old Jun 18th 2003, 5:48 pm
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I was allowed to put my name on my wifes Sate Farm policy and that was a cheap form of insurance, it adds about $250 per year for a Ford Explorer and an Audi. However if you are both returning to the US then your situation will be slightly different as you will have no recent driving history,

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Old Jun 18th 2003, 6:37 pm
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As far as the car insurance goes (we are in Garland, Texas) the best we could do was $1000 for six months on a minivan (people carrier in the uk) with Progressive, pretty much everyone else wouldn't touch us with no credit history and no US driving history. They wouldn't take our driving history into account. They did however insure us without a Texas driving licence yet, which a lot of the other companies were not happy about.

The utility deposits ranged from just $60 to $150 dollars, although you do get them back after the first twelve months. We have been here three months now and my bills are a lot higher than they were in the UK, to be fair this is because of the air conditioning, it's the price you pay for good weather.

www.bestbuy.com will give you an idea of the cost of electrical goods. We have found them to be cheaper than the UK and www.roomstogo.com will give you an idea on furniture costs. As far as general setting up goes we have found joining www.samsclub.com and www.costco.com ( I think one was $35 to join for a year and one was $45) to be great because you can buy a lot of things in bulk which works out cheaper in the long run. Also, their prices seem to be cheaper in the store, I guess this is due to delivery charges. We recently got a great table and chairs set for our kitchen from Sams Club for a lot cheaper than anywhere else I have seen.

I imagine you would easily be able to do it with the money you have allocated. It all depends on your taste I guess.

The other thing you should maybe consider is the space you have to fill. Our house in Bristol was nearly one quarter of the size of the house we are renting here. So you'll find you need to furnish more rooms than you maybe would have in the UK. The plus side is, the houses are a lot cheaper.

Last edited by snorkmaiden; Jun 18th 2003 at 6:40 pm.
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Old Jun 18th 2003, 7:24 pm
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Just want to add that we also insure thru Progressive and found them really helpful.

Furniture and the like don't forget to look at Ikea. We found them a lot cheaper than the regular stores.
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Old Jun 18th 2003, 7:33 pm
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Just want to add that we also insure thru Progressive and found them really helpful.

Furniture and the like don't forget to look at Ikea. We found them a lot cheaper than the regular stores.
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Old Jun 18th 2003, 7:49 pm
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Originally posted by Vicky88 .... Furniture and the like don't forget to look at Ikea. We found them a lot cheaper than the regular stores.
And their furniture looks like it!
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Old Jun 18th 2003, 7:54 pm
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Well actually some of their furniture is quite nice. Everything depends on personal taste. Spending more does not necessarily make something nicer.
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Old Jun 18th 2003, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: Start up costs

I live in TX..moved here from England 14 months ago. Are you going to be staying with your wife's family when you initially move here? That really helped us...we stayed with my wife's sister and brother in law for the first month.
It's hard to come up with specific numbers because our circumstances were different...we live in an apt, also we did things on the cheap, for example buying a futon at first and holding off on buying the real bed until later. The futon is now our living room couch!
Car insurance is kind of expensive..we pay about $2000/yr for three cars. Full coverage on one, and liability on the other 2. We bought a decent tv..non premium brand, but with a nice 27 inch screen from Sears...that was only $230. Our apt also came with a fridge, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and microwave, so that saved us a great deal of money.
As a result, we did the whole first 6 weeks on about $5000, and that included about $1000 and change for the wedding. We only had $8500 for the whole move, so that really forced us to make do, and seek out cheaper solutions to things.
Since your buying a house right away, it will be tight, but I think you may just scrape by on 10000 pounds. Bear in mind though, you'll be looking at, at the very least, $2000 in legal, etc, fees for buying the house.
Anyway, good luck with the move! Btw, where in TX? We are in the DFW area.

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Old Jun 18th 2003, 8:31 pm
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Originally posted by Pulaski
And their furniture looks like it!
Now you've done it !!!! the Scandinavians are going to be pissed with you.........big time
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