How to Calculate Your Monthly Expenses in the USA

When you work in the USA, you will earn dollars. But you will also spend those dollars for your needs and expenses. Before you move, it helps to research and plan for how much you’re going to spend monthly in the USA.

I looked at several websites and read some blogs about monthly expenses in the USA. I found some resources that can help you calculate your monthly expenses.

Monthly Expense Calculator

I found the budget calculator provided by EPI to be helpful in my planning. If you already know where you will rent an apartment or house, enter the zip code, choose the city or locality, and it will generate a list of expenses: http://www.epi.org/resources/budget/

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Here’s Why You Need Amazon Prime

I cannot live without Amazon. It’s where I do my online shopping in the United States. I browse the products I need, (if I’m honest the ones I WANT but don’t really need), and after a couple of clicks, I just wait for two days or less, it will show up on my doorsteps or in my mailbox.

I have a secret weapon when it comes to maximizing this site, I am an Amazon Prime member. And here are three reasons why you need Amazon Prime, too.

Free 2-day (or better) shipping.

The good thing about online shopping is you don’t need to drive and waste gas just to buy something. You can order it online at Amazon’s website or app. The bad news is, shipping the product from Amazon’s warehouse to your house costs money. That could cost anywhere between $4 to $10, depending on how quickly you want it to arrive or the type of product you’re ordering.

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7 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Long-Haul Flight

Does the idea of being up in the air for at least 5 hours excite you?

No? I didn’t think so.

For most of us, traveling long haul flights whether within the continental US, or internationally, brings a big sigh and not of relief. You’re crammed with hundreds of people, your legs barely have room, and to make things worse, someone’s child might cry during the whole flight.

(If you’re the parent of the child, then you’d probably be miserable the whole flight, too. But that’s just how parenting works).

I’ve been to flights that are 12, 14, and 16 hours long! They are not fun. You’re immobile and can’t move around. You’re just sitting, and essentially waiting until the plane lands.

Since you cannot really do a lot, just maximize the time that you have by doing the following:

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List of Things You’ll Need to Start Your Life in the USA and Where to Buy Them

Moving to the United States essentially means restarting your life. You will need furniture, appliances, and many other things that you used to own. The problem is, you can’t really bring your possessions halfway across the world because it’s too expensive.

When I moved to the United States with my family, we only brought the most essential things we needed and the things that we can and transport cheaply from the Philippines.

Read our article on packing here: http://amightylife.com/the-art-of-packing-and-letting-go-of-books-appliances-things-that-wont-fit-into-your-luggage/

Here’s a list of things that you will need in your new apartment or home. I’ve arranged them according to the sections of the home. Some of these things are easily available at Walmart, Kroger, and any other department stores or grocery. also included the best place to buy it.

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If you’re an OFW in the USA, You CAN’T Invest in Mutual Funds in the Philippines

For the longest time, even before coming to the USA, I wanted to invest in Mutual Funds. I know that it is a better financial product than most banks’ savings accounts. We have spent more than 2 years in the USA and felt confident that it is time we spent some money to invest long-term. We had some amounts saved up.

I did my research, I read blogs, and checked some of the Filipino Financial groups on Facebook, and talked with my wife about it. My wife used to be a production staff of ABS-CBN News Channel’s “On The Money.”

I had a trip to Manila in October 2017 and we agreed that I will open a mutual fund investment account. I set my eyes on the Philippine Equity Fund. It was marketed as an aggressive, long-term investment fund. We did not want to withdraw the funds in the next few years anyway, so we thought we were in it for the long term.

So I checked out the requirements for opening a mutual funds account; downloaded the forms, checked what other documents I needed to present, and planned to go to a BPI branch to submit my application.

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Travel Tips When You Fly to the United States: Guide for the US-Bound Pinoy

This is it! You are going on a long trip to move to the United States. Moving to another country is always a big move. And if you’ve never traveled by plane for more than 6 hours before, then you need to pack in a lot of patience. In most cases, travel to the USA usually lasts for about 16 to 24 hours including the layovers.

Here are some tips to help make your trip to the United States more bearable.

Before the Trip

When you book your flight, decide on the seat you prefer: aisle or window seat.

If you are traveling with your family, try to sit together so you can easily manage the needs of kids. If you don’t have kids yet, sitting together with your spouse still makes the trip easier.

When I travel on an airplane, I usually prefer the aisle seat. If you need to go to the restroom, you can do so without any fanfare or inconvenience. You can stand up right after the pilot turns off the seatbelt sign after landing. You can get out of the plane more quickly. But if you’re on the aisle seat, you won’t have a chance to look at the clouds or the mountains the plane will pass by.
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What Winter is Like in Nashville

Before moving to Nashville in the USA, I experienced the coldest natural temperature in Baguio City and Tagaytay City during the month of January. It must have been 14 degrees Celsius, which is about 57.2 degrees Fahrenheit. A lot of Americans would probably say that that is great temperature!

But for Filipinos, that’s sweater weather! It’s great to huddle inside the home and sip a good cup of Kalinga brew.

When we came to Nashville, though, I realized that 14 Celsius or 57.2 degrees Fahrenheit is nothing compared to the cold winter here. I mean Nashville is located somewhere in the Southeastern part of the continental USA. It doesn’t get too cold compared to the Midwest and Northern cities and states such as Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Wisconsin. But it still gets cold.

Heck, our Filipino bones can get frozen below 10 degrees Celsius.

Here’s what winter is like in Nashville.

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5 Tips on Traveling with a Toddler on a Long Flight

Travel time from Manila, Philippines to the USA is usually between 16-24 hours including layovers. When we traveled, our son was 2.5 years old. He was very young and it comes with a lot of challenges!

For one, we were traveling with 7 big boxes, which we checked in. On top of that, we had three carryon luggage, my backpack, and a small bag for his needs. Here’s a list of 5 tips for traveling with a toddler on a long flight.

Anticipate your toddler’s needs.

Look at the number of hours you’ll be traveling, plan for her meal times and pack some formula, snacks, and other food items you will need. Security at the airport will let you carry some bottled distilled water as long as it’s sealed and unopened. Most airlines would also have food for young kids available. Do check with your airlines at least 2 weeks before your flight.

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Do We apply for a Green Card or Go back to the Philippines?

We’ve been in the USA now for almost 3 years. I had been on a work visa and we recently renewed it. So we can stay here until the early parts of 2020 without any problems.

This also means that we can apply now for a Green Card or Permanent Resident status. The big question is should we?

This process can be complicated and we may need the help of a lawyer to apply for it. I asked some friends of mine about the process and did a bit of research. I also asked for quotation from some lawyers.

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Christmas Traditions Filipinos in America Miss

It’s Christmas time! Nothing induces nostalgia among Filipinos in America than this season. Back in the Philippines, the Christmas season officially starts when the -BER months come around.

Early Start of the Christmas Season

To some people, it’s a joke, but there are those who take it seriously. In the United States, Thanksgiving is a big holiday, probably bigger than Christmas. Who could forget the shopping spree–Black Friday and Cyber Monday–that follows it?

Filipinos (at least the ones in the Philippines) don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in November and there’s nothing that prevents us from setting up decorations as early as September or October.

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