As a guy who has moved 7+ times in the past 5 or 6 years, let me give some comments.
coreycwgriffin wrote:Unfortunately, however, I have also ran up a little bit of credit card debt, totaling about $2500 (made up of necessary one-time purchases like a new car starter and textbooks).
That is unfortunate. However, even on my meager pay here I've been able to save up a good bit of money while in school so far. Basically, I don't have enough free time to go out and spend a bunch of cash, so everything that doesn't go directly to rent/food/occasionally beer, goes straight to the bank. I'm confident you could pay that off in about a semester.
I mean, I feel like going to graduate school is going to require a nice chunk of money all at once, to cover moving (that is, gas money to drive my packed minivan to wherever I end up going, maybe hotel stays en route)
I'm not clear on why someone with a van ever needs a hotel. Take a cue from traveling bands and stop in a Walmart parking lot for the night. (Note that I said Walmart for a reason, they have a policy of not kicking you out.)
temporary housing while apartment searching
Take care of that before you lose your current apartment. Otherwise, check out some couch surfing networks. There is always a free place to sleep somewhere.
buying (minimal) furniture and things as simple and stupid as a dish set and a plunger and toilet paper and other things that I don't have/won't be bringing with me.
Don't underestimate Goodwill/Salvation Army/newspaper classifieds and taking furniture from your family members' basements.