Your college years are coming to an end and now it’s time for you to start planning out the rest of your life. Make a list of the things you need to take care of and then set the plan in motion.
Finding a Job
You’ve decided to stay with your parents for a few months while you find a job. Your parents live in the suburbs and you’re not sure if you want to work in the city or remain closer to your parents. While working in the city will bring with it a higher paying job, it’s a much faster-paced environment. With your psychology degree or other qualifications in hand, you decide to use a recruiter to help in your search for the perfect job.
Now that you have your job the next thing on your to-do list is finding an apartment. You made the decision to work in the city and to avoid the commute you’re going to find an apartment within a few blocks of your employment. Finding affordable housing in the city can prove challenging. A single bedroom apartment offering about 500 sq ft. in a good neighborhood can cost several thousand per month.
Chances are you have a bedroom set and your parents gave you some extra sheets, curtains and dishes. Even so, there are plenty of other items you will need. When you get your first apartment you need everything. If you drink coffee, you’ll need a coffee maker. Dishware, towels, a sofa, chairs, and lamps are just a few of the things you will want to acquire. The good news is that there are second-hand shops that sell home furnishings for cheap.
Many young people, when they are new to living on their own, tend to order take out quite often. Not only is this very expensive, but it’s also not healthy. Instead, create a list of the things you’ll need, which initially will be everything, and cook at home. You’ll know what’s in your food and you’ll save money, too. For the few occasions when you want to order out, make sure to check sites like Groupon.com to see if there are any discounts available.
You did the math and you can afford the apartment you selected. However, you will need to watch your spending. For the first year, it’s always smart (until you figure out all your expenses) to control your spending. Remember, you’re going from living at home where food, hot water and cable are free. Now that you’re out on your own, the cost for everything comes out of your pockets, so you’ll need to become good at managing money. Create a budget and stick to it. You’ll thank yourself after the first year comes and goes and you made it through.
Having Fun for Less
During the first year, sticking to a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun. There are a number of things you can do in the city without spending a lot of money. Take a walk in the park, visit an art show or a museum, go to a farmer’s market, or spend an afternoon at the library. In the city, you’ll also have access to street vendors that sell just about anything for a couple of bucks.
After the First Year
Once you come full circle you’ll know what you can afford as far as an apartment goes. If you get a raise and find it easy to maintain your home and bills, then you have two options, you can stay for another year or you can look for a larger space.
Starting out on your own after college is an exciting time in a young adult’s life. If you craft a plan, get an affordable apartment, and remain budget-conscious, you’ll get through the first year without a hitch.