I am 19, looking for my first apartment with my boyfriend, so here’s the big Moving Out 101 question…How do we get started?
My boyfriend and I have been together for just over a year and a half. It is still early in our relationship to be moving out but we are putting complete faith in each other to do this. We are moving in together with one of my best friends to help with the bills, so we have to learn to live not only with each other but also with a roommate.
We are looking for an apartment in a little town just outside Detroit called Waterford. It is the town that we have grown up in our whole life. We always talked about moving far away but it just isn’t practical. We are both going to a local community college and have our part-time jobs right around town. I started looking for a 2BR, 1 1/2 Bath apartment for around $720. We found one that was $710, but they have nothing available for 4 months! So we just found another one for $760 and it is right next to the community college we are attending and closer to my work. As of today, we are going to fill out our application, wish us luck!
Just like any other person in our generation, I started my planning by turning to Google for answers. I opened up Google Chrome on my computer and typed in “How much can I afford for rent in my first apartment?” The first thing to pop up was an article called “Affordable Rent Calculator” on a website called Myfirstapartment.com. I thought to myself, “How is this website going to tell me what I can afford and what I can’t? They don’t know me, they don’t know my story.” Even though I had no faith in this website — or any other one for that matter — I clicked on the link. It starts off asking you 5 questions, EASY questions, and then gave me some numbers for rent and utilities. I used these numbers as my starting point.
Next part of my question:How much money should I save to move out? Back to Google I go, “How much to save before moving out.” Sure enough the first website to pop up was How Much Money Do You Need to Save to Move Out also on my Myfirstapartment.com. This opened my mind to a bigger picture and my first thought was, “Crap, I didn’t think about all this other stuff I need.”
As you go through and read these two article open up an Excel sheet and start writing down the numbers you see. Then, look up Things You Need For Your First Apartment: The Ultimate Checklist. PRINT IT OUT! Go through the items on that list and start checking up if friends or family members have some of these items and are willing to give them to you or have you pay a small amount for them. Next to the item, write who has the item and how much they want for the item. Add these numbers to your Excel sheet and when you are done, you should know how much money you have to save and where the money will be going. The most important thing to remember is things cost more than you think! Always round up.
Just remember that this journey is going to be long and hard, but you probably know that already!
To be continued…
Elyse Albright is currently enrolled in a community college and working at a coffee shop in Michigan. She is about to move into her first apartment with her boyfriend and her best friend from high school.