I’m Jordan and due to a falling out with my mother everything I own is now in boxes in a shared dorm room. I can no longer afford to stay at my current college, and will be transferring to a much cheaper one. My semester ends in less than 50 days, and I have to move out by 5:00 pm on that final day. This means that I absolutely must find my first apartment, and must manage all of this with only the help of my boyfriend.
Moving out at 18 can seem like an incredibly daunting task, but with the correct motivation (or desperate need), I hope that I, too, can accomplish this major milestone.
I invite you to join my unique journey, and together we can search through pages of vacancy/help wanted ads or bargain our way through thrift stores, and at the end, there will be a dimmed dollar-store lamp lighting up our brand new-ish apartment.
Can we actually do this?
The answer, hopefully, is yes! It will take some relocation, and a new employment plan, but we can probably do this.
I personally cannot afford all of this while working at a coffee shop, making $9.25 an hour, and also living entirely out of a college dorm. Alongside this, I am attending approximately 20 hours of classes a week, give or take a few.
So yeah, this is a bit of a predicament. Rock and a hard place, I’ll say. Confidence is key, though. Power on through, my fellow millennials!
To be successful in my pursuits and not miserable, I will need: a full time job that makes at least $12 an hour, an apartment to rent, furniture at some point, and an incredible willpower. I have about $1,000 in my savings, and I add about $200 to that each paycheck. Let’s get started, shall we?
My Plan of Action
My first step is going to be apartment hunting. There’s not much ‘budgeting’ without a limit. I would certainly like to aim for less than $500 per month, because I am only 18 and do not want to get in over my head too fast.
My next step will be (obviously) budgeting everything out, and accounting for every aspect of my future costs. After that, I’ll be scouring for furniture, as well as ways to save myself some cash. A rainy day fund for my situation is a must-have.
All of this, while managing a part time job and full time classes. My work is cut out for me, with very little room for error.
Keep relatively calm, and carry on. 47 days to go.
We are with you Jordan, but here’s a reality check. You should target to get that better paying job first because trying to rent a place without a job will be really tough. Also, check your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. You should know what’s in it, because your future landlord will be checking it. With your money situation your fallback can be a roommate share, which will be easier to get.
Can you stay with your boyfriend until you have a job? That would give you a little breathing room.
We really like that you are thinking about budgeting and saving an emergency fund, because after paying a security deposit and first month’s rent your money will be gone. Don’t worry much about furnishing your place right now. Air mattress can get you through the first weeks in a pinch, and thrift stores have dishes and utensils for cheap. Or perhaps you have some relatives or neighbors who could donate you thing or two for your apartment? (Maybe even your mom, if the heads have cooled off a bit!)
We are rooting for you Jordan, and cannot wait to hear what happens next.