You’ve graduated, congratulations! You have really accomplished so much and should be so proud of yourself for all of your hard work and dedication. The excitement of graduation and being done with school (or finding out what grad school is right for you) can be overwhelming in the best way possible. You’ve finally got that degree and can move out and start planning your own life for yourself. What better way to claim your independence than by doing your own laundry, cooking your own meals, and looking for your first apartment? Right on!
Now you can finally have that 90 inch TV mounted to the wall for your extensive gaming parties wherein the XBOX champion is crowned.
But before you get too excited, let’s take a breakdown of expenses.
Now so more than ever, the cost of living has risen to new heights. When my sister graduated from college, she was living in a multi-level apartment with two friends. The living room was spacious with a walk out door to the patio, the kitchen was cutely decorated with matching plates and cups and each bedroom was decorated with all of the essentials of a “picture perfect” magazine spread equipped with their own bathrooms. At this time, they were all paying a decent rate per month with utilities included. You can manage that right? Well even if you have a great paying job, the cost of living now has risen tremendously. A two bedroom apartment around where I live is racking up to $1500 in this area, and about $1300 in neighboring cities. That’s not including utilities and other various fees. Not to mention any groceries and personal necessities that you may need as well.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Debbie Downer over here is working hard to crush my graduation dreams”.
Even though that’s how it may sound, it’s more of a tip to get you on the right track before moving out for your very first time. Living with your parents for a little while after graduation is not a bad move. You can live with them rent free while saving up some money for your first deposit, or even save up some money for your first few months rent. This can teach you how to budget and save while still having spending money at the same time.
You also don’t have to feel rushed about running out and finding the perfect apartment right away. Instead, you can explore different areas and find one that’s right for you with all of the features you may want (like a washer and dryer in your own apartment). Sure, your house may not have an on-site gym or deli down the street, but you can enjoy the comforts of saving money and start buying things you’d want for your apartment for when you do move out. You can even start saving for “new apartment items”; a flat screen TV fund this month, a new coffee pot fund for next month. You can start accumulating all of the essentials you’ll need before you move out, so you’re not dealing with all of the expenses at one time.
A little extra planning can go a long way, and I’m sure you won’t mind the extra home cooked meals you’ll be getting in the process. Spend that time at home learning to cook family recipes or how to get pesky stains out of your clothes. By the time you move out, you’ll have money to live comfortably and you’ll move out with all of the best kept secrets from home.