Independent living seems glamorous; however, it is unaffordable for many college grads. Consider these tips to ease the transition:
Establish A Budget
Your college budget will differ significantly from your new budget, however, it is imperative to have a foundation of strong discipline to build from. Your budget may increase depending on the salary of your new found career.
Whether you are an artist perusing art full-time and working part-time, or if you are in diving right into a full-time job in your field, building a few weeks worth of pay before finalizing your budget is critical. With deductions like taxes, and health insurance, you could have less money coming in than you were expecting.
To help yourself stay on track with your finances during this lifestyle change, use a budgeting tool to organize your expenses. Be honest and realistic when compiling your budget.
If you can stick to limiting how many times you eat out and pick up a few cooking skills, you can cut down on your entertainment budget a great deal (maybe find a stat on this).
Be sure to factor in your student loans and account for any grace period you are granted and use that time to save up. Once a budget has been finalized, then you can begin your apartment hunting to see what you can afford monthly.
Credit is a huge determining factor in whether or not a landlord will allow you to rent from them.
It is becoming very rare to find an apartment that does not run credit checks as a portion of their application and qualifying process. If you lack credit or have lousy credit post uni, then this is a big task to consider before completing an apartment application.
If the apartments you desire to live in require a particular score in order to qualify, it may be wise to opt for a second chance banking option to save some additional cash. This can assist you while paying off your debts in an attempt to raise your credit.
Be sure to pull and closely monitor your credit report so that you know where you land on the scale before making any hard inquiries.
Determine Your Wants Vs. Needs
It is essential to weigh out your wants and needs when determining if you can live on your own. If you place your desires over your needs, you may find that living alone is not for you. Needing a secure place to stay and having essential amenities for a living are practical needs for living on your own. Wanting a doorman, two bedrooms or a pet can increase the amount charged per month and make your living situation unaffordable.
other valuable tips:
Depending on your college experience, you may have discovered that sharing a living space is either doable or intolerable for you. However, it is proven that living with one other person or multiple people can cut down your rent significantly. Ask a friend who is in a similar situation or use a roommate finding app to find a potential mate. This can make living independently from your parent(s) more affordable for you.
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