Remember back to the time of your life when you were ready to fly out of the nest? When you were living with mom and dad it was probably simple to get a fast little loan but once you move out on your own it’s not so easy. Mom and dad might be willing to help you out, but that’s not the adult thing to do. When you move out on your own, you no longer rely on your parents to the best of your ability.
When I got out on my own it wasn’t even a consideration to ask my parents for money as they were poorer than I was, plus I had not been in contact with my family for over five years. I could not afford a car when I got out on my own, so I made sure my new digs were on a bus line which would take me to my job. As it happens, one of my coworkers drove the same route so we carpooled, and I paid her some money for gasoline each week. If she happened to be out sick, I would take the bus. I also had a bicycle which was nice for taking small trips to the grocery store. In the city I lived there was a transportation system available to everyone and all you had to do was call the number to be picked up. That was very convenient.
When I first ventured out on my own it was not the best of situations; in fact, I made the decision one morning to not return and basically left with the clothes on my back. I had been living with a foster family for several years, and was being manipulated into giving them all of my earnings, except for a few dollars which I managed to hold out which they didn’t know about; my employer cashed my check, and as I got miniscule raises I continued to give the foster family the same amount until I was actually able to keep $2.50 for myself each week!!
My boss and his wife were sympathetic to my situation and kind enough to allow me to stay with them for a couple of months until I was able to save enough money for first and last month’s rent to get my own place. My father, who had abandoned my mother when I was five, had a pang of guilt and offered me a car. But it would have cost me so much money to have it transported across several states that he decided to offer me $500 instead. That is how I established a savings accounts.
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your independence is to establish a savings account with at least $500 which you do not touch except for emergency situations. And when I say emergency, I mean a true emergency – needing a new Wii game or a new pair of shoes is not an emergency. You shouldn’t even consider being out of food an emergency because you should have at least a week’s worth of canned goods stocked up in case you should run out of money.
Another important factor is to create and stick to a budget, ideally your rent should not exceed 25% of your gross income. This can be difficult in some cities so take your time and look around for a place you can afford. When I was first on my own I was making $800 per month, and I found a small trailer and my rent was $194. I had to pay my own electricity, gas and water. I was careful with my usage and the more conservative I was, the more money I had left over.
If you can, get a part-time job. I sold Avon two nights a week and this helped me to have a little bit of spending money. Now with the Internet it’s a lot easier to make a little bit of income without a lot of effort if you have something interesting to talk about, start a blog. Who knows, you could become famous one day!
We all fly the coop eventually, and it can be a bittersweet time in our lives. Hopefully you are leaving under friendly terms, and the whole family probably has mixed feelings. Mom and Dad are experiencing the feeling of one of the youngsters leaving the nest, siblings will miss you, and you are going on your own to face the big world all alone. It should be an exciting time, as it is the beginning of the rest of your life. You can do it, just put one foot in front of the other and do what’s right and you’ll have some great memories of your first home all on your own.
This story contributed by Mrs. Accountability who writes at Out of Debt Again. If you would like to submit a story to the Carnival of Money Stories, please feel free to contact us. Your story should be unique (not posted elsewhere) and should focus on money experiences.