9 answers

What do I need to learn how to do before moving out and living on my own?

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I wasn't taught a whole lot at school about what living on your own entails, and now the time has come where I am becoming an adult and have started preparing for my future. I have yet to learn how credit works, as well as interests and loans. I dont know how to do my own taxes or what investing looks like. I want to know where I would learn these things, and what the hardest/most important aspect of living on your own is to keep in mind. #money #taxes #debt #student #student-loans #interest #credit #livingathome #independently-funding-my-education

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9 answers

Kevyn’s Answer

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Hi Kate,

Personal financial planning is one of the hardest facets of life to master. To help you out please find a list of free PFP courses you can take on various sites online. If you do not have access to wifi or a computer I suggest going to your local library and using their computers. Or ask a local high school if you are able to use theirs.

Another skill that is difficult to master, and can save you a lot of money is cooking. Please find another link to a cooking course for beginners below. This advice doesn't just apply to cooking, but don't be afraid to ask for help from other people; especially if you are just starting to live by yourself. One of the best skills you can have is knowing when to ask the right questions.

Kevyn recommends the following next steps:

  • https://www.themuse.com/advice/13-free-classes-to-help-you-manage-your-personal-finances-like-an-adult
  • https://www.instructables.com/class/Cooking-Class/
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Katie’s Answer

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Hi Kate!


Good question! It definitely difficult to start out on your own and there is a lot that you never think about before moving out. My recommendation would be to start by using mint.com. It is a great website that helps keep all of your finances in organized in one place. You link in any accounts you have open (checking, savings, loans, etc) and then they set reminders of when you have to pay your bills and what not. The website also allows you to build a personal budget and tracks your expenses against the budget. It also offers you suggestions on ways to save money or invest it.


Also, do some research to find out how much you should be spending based on your income (for example this website: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/how-much-can-i-afford-to-spend-each-month/).


As far as taxes go, there are plenty of websites that help you go step by step to build your return. Try e-smart tax.


Hope this helps!

Katie recommends the following next steps:

  • Build a mint.com account
  • Link in accounts/loans/credit card/ etc.
  • Build a budget for yourself to manage your expenses.
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Bonni’s Answer

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That's a great question. It is impossible to learn about every situation that might arise and most of life’s lessons will be learned on the fly. Here are my top items to think about before you leave home:

1. Budgeting and Finances - You will want to make sure that you can manage all of your expenses with the money you bring home. Don’t live beyond your means and try to always put some money aside for unexpected emergencies. Make sure you know how to balance your account to prevent any surprises and stay on top of your bills so that they are paid timely.
2. Basic cooking skills. It's great to know a few of the basics so that all of your money is not spent on take-out. Start small by learning the basics (no aluminum in the microwave), food prep safety, and how to make a few of your favorite meals.
4. Safety. Be aware of your surroundings, know how to handle minor medical emergencies, and learn about issues that might pose a threat to your home and how to handle. Examples would be how to use a fire extinguisher, how to test your smoke detectors and change the batteries, and who to contact in the event the power goes out or your basement floods.
5. Lastly, network. Get to know some of your neighbors so that you can look out for one another.
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Neeraj’s Answer

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Most of the answers have given a definitive guide for how to manage your finances and all that. I would add to this and suggest you keep a clear idea of how you're managing all domains of YOU. This includes taking care of your health, relationships, *happiness*, ability to spend time with yourself, your skills,etc. Keep track of everything you did the whole day, align it to all theses areas and also set clear goals when you wake up everyday.

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Katya’s Answer

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Hi Kate, before moving out you want to consider financial planning. I know you must be very exited living on your own and you should be but fun times often end when your finances are not properly planned out.

First, do you have a stable and secure job? It’s important to feel secured around your monthly paycheck-unless you have financial support from your family or additional saving. Proper budgeting is the key to a successful adulthood. You want to write down all your bills-include monthly rent, phone bill, cable bill,electricity, water and total them up as these are your priority bills and must be paid.

Do you own a car-then you need to include your monthly car payments as well as your insurance-unless the car is paid off, then just the insurance. Attach the gas spending, parking.

Then, you add your food, clothing, fun time funds you want to spend.

Take your monthly paycheck and start subtracting all your monthly spending and see how much you must spend and what’s left of your check. Then, write down what can you eliminate from the must monthly bills- for example- maybe you don’t need a car and can use public transportation. Maybe you spend too much money eating out, buying coffeE/tea every morning-switch to buying a cup and making coffee at home. How much do you spend going to salon-getting mani/pedi/haircut.

Do you have let’s- if so-make sure you include that as part of your spending.

There are many budgeting apps available -mint,better money habits-also did you open a bank account. Make sure you open checking and saving account-make sure you the one that offers you the most rewards. Saving account- I recommend that you start saving early- every penny helps and every dollar makes a difference-with time everything adds up and makes an additional saving for emergencies. Link your tow accounts and ask a bank representative to schedule an auto transfer to your saving account at least $5 every other week. If you multiple that by 52 weeks- it would be an additional $520 per yearly.

When it comes to your monthly rent- the best advise is to make sure you have at least 3 months worth of saving in your bank account. Just in case- you loose your job,unexpected energies might happen- you don’t want to worry about your rent bill while you are looking for another job.

Try not to carry cash in your wallet as the experience shows it spend faster on unnecessarily items. When you are going into a store weather it’s food or grocery shopping- make a list at home of what you need first-this way you will follow your lost and not just browse and pick items that you didn’t plan to purchase.

Always look for coupons and don’t be ashamed-if you can save-save always- don’t waste money that you work hard for. Remember, there will always be things that you really want-I recommend don’t buy it right away- sleep on it and then look for best deals-there is noon eyes need to impress-living a financial freedom is a better choice of life then being paycheck to paycheck.

Cook at home-sometimes a dinner can cost you less hen$10-potato veggies, a snack, cup of rice- all healthy and lots of saving!

good luck
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Stacy’s Answer

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This is a great question and a topic that can feel and be overwhelming but take things in small steps will help! The following are a few things to think about and consider.

1. Prepare a budget and plan - research the cost for expenses, rent, electricity, phone, food, car payments, insurance, etc. If it is possible, save money in advance to cover a couple of months of these things before you move out.
2. You may have to put a deposit down for these things in addition to the monthly expense.
3. Try to live within your budget and realize you may not have all the things you had when you lived at home with your parents and that it will take time to save to get those extra things and that is OK!
4. If at all possible, do not get credit cards - it is to easy to use them to buy stuff but very hard to pay them off when you do not have the extra money.
5. As soon as you have a job that has a 401K, contribute money to that retirement account, even if it is the minimum amount to receive the employee matching.

Living on Your Own is a Big step in life, Good Luck and Have Fun!
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Emily’s Answer

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Hi Kate!

Moving out and living on your own is certainly a big next step in your life, but very exciting! I'd say there's certainly some key things to prepare for when moving out. See below:

1) Grocery shopping and cooking for yourself: Before living on my own, I never had to shop or cook my food! Getting a few basic recipes nailed down beforehand would be a good start so you have some ideas of what to make for yourself to maintain a healthy diet!

2) Being on your own schedule: I used to have my parents help wake me up for bed or drive me to practice and so on, but living under your own roof means that's no longer the case. It's important to keep a schedule for yourself and ensure you have the appropriate alarms / meeting notices set! Agenda books work super well for me!

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Brian’s Answer

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I would suggest finding a job and working and learning how important it is to get a job and keep it. Work hard save a lot of money and learn how to budget your money. Take on a credit card so you can learn how to pay bills in a timely manner. Most importantly save as much money as you can and learn how to pay your bills on time and budget. This will help you succeed when you are on your own. It is important to save a lot of money in case you lose your job or the company goes out of business so you will have a nest egg saved and have money to support you until you find another job. Good luck!

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Hongyun (Heley)’s Answer

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  1. To be financial aware - make budgets, track spending, do some investments and savings that's best suited for you.
  2. Also to be responsible for your own living in a healthy way, such as having enough hours of sleep, being mindful of what you eat, and taking care of yourself.
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