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klm672
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Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:24 pm

Hey,
Upon reviewing my many, many non-aviation posts, you will see that I wanted to move out of my parents house for many years now. Now that I have, I miss the comfort and the "financial freedom" (eg not charging me for rent or food) for a lack of better terms that it provided. When I moved 600 miles away from home, I did that because the cost of living was lower, the wages and opportunities (career wise) was greater. Since I've moved, I have been behind on my rent, bounced a few checks (although, thank God, I have the one understanding landlord) and have been behind on my car payments. I truly am living paycheck to paycheck.

On top of that, as you may have read from my sleep disorder post, I have missed a few days of work due to this newly acquired disorder. I've never, ever been so tired in my life. I have burnt through one credit card to get my apartment in order, and just signed up for another to use for emergency purposes only. I never thought I'd watch my gas gauge so closely, doing the mental math with my paycheck and timing to make sure I have enough money to pay for gas and enough gas to make it to work; ironically going hand in hand. I have borrowed my fair share of money from the parents, and feel I have ran that course as well. They don't have much to begin with anyways. I have taken some overtime, but I get burnt out. Last time, I worked 7 days in a row, got so burnt out, I had to call in my 8th day.

Can anyone offer any suggestions for a young man, just starting out?
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:47 pm

Not sure if I've read your previous threads or not, and I don't have a whole lot to say, but here goes:

1.) When you moved, did you ensure you were going to be able to afford it? Whenever stuff like that comes up for me, I do a quick budget in Excel to make sure I can afford it. I need to move at the end of this month, so I did a budget a couple weeks ago to see how much rent I could afford.

2.) Related to #1 - DO NOT underestimate incidental expenses. It's amazing how much you can burn through in a month just doing stuff like going to 7-11, or CVS, or whatever.

3.) Your best bet is to improve your situation NOW. The longer you wait, the more responsibilities you may have, the more accustomed you are to living check to check, the harder it will be to change. You absolutely don't want to find yourself in the same situation 10 years from now (or even 1 year from now), with no savings.

4.) If you have a medical/psychological condition, that's one thing, but I'd suggest you get used to taking overtime and working 6 or 7 days. Sounds like you need the money.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:06 pm

My first piece of advice: Welcome to the adult world. You came to it late. You're lucky to have had parents support you (while they couldn't afford it) for so long. So, suck it up, buttercup.

Second: Make a budget. Stick to it. Ruthlessly prune everything you can from your spending. Make saving a bit your first priority so you have an emergency fund. Get to know your finances intimately well.

Third: Work as much as you can without burning yourself out.

Why aren't you in better financial shape after living at home for so long? Did you not save up for when you would leave home? Did you waste your money?
But that was when I ruled the world
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:17 pm

As suggested above make a budget. Put it down on paper if it helps you visualize things.

Like a business make sure your cost are not greater then your income.

Look at all your expenses, from living to eating, to things like cell phones, internet etc.

If your income does not cover your needs with a bit of a cushion then look to prune things.

Maybe instead of living on your own, go down the route of having a room mate, or simply renting a room from someone.

Can you save on other things - take public transit instead of having a car. Do you eat out a lot? Consider cooking at home - you can save a fortune that way. What do you pay for your phone, internet, or other interest.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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Tugger
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:25 pm

First of course comes the requisite comment:

Welcome to the real world!  
.
Quoting klm672 (Thread starter):
Can anyone offer any suggestions for a young man, just starting out?
OK, the first and most important things:
Budget
Schedule
Friends/relaxation/Breaks (often tied to the first two but also independent of them).

As I first mentioned - Budget! You need to sit down and plan out your known expenses and your expected income and budget what you will be spending. It is critically important or your will find yourself getting further and further behind the eight ball and maxing out your "emergency credit card" and then needing to get another "emergency card" only to repeat the process (also, don't get a gas credit card).
And regarding credit, remember that what ever you put on credit cards just moves that expense and adds it to the future, so if you didn't have the money for your normal monthly needs now, in a month you will be even shorter on funds. That is the credit card trap.

I myself didn't get control of my finances until I created my own "budget calendar". For me I think and relate best to this in terms I am used to: a normal monthly calendar. I found it difficult to use a tool that didn't present my expenses in that format, so I created one (I can see the week, and if something is due I can relate to it), and it worked! It helped me manage my tight "starting out on my own" budget (now earning more money the process has become simpler but I still use the budget tool 10+ years later) and got me ahead of my expenses and prevented me from withdrawing money when I thought I had it only to be short for my next bill or forgetting that I had a check "out there".

So first things first budget! You will be happier even as you get bummed to see that "I have no money left!" (you'll find some as you get better, don't worry   ).

Second - Schedule! Manage your time better. You only have so much time so you have to manage it to prevent overextending yourself. Going from work to friend's events and then back to work and then sneaking that trip back home and then racing back to get to work and getting with your friends to relax then.... it is exhausting. Remember to just manage your schedule a bit. I totally suck at managing my schedule and I relied heavily on habits and routines to minimize insanity. I basically went through a very hard time when I tried to do everything and be everywhere, and finally got into a routine where I had "work times" and then "home times" (for laundry, bills, and sometime doing nothing or whatever, etc) and "friend times" (when I go out to friends or for drinks etc). Now married, my wife quite happily manages OUR schedule. 

And finally - Friends/relaxation/your time! This is part of but separate from both items above. You need time to just relax a bit and whether that means with friends and family (for some those are just stressful) or just time for nothing and just yourself, you need to remember to calm down and relax. For me I often went to be with friends and ended up with a quasi-regular schedule of where I would go (remember I said habits and routines helped me). And later I also began to go for walks almost every night around my neighborhood. It took about an hour a day and I didn't have to do it, but I made sure I didn't slack off and keep "not doing it". Often it happened at 9pm and ended my day for me and sometimes I turned it into a "hike event" on a day off where I went somewhere to walk/hike. You can do whatever you want, it was just that I needed to have time for nothing, to think, to de-stress. I think everyone needs that.


Hope this helps, it did for me. You of course don't have to do everything, you need to do what works for you, but do the budgeting!

Take care.

Tugg

Edit to add:
I see others beat me to the punch and interestingly we sing a similar song!

Seeing LAXintl's post:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
Maybe instead of living on your own, go down the route of having a room mate, or simply renting a room from someone.

It reminded me how this helped me. I started out on my own and found it very lonely and hard. I then decided that I did not like coming home to a "dead home" (hey some people love the peace a quiet and very much prefer that, but not me). Add to that the savings I achieved and moving into a roommate situation was a no brainer for me. I didn't like a two person situation (me and someone else) and so ended up moving to a house with two to four others (over the years in various different houses). I found it really helped. I had my own room, and we shared the rest of the space. The house was "alive", I saved money, and it was overall easier caring for the place with others. But be warned, no matter who, all roommates suck in one way or another, I call it "roommate hell" but that is why I found it easier to live with more than just one other person, more people tended to balance things out.

Anyway, that's a long winded way to say, I agree with LAXintl that you might want to look into this option if you are not already doing it.

[Edited 2012-10-16 11:04:29]
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
klm672
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:11 pm

Thanks for all the help! In regards to the roommate situation, yes I wouldn't mind a roommate to cut on costs, but I am told by my landlord that where I am staying is meant for just one person...even though there are clearly two bedrooms.
 
Fabo
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:47 pm

Quoting klm672 (Reply 5):
In regards to the roommate situation, yes I wouldn't mind a roommate to cut on costs, but I am told by my landlord that where I am staying is meant for just one person...even though there are clearly two bedrooms.

Consider moving out then, calculating of course if it would be worth it.

I will add to that tips, especially cooking at home. You do not need to be a fancy cook, but I too found that if I can make a spaghetti for third of what it would cost to eat out, it can be a great help.

I found that it helped for me to roughly calculate my estimated weekly money available, and i try to stick to it. If I know I can spend 40€ weekly (after all my monthly payments), I try my best to stick to it. If I find that I burnt through more for whatever reason, I cut back the next week. It helped and I found that I can do a week on about 20 if I cut back real good, but nevertheless I try not to. If I see it is Friday, and I have 20€ of my budget left and food for weekend in the fridge, I let myself go a bit. If I see I am at minus 5, I go to economy mode, and try to not spend anything.
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zckls04
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:09 pm

When I first left home nobody among my friends would even consider living on their own- it just wasn't an option until we started earning a little more. Roommates save more money than anything else- if you get lucky you can end up paying far less than half of what you might pay on your own.

Why do you have car payments? What kind of car do you have? Is it the cheapest possible way? Is there any way to use public transport instead? What if you moved in with a roommate to a place within easy public transit reach of where you work?

Be REALLY careful with your credit cards and try not to get in too deep. It will be a pain when you start earning a better wage as it will take several years before your credit is clean. In addition as you have found out worrying about money makes you very unhappy. Having said that if you are totally out of options there are ways out of debt, so try not to lay awake at night worrying about it.

The most important thing to remember is that there's no point in living if you're going to be miserable. Sitting in a dark room living on rice may be very responsible, but if you are unhappy then you're wasting some of the best years of your life. Look for cheap ways to entertain yourself (another great reason to get a roommate- company). Chop out the things that give you no significant quality of life and retain those that do. Play smarter, not harder.....
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desertjets
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:58 pm

Sounds like you got yourself between a rock and a hard -- but welcome to the real world.

I think most people already gave you sound advice. But I will offer an alternative solution, and this is due to your current health concerns. If your sleeping disorder is not something you can resolve or improve to the point that you are just burning yourself out and unable to work you may have to consider moving the 600 miles back home. I know it would seem like a failure, but if your health (mental and physical) is going to be at stake you may need to entertain the idea.


RE: Roommates. After college and grad school I never wanted to have roommates again. Not that I always had bad roomies but there is something about having your own place. When I was back in school a few years back I reluctantly had roommates, and while they were OK it wasn't my ideal experience. Besides that two-year period when I was back in grad school the only exception I would make would be for a significant other or a four legged friend. Now I have a s.o. and three cats.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
QFA380
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:10 pm

I moved out of home last year so I can certainly see how you're having some issues.
It sounds like at home with (relatively) large amounts of disposable income you got into some bad habits in regards to spending. I was the same and once I moved out, it was quite the shock when I started being unable to afford things I was used to. Even just simple things like going out for food whenever I felt like it suddenly became unaffordable.

I'm having some trouble seeing why you would move into a two bedroom apartment by yourself immediately. Sure it sounds nice but you'd be better off if you just rented a room off someone for a while. Much simpler when they just show you the bills, you pay your share and are done with it, and as was said above you can usually get a room for less than the ratio you occupy (2 bedroom, you'll pay ~40% of the rent), with much less hassle and obligation.
It sounds like your landlord is making up BS to avoid the trouble of having someone else living there, even if it drives you . Check your lease to see what it says about other people, if it doesn't say anything, just put a bit of pressure on your landlord, he'll probably budge (assuming you're back up to date with your rent).

If you can, get rid of the car, paying a loan on a depreciating asset is crazy business. This goes for your credit card debt too, you probably should have saved up for furniture before you left home.

I strongly recommend not getting a second credit card. You'll find your definition of emergency will quickly slip to 'whenever its convenient'.

If you seriously want to be in a financially sound position you can get there, just requires some sacrifices. Plenty of people can't do that and hence we're paying for the credit binge of the last 10 years now, with some people under serious debt stress.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:59 pm

Quoting klm672 (Reply 5):
In regards to the roommate situation, yes I wouldn't mind a roommate to cut on costs, but I am told by my landlord that where I am staying is meant for just one person...even though there are clearly two bedrooms.
Quoting QFA380 (Reply 9):
It sounds like your landlord is making up BS to avoid the trouble of having someone else living there, even if it drives you . Check your lease to see what it says about other people, if it doesn't say anything, just put a bit of pressure on your landlord, he'll probably budge (assuming you're back up to date with your rent).

There are two types of multi-person renting that I did, one is where everyone's names are on the rental agreement and the other where just one persons name was on the agreement. Sometimes the landlord wanted just one person to be "responsible", liable for things, they didn't care about excuses, or that "the others didn't pay me", they only wanted to deal with the one person and that person was responsible for everything (including damage so no deposit refund if another person did damage etc) Most however wanted everyone on the agreement, I think because of insurance and liability reasons.

So the landlord may not want it but may be willing to allow it "provided......". So it may be worth it to talk with them and see what they may be wiling to do. Also do know that at the end of your lease they may still give you notice because of concerns of your ability to pay. They are nice now because they want and need the money but it may change once the year (or whatever you signed for) is up.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
klm672
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:15 pm

Thanks again for all the information.
Here is a little more on the apartment/rent:
I signed up for a ONE bedroom apartment, but when I looked at it, it CLEARLY has two bedrooms. A master bedroom and another, smaller bedroom. Its a 3-family house. Recently, a friend inquired about staying with me for a short period of time as he also wanted to move into town. It would only be for a short period of time. I asked my landlord about my roommate situtation and he said that the place is only meant for 1 person, but they could stay on a short term basis (a few weeks). There is no parking avialable either, which is also a concern of his.

No, there is no public transportation to where I work. I was commuting 100 miles a day where I use to live, and not I commute only 10 miles a day. I know I am not in a "could've, should've" situation, but I should've went with a roommate, but, also doing the college thing, I was done with roommates, but I know now it would very much help my bank account.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:19 pm

Get a cheaper cell phone. You don't need a smart phone.

Don't need cable/TV... use the internet.

Get a roommate or move out of that place if you can't.

Hopefully your car is cheap but not so cheap that you'll be paying a bunch on upkeep.

You can still eat healthy but cheaply. Don't sacrifice your health for convenience, not a good route to go down.

PAY OFF YOUR CREDIT CARDS ASAP. You don't want a balance, ever. Use it as a debit card. For real, this is probably the most important part. Use discipline, I cannot stress this enough

Basically, you should spend only enough money to live, not to have any fun. Sounds harsh, but that is what you must do. Once you get a surplus of money, SAVE IT. Get a few thousand dollars of buffer, have your debt paid off, THEN start having a little bit of fun. It is completely possible to succeed in America, not doing so, barring some circumstances, is only up to YOU.

Good luck!
 
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compensateme
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:42 pm

You've gotten great advice, but one thing I'd like to re-iterate: keep track of your spending (literally, every penny), categorize it on a spreadsheet and at the end of the month, analyze it.

-- Never convince yourself you "need" something - because you probably don't. If MetroPCS is available in your area, you can get unlimited talk & text for only $25/month (inc. taxes) with select phones. Otherwise, add yourself to your parents' line with a basic text messaging plan.
-- Cable is a luxury. And how much of it does the average person watch, anyway? Most programming is available on the Internet for no charge; NetFlix is $8/month.
-- When shopping for groceries, always use coupons. You don't have to be an "extreme couponer" (which is pointless in terms of nutrition, anyway) but you'd be surprised at how much you can save matching coupons against current sales. (Sunday newspapers are delivered for just $1/week in many areas, or buy them at Dollar Tree for the same price.) Also consider a local supermarket that carriers close-out merchandise... you can snag close-dated and discontinued products for cheap -- and often free with coupons. Also consider places like Aldi.
-- Save dining out for rare occasions. Pack lunches and make good-quality coffee at home for a fraction of the price of McDonald's. And when you do dine out, skip the drinks and use a buy-one, get-one coupon on the entree.
-- Until your finances are caught up, limit going out. It's not worth enduring a cycle of debt to join a few friends at the bar. Instead, consider inviting them over your place and splitting the cost of alcohol from a local store.
-- Never turn overtime down. If you're getting burnt out, you need to address the issue and find ways to relax. The last thing you want to pay for is credit card interest & late fees.

And one important thing:
-- Join a credit union. Most credit unions will offer a line of credit -- free of charge -- attached to your account. You may use this LOC for everyday expenses and most importantly -- overdraft fees. While a single, $5 overdraft can result in more than $100 in fees within days from a traditional bank, at most credit unions, there isn't a single fee to access the LOC for protection. Instead, you'll pay a few coins in interest. (Do your research!!!) And the interest rate is likely to be less than half of what your CC is charging.
-- Also worth mentioning: set-up your bank's online banking feature to ensure that all bills are paid on-time, automatically. This is a very valuable feature few take advantage of.

[Edited 2012-10-16 15:44:56]
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:50 pm

Also, what is your job situation? There is no shame in starting at the bottom (or hitting a rough patch and falling back down), it's what you do when you hit bottom that counts. You need to have a well defined, reasonable plan out
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:52 pm

Years ago I bought the cheap version of the program called "Quicken". You set up spending categories and from then on you just make an entry everytime you spend any money. At the end of the month you hit a PF key and it gives you a detailed report about what you spent your money on and where all that money went.
I was quickly able to cut a couple of hundred bucks off of my monthly spending.

Do you really need a house? I would look for a 1br or even a studio until I get my debt back under control.
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compensateme
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:12 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 15):
ears ago I bought the cheap version of the program called "Quicken".

The final version of Microsoft Money Deluxe (2009) is available for download, direct from Microsoft, free of charge:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20738

Additionally, Mint.com (owned by the owners of Quicken) is another excellent resource.

The additional features of Quicken aren't worth its asking price.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
klm672
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:15 pm

Rent wise, it was the cheapest place. Although it is a house, it is set up like an apartment, third floor. Like I said, looking at the floor plan, it defentially has TWO bedrooms. This is the highest paid job I have had. Fresh out of college, I am starting on the bottom and working my way towards a better paying job within the company once my one year is up in July.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:48 pm

Quoting klm672 (Reply 17):
Like I said, looking at the floor plan, it defentially has TWO bedrooms.

Be careful and carefully read the contract. It can be a mansion but if the lease says 1 occupant, well that's what you agreed to. In your case (too late now) it probably would've been better to get a slightly more expensive place you could actually split. And try and room with someone you know if possible... you don't want a shady roommate for many reasons I won't list (should be obvious)
 
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compensateme
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:54 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 18):
Be careful and carefully read the contract. It can be a mansion but if the lease says 1 occupant, well that's what you agreed to. In your case (too late now) it probably would've been better to get a slightly more expensive place you could actually split. And try and room with someone you know if possible... you don't want a shady roommate for many reasons I won't list (should be obvious)

Rooming with friends, family & acquaintances is arguably worse off than rooming with an anonymous person selected by a matchmaker.

In any event, when considering roommates, it's always best to sign separate leases so you're off the hook should he/she not pay.
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Tugger
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:06 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 12):
Don't need cable/TV... use the internet.
Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 13):
-- Cable is a luxury. And how much of it does the average person watch, anyway? Most programming is available on the Internet for no charge; NetFlix is $8/month.

Well in many places internet options call for cable. Here where I live cable internet at a base cost of ~$50/month is the only real option (that works well and can handle TV streaming etc.).

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 13):
--Pack lunches and make good-quality coffee at home for a fraction of the price of McDonald's. And when you do dine out, skip the drinks and use a buy-one, get-one coupon on the entree.

The only caveat I would offer is that I lived for years on 99cent Whooper's and a water for lunch. (And then ramen and an egg or two for dinner, yep, I was the picture of health!). And the water with your meal instead of a soda is a very important part of that. I still do it today when I eat fast food.

Quoting klm672 (Reply 17):
Rent wise, it was the cheapest place. Although it is a house, it is set up like an apartment, third floor. Like I said, looking at the floor plan, it defentially has TWO bedrooms. This is the highest paid job I have had. Fresh out of college, I am starting on the bottom and working my way towards a better paying job within the company once my one year is up in July.

I remember you had a thread on your living situation and the mail. Interesting. I would almost recommend that if you can still help your friend that was moving there, and your landlord is still OK with it, you do it as a way to show that it can work, work well, and not impact his rental (if you can get some money from your friend all the better). Then if it all works out perhaps you can see if you can officially share your space.

Hey, I am sure you are doing the best you can, so don't sweat some of the critiques you will bear from posting here. We only know each other from our posts here and everyone loves to comment and share what they feel is important. Do your best, follow the good ideas shared here and don't give up. You will be OK if you are smart and determined. You aren't the first person to have the real world smack them in the face went they got out on their own (I was   ).

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:10 am

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 19):
Rooming with friends, family & acquaintances is arguably worse off than rooming with an anonymous person selected by a matchmaker.

I've had my fair share of arguments with friend roommates and I know they can destroy friendships, but I at least knew my property was safe and they weren't gonna screw me over. Best to keep your stuff separate and not cross paths whenever possible. 100% certain I won't be dealing with a criminal, thief, or drug addict. Plus they make good flight school study partners  
 
scrubbsywg
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:17 am

Are your required expenses are higher than your income? You haven't really answered if that is the case.

You said you "burned through" one credit card getting your apartment in order. what does getting it in order mean?


-you either need more income or less expenses. If you can't increase your income, you HAVE to cut expenses. this includes all TV(get a library card instead), eating out, alcohol, candy, etc. you really have to look at where your money is going and decide if you need it to live. it sounds like it will change your life, but it sounds like are really having problems. If you have expenses to cut, cut them now! better to live miserly now, than be in debt, become bankrupt, not have anywhere to live, etc.
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:05 am

Damn, between the ages of 26 and 35 you should be well set to get started with life. And why would you use a credit card to "set up" an apartment? Too late now but you screwed up. For future reference all you need is a bed until you can pay cash for things.
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StarAC17
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:25 am

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 13):
Cable is a luxury. And how much of it does the average person watch, anyway? Most programming is available on the Internet for no charge; NetFlix is $8/month.

Get rabbit ears and you can get most network channels in HD for free. When I was living in Australia most people watched free to air TV.

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 13):
When shopping for groceries, always use coupons. You don't have to be an "extreme couponer" (which is pointless in terms of nutrition, anyway) but you'd be surprised at how much you can save matching coupons against current sales. (Sunday newspapers are delivered for just $1/week in many areas, or buy them at Dollar Tree for the same price.) Also consider a local supermarket that carriers close-out merchandise... you can snag close-dated and discontinued products for cheap -- and often free with coupons. Also consider places like Aldi.

  

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 13):
Until your finances are caught up, limit going out. It's not worth enduring a cycle of debt to join a few friends at the bar. Instead, consider inviting them over your place and splitting the cost of alcohol from a local store.

Or predrink, seriously doing this can save me $40-50 at a bar.

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 13):
Never turn overtime down. If you're getting burnt out, you need to address the issue and find ways to relax. The last thing you want to pay for is credit card interest & late fees.

To relax I suggest Yoga and that will make you sleep better as it relaxes and is a great full body workout. Unfortunately most good studios are not cheap but I have found a way to fit it into my budgets.
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doug_or
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:17 am

Quoting IMissPiedmont (Reply 23):

Damn, between the ages of 26 and 35 you should be well set to get started with life. And why would you use a credit card to "set up" an apartment? Too late now but you screwed up. For future reference all you need is a bed until you can pay cash for things.

These are the two things that stood out for me as well. In many countries the cost of living is higher and incomes are lower, but in the US and Canada minimum wage and frugal living should be enough to get by if you don't have huge outstanding debt or dependents.

I also completely agree with credit card for "setting up an apartment". There are a few things that I might consider using a credit card as a loan instrument for. Home furnishings are not on the list. It sounds like you have to accept you are not as rich as you were when you didn't have to pay the bills. This can be a difficult and uncomfortable realization.

A a number of people have talked about the need to buckle down, work overtime, and accept The Suck. Everyone is different and has different expectations from life. I agree that you need to pare down your expenses to a much more manageable level and work hard to pay off any outstanding debt you have, but after that I would hope you can find a balance between work and leisure that doesn't require overtime to maintain. You'll live longer, be healthier, and most importantly be happier if you can accept a less economically lavish lifestyle and have the free time to enjoy it.
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Kiwirob
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:11 am

Quoting klm672 (Thread starter):
Can anyone offer any suggestions for a young man, just starting out?
Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 2):
Why aren't you in better financial shape after living at home for so long?

For the above comments I blame the parents, no way should an adult male aged between 25-36 still have been living at home rent free, your parents didn't do a very good job setting you up for life outside the home, you also have to take some responsibility old man, basically you were lazy, the combination of poor parenting and laziness has come home to roost.

Next bit of advise when you get your emergency credit card cut it up.
 
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:06 pm

And when purchasing items for the home don't put it on a credit card unless you can pay it all off within 30 days.
Most furniture and appliance stores have 0% interest programs. You make your purchase and then have anywhere from 12 to 36 months to pay it off at 0% interest. We did that with most of our furnishings and kitchen appliances. You save a LOT of money this way.
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:32 pm

Quoting IMissPiedmont (Reply 23):
Damn, between the ages of 26 and 35 you should be well set to get started with life.
Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 26):
For the above comments I blame the parents, no way should an adult male aged between 25-36 still have been living at home rent free, your parents didn't do a very good job setting you up for life outside the home, you also have to take some responsibility old man, basically you were lazy, the combination of poor parenting and laziness has come home to roost.

Come on guys, we have no way of knowing what the situation really is and to spout insulting things is not helpful. For hi profession "Health" there are many reasons why one can take a long time to "get out" and why might be stuck with a poor financial situation, and why parents would support you. The OP is asking for advice to get things corrected and get back on even footing, that is a good thing. He Thread started shows that he is trying to do the right things to move forward in life and that is why he is asking for some advice on what to do now (not "what did I do wrong"). So cut some slack and believe that he is trying his best to do the right things and not that he is "lazy" or suffers from bad parentage.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 27):
Most furniture and appliance stores have 0% interest programs. You make your purchase and then have anywhere from 12 to 36 months to pay it off at 0% interest. We did that with most of our furnishings and kitchen appliances. You save a LOT of money this way.

It can be a good idea PROVIDED you have a plan to pay it of, budget for it, and follow through. Otherwise they are enormous "gotcha's!" and a ton of interest suddenly hits at the end and you are stuck with ridiculously high interest. A lot of those "pay nothing now" offers are crap and traps and should be avoided unless you really know what you are doing and are ready for it.

Tugg
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:33 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 27):
Most furniture and appliance stores have 0% interest programs. You make your purchase and then have anywhere from 12 to 36 months to pay it off at 0% interest.

Just don't go purchasing a bunch of stuff this way and let it add up because in 24-36 months you will be in big trouble  


But for real, really beating a dead horse, but until you get your finances under control, sleep on some blankets on the ground. Maybe have a cheap table and chair from the Good Will. Furniture and a bed aren't survival items, there is no excuse for buying items like this if you're in debt. Buy food, work overtime, stop missing work (no excuse for that,) pay bills, repeat. It may not be "cushy" but in months or however long it takes to get debt free, you'll actually be richer than a homeless man and you can responsibly buy things.


It's all up to you, you were fortunate to have a free ride this long, but prepare for your life to suck for a long while until you can make up for your irresponsible spending (hate to be harsh, but that's the truth)
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:04 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 26):
For the above comments I blame the parents, no way should an adult male aged between 25-36 still have been living at home rent free, your parents didn't do a very good job setting you up for life outside the home, you also have to take some responsibility old man, basically you were lazy, the combination of poor parenting and laziness has come home to roost.

That's a heck of a leap there. Obviously you're not concerned about this (that's a guess on my part), but I don't see the need for making someone feel like crap, when 1.) they're clearly having a difficult time and asking for advice, and 2.) you have no idea if what you wrote is at all true, or what other circumstances may have been at play.

Quoting tugger (Reply 28):
Come on guys, we have no way of knowing what the situation really is and to spout insulting things is not helpful.

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StarAC17
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:58 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 27):
Most furniture and appliance stores have 0% interest programs. You make your purchase and then have anywhere from 12 to 36 months to pay it off at 0% interest. We did that with most of our furnishings and kitchen appliances. You save a LOT of money this way.

If they are anything like 0% financing when buying a car then it is a scam or a zero sum game depending on how you look at it. The interest is included in the sticker price and if you offered to pay that company cash for an appliance you would pay less.

If they didn't do this then everyone would pay in 36 months and pay a lot less on 3 years of inflation.

It is still better than running up a balance on a credit card at 20% interest.


Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 29):
overtime, stop missing work (no excuse for that,)

If the OP has a medical condition then that should be addressed first before he commits to work and it should be in his company's interest for him to do so. Healthy workers both physically and mentally are more productive.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:05 pm

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 31):
If the OP has a medical condition then that should be addressed first before he commits to work and it should be in his company's interest for him to do so. Healthy workers both physically and mentally are more productive.

Many excuses view excuses as excuses, and in this economy, workers are easily replaced. Not trying to hate, just trying to warn that even with a good excuse (like a medical condition) you can still catch a lot of crap for it, even get fired. Not saying I would just not care about his condition, I'm saying many employers won't. Missing work/being late is a bigger deal than many make it out to be
 
StarAC17
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:29 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 32):
Many excuses view excuses as excuses, and in this economy, workers are easily replaced. Not trying to hate, just trying to warn that even with a good excuse (like a medical condition) you can still catch a lot of crap for it, even get fired. Not saying I would just not care about his condition, I'm saying many employers won't.

These are not employers that you want to work for and any company with an interest in maintaining the best that they can have will not behave this way. Also training staff continuously costs companies a lot of money especially in a professional industry where training can be ongoing.

Yes in some cases it is possible that they don't care but being sacked with documentation about a medical condition that affects your performance will lead to lawsuits that employers will likely lose. You can fire without cause but that requires a severance package unless you are on a probation period where you have singed off on the fact you can be fired without cause.


Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 32):
Missing work/being late is a bigger deal than many make it out to be

I agree with that if there is no reason to show up or be late or not show up at all if there is no compelling and compassionate reason for it. This is the biggest reason that someone is fired as punctual person who is incompetent will be retained over a very competent employee who is repeatedly late.

In my experiences if you are late or can't show up for work (ie. sick) and you can't control the reason for it its usually fine with most bosses (at least every one I have had). Often I would be late because there was an accident on the highway or a snowstorm and I called the office or my client and said the situation and it was understood.

Quoting klm672 (Thread starter):
On top of that, as you may have read from my sleep disorder post, I have missed a few days of work due to this newly acquired disorder. I've never, ever been so tired in my life.

If you haven't done so already have a meeting with your boss to show that you have this condition and if he/she are decent then they will work with you and your profile says health care so they should be able to assist you in a solution.
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vikkyvik
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:47 pm

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 33):
These are not employers that you want to work for and any company with an interest in maintaining the best that they can have will not behave this way.

You don't always have the option of working for an employer for whom you want to work.
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StarAC17
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:47 pm

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 34):
You don't always have the option of working for an employer for whom you want to work.

That may be true but if I ever got the impression that one of my employers was acting this way I would be sussing out their competitors and trying to get the heck out of there. Just because you have a job doesn't mean you can't look for another one.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:02 am

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 35):
That may be true but if I ever got the impression that one of my employers was acting this way I would be sussing out their competitors and trying to get the heck out of there. Just because you have a job doesn't mean you can't look for another one.

Look, I agree with you, and if I were an employer, I'd be an understanding one (probably too much so.) But in many jobs, they're so unskilled and easily replaceable, they don't care if someone doesn't like it, see ya. The jobless rate is very high.

And I am not trying to be mean or anything, but I think OP needs to be a bit more responsible. Bouncing checks, yes a simple mistake, but you really really need to manage your finances better. Credit card debt... well you need to live, but I guarantee if he listed all the stuff on the credit card there would be some stuff that he could go without. Going to work late, unacceptable, disorder or not (unless the disorder makes him sleep through alarms.) He should never be late... but he does indeed have a sleeping problem. He needs to fix it as well as he can and keep his employer in the loop. I'm sure the employer will be accommodating to an extent, but to be blunt again (I'm really sorry) your problem is not his...

I think we've really beaten a dead horse, and you've gotten some good advice OP. It is up to you to abide by it, it is very possible to get back on your feet, keep us posted
 
klm672
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:06 am

Hi again,
I think, honestly, its not something I planned for well. I should've budgeted more. I knew I would be making more money, spending less on gas, and felt that the money I spent on gas would equate to rent (living with the parents I'd fill up every 3rd day).

Yes, I've never clocked in late, and I am trying to improve my situation and get to the bottom of my "sleeping disorder". I do work for a hospital system, so they are very understanding.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:18 am

Quoting klm672 (Reply 37):

That's good. Another piece of advice though, you'll almost always spend more than you think you will. If you budget out 100% of what you make, you'll probably bust your budget
 
StarAC17
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:09 am

Quoting klm672 (Reply 37):
I think, honestly, its not something I planned for well. I should've budgeted more. I knew I would be making more money, spending less on gas, and felt that the money I spent on gas would equate to rent (living with the parents I'd fill up every 3rd day).

To make this a bit more positive, you are saving more than you think because if you are driving that much because it is not just the gas that costs you. The more you drive the more you have to perform maintenance on your car, you will need more oil changes, need your brakes serviced more often, and need new tires sooner so that is long term money you will be saving being closer to work. That ends up being thousands of dollar over a few years.

I know this because I had to drive a lot on my last job and got paid for mileage and in the short term you think you are making money but in the long term its a zero sum game.
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vikkyvik
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:48 am

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 35):
Just because you have a job doesn't mean you can't look for another one.

True. But looking is just that - looking.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 38):
Another piece of advice though, you'll almost always spend more than you think you will. If you budget out 100% of what you make, you'll probably bust your budget

Absolutely. When I do a monthly budget for myself, I make sure I have money left over after all my expenses are deducted.

By the way, when I say do a budget, I also mean include savings in there. No matter how little it is, you need to be saving money every paycheck if possible. And do what you can to make it an automatically occurring expense; when I get paid, I have my checking account automatically transfer some amount of money to my savings account. That way, I don't even really see that money, and it's not readily available for me to use (since I don't have an ATM card for my savings account).

I also estimate daily expenses and put that in there too. After subtracting bills, savings, and daily expenses, I make sure I'm still in the black, with some wiggle room.
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compensateme
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:55 pm

Wow, cut the OP some slack. At least he recognizes his situation and is attempting to fix it. I know plenty of people across the income spectrum who have no idea how to live under a budget. Lots of people have convinced themselves that a daily Starbuck, NFL Sunday ticket, a new Brighton purse every few months, etc. are absolute necessities in life, even if they can't really afford them.......
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PlanesNTrains
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:02 pm

When I moved out unexpectedly, it was pretty tight. I shared an apartment with my sister for a while because we were both in the same boat. Bad idea. She didn't pay her rent sometimes so we'd be late or I'd be out. We had two stools and a box as furniture to begin with. Ha ha.

Our grandma saved us. She would help out with groceries (for a time, I got all my food and as from the Mobil gas mart using her credit card) and helped us out with expenses occasionally, mostly because my sister didnt have steady work. That safety net made all the difference. Making $4.25/hour in 1986 didn't get you far.

Like the OP, moving out was an eye-opener. I was not in any way prepared, though I didn't have a choice. I think the one thing I would change for him would have been to try to live close to his parents or another safety net. It's hard to mooch a meal from your parents or do your laundry 600 miles away.

Good for him, though, in moving out at this point. My wife's brother and his six year old son moved back in with their parents during a divorce - 20 years ago! They STILL live there and he's 50. He just showed up the other day in his new Cadillac SRX. LOL. no, I'll take the OP's missteps over my brother-in-laws route.

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MIAspotter
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:25 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 40):
By the way, when I say do a budget, I also mean include savings in there. No matter how little it is, you need to be saving money every paycheck if possible. And do what you can to make it an automatically occurring expense

Yeah that´s what I do as well.

I am currently working thru a temp job agency, so I have a little excel file where I put my daily hours and at the end it gives me the total of money I should receive.

Then I do a calculation.

Salary
- Rent
- Any money I own

From the total leftover then I do my savings calculation, I don´t have many expenses monthly, just rent, food and mobile phone, I live 3 mins from work, so I don´t have transportation or meal expenses. I live on my own sharing a flat and my weekly food buy its around 25/30€ and I do tend to buy some luxury items. I also don´t go out much but I can budget maybe 30€ per week if I meet with friends for a beer and watch footy.

The rest is then saved, I have been doing this for the past 3 months, and so far it´s working  

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Fabo
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:24 pm

I have been thinking through some items I read here... maybe some more tips.

-Consider WHERE you buy your stuff (gas, grocery, anything). Not what company but what location. Compare price levels. Compare cost to get there. It might end up cheaper to fill up your car on a station on your route to work, even if it is a couple cents more expensive compared to one that is a couple miles off.
Similar with grocery shopping. Is it worth driving the extra two miles to Walmart to save a dollar or two? Might be, might not. (This is easy for me, I have a public transport card and dont own a car. Transportation costs are nil. Other than the card itself, but that is "paid for" as I need it to get to work and school anyway)

Subscribe for special offer newsletters from stores in your area. You might see a good deal for chicken, for example, and save 10-20 bucks for a weeks worth of food - then again, dont go too much out of your way to save. Maybe try to see if there is a coupon cooperation between gas stations/restaurants/stores... There is a gas station chain here, that will give you a coupon for 50 crowns off a 500 crown bill in a Tesco, for every 25 litres of petrol. Then Tesco will give you 2 crowns off a litre of petrol for every bill over 500 crowns. That is 200 crowns saved on a 50l tank.

Buying papers? Dont... I mean, it is a good thing to read them, but why pay? Big cities have their free, ad-sponsored papers, or you can read them online. Similar goes for magazines. Or you might have a smartphone or a tablet that will allow you to read it on the device, and it might just be cheaper.

If you do have a smartphone, do you have a data plan? Do you use it up? Do you need to use it up? Consider getting a cheaper plan, and use wifi whenever possible (work, shopping malls, home...)
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compensateme
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:26 am

One other thing I forgot to mention earlier:

For many young men, a HUGE financial drain is the bathroom.

Some examples:
-- Never pay more than $2 for deodorant - and pay attention to product sizing, you should be getting close to 3oz. even at the lowest price levels. You'll frequently find sales (either standalone, or combined with coupons) for less than $1. Avoid temptation to purchase high-cost brands such as Axe -- budget-friendly brands have replicated the scents, anyway.

-- If you see your dentist regularly (twice per year) and brush/floss daily, you'll be able to get buy with a quality, cheap toothbrush and fluoride-based toothpaste (AIM is available nationwide for $1 or less). Use mouthwashes only when directed by the dentist. More expensive products (electronic toothbrushes, whitening toothpastes, whitening strips) offer very, very, very limited benefits at best (if taking care of yourself) and certainly not worth the prices charged.

-- Bar soap is cheaper & lasts longer than shower gel. A three-pack of Ivory costs little more than a $1 at Walmart, with frequent coupons from the P&G Saver (sometimes even $1 off 1, making them nearly free). If you "must" use your favorite shower gel, invest in something like the Axe Detailer (it's cheaper branded as Dove Men) and learn to use small amounts (most people waste the stuff). The same applies to shampoo.... $1-2 will get you a quality shampoo (Suave, Pantene, etc. can frequently be bought in pairs with a coupon at this price). Use small amounts - don't waste!!

-- Stock-up when you see sales on toilet paper, etc.
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usflyer msp
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:49 am

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 45):
For many young men, a HUGE financial drain is the bathroom.

Some examples:
-- Never pay more than $2 for deodorant - and pay attention to product sizing, you should be getting close to 3oz. even at the lowest price levels. You'll frequently find sales (either standalone, or combined with coupons) for less than $1. Avoid temptation to purchase high-cost brands such as Axe -- budget-friendly brands have replicated the scents, anyway.

-- If you see your dentist regularly (twice per year) and brush/floss daily, you'll be able to get buy with a quality, cheap toothbrush and fluoride-based toothpaste (AIM is available nationwide for $1 or less). Use mouthwashes only when directed by the dentist. More expensive products (electronic toothbrushes, whitening toothpastes, whitening strips) offer very, very, very limited benefits at best (if taking care of yourself) and certainly not worth the prices charged.

-- Bar soap is cheaper & lasts longer than shower gel. A three-pack of Ivory costs little more than a $1 at Walmart, with frequent coupons from the P&G Saver (sometimes even $1 off 1, making them nearly free). If you "must" use your favorite shower gel, invest in something like the Axe Detailer (it's cheaper branded as Dove Men) and learn to use small amounts (most people waste the stuff). The same applies to shampoo.... $1-2 will get you a quality shampoo (Suave, Pantene, etc. can frequently be bought in pairs with a coupon at this price). Use small amounts - don't waste!!

-- Stock-up when you see sales on toilet paper, etc.

The young men you know and the young men I know are obviously very different   For us, toiletries have little financial impact. I am a single guy and I am still using up the package of Irish Spring/case of toilet paper I bought 3 years ago. I use the free sample toothbrushes/toothpaste/floss I get from the dentist (I go every 3 mos).

On a more serious note, the best financial decision I ever made was dumping my car. Between mtc, insurance, gas, plus depreciation/car notes I save about $300 per month by taking the public transit plus I get exercise from walking/biking. I realize my lifestyle is not realistic for everyone but the OP could try finding a carpool . I have perusing the Sunday ads and making a shopping list to avoid impulse purchases has saved me quite a bit on groceries. If you dine out, always order water instead of a soft drink or wine (I'm lucky my GF is a cheap as I am) and/or go to establishments where tipping is not necessary.
 
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compensateme
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:13 am

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 46):
The young men you know and the young men I know are obviously very different   For us, toiletries have little financial impact. I am a single guy and I am still using up the package of Irish Spring/case of toilet paper I bought 3 years ago. I use the free sample toothbrushes/toothpaste/floss I get from the dentist (I go every 3 mos).

Unfortunately, many guys live in the world of metrosexuality and believe that dropping $30-$50 each month on everything Axe is going to get them laid by supermodels. Instead of going to Walmart, waiting for the product to go on sale, or using a coupon, they stop at the local drug store and pay "full" retail. 2-2.5oz. bottle of Axe hair gel sells for $8.50-$9.50 at CVS, whereas a 20oz. bottle of LA Looks is $2.50 or less at Walmart. That's like paying $80-$100 for the same look a bottle of hair gel for $2.50 creates (and savy people will buy a generic LA Looks for $1 at DollarTree, or use coupons and get it for free when it goes on sale).
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Kiwirob
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:56 am

Wait until you have a wife, 3 kids, a mortgage, car repayments and all the crap that goes with a family then come back to me, starting out on your own is a piece of cake.
 
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RE: Starting Out On My Own Is Harder Than I Thought.

Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:01 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 48):
come back to me, starting out on your own is a piece of cake.

Hindsight is a bitch, eh?  

Truth be told, I found, in my circle of acquantainces (terrible word btw), that people who have started on their own, with a limited income (i.e. not being supported to 150% by parents during university, and then managing to land a great paying job by connections), fared a LOT better when bigger stuff started coming in.
In the end, it might be that starting out on your own is a piece of cake compared to supporting a family, but the lessons learnt will have immense value.
The light at the end of tunnel turned out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT

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