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Old 04-05-2011, 09:41 PM
 
3 posts, read 1,690 times
Reputation: 13
Default Living on our own!

Me and my gf (18yo's) decided to move out together and we are looking for a little information. We both plan on moving out after 5 months of saving every penny we get (we both live with parents and only pay for insurance and gas at the moment).

We both work 30 hours on average and she makes $7.25 and I make $7.50 an hour. We both have cars paid in full from our parents (reliable cars), our insurance is $40.00 a month for each car.

We are wanting to move to Goodlettsville which is less then 2 minutes away from both our work. The rent is going to cost 615 a month and that's with water (if we get the apartment we want).

We are trying to figure out how much its going to cost for gas, electricity, water (just in case), food, cable, and internet. How much does it cost to get it all turned on? We both will be keeping a tight budget and making sure to cut back as much as possible on electricity, gas, and water (we are not wasteful).

My family will keep me on they're cell phone plan but we aren't sure about her family so we also need to figure out how much a cell phone would cost for her.

We both are wanting to go to college and I plan on getting a 2nd job since we are thinking it wont be enough income.

We could use all the help we can get. Thanks
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,301 posts, read 4,143,123 times
Reputation: 2250
Don't move in with a girl when you're 18. This is the time of your life to have fun and keep your options open. I'm 28 and know plenty of people my age and older who got married and/or co-habitated in their late teens and early twenties, and every one of them regrets it. Now they are trying to re-claim their youth as 30-year-olds, and it just isn't the same.

Not to mention the fact that you have a tough road ahead if you are going to try to maintain a household AND go to college on a minimum wage income, not even working full-time hours.

My advice is to think about what you're good at and what you want to do in life, and focus all your energy right now on training for that career, whether that means college, trade school, diesel college, or whatever. That, and chasing girls like an 18-year-old guy is supposed to do.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
1,284 posts, read 2,050,296 times
Reputation: 621
There's some good advice in there. I have two sons in their 20's and both have tried living with girls; both girlfriends and "just roommates". My 25 year old son says he won't ever live with another female until he's married! LOL
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:56 AM
 
31 posts, read 35,916 times
Reputation: 28
As sweet as your plan sounds I have to agree with the other posters...I married my high school sweetheart (we are now 31) and its great but when we lived together as young adults it really ruined the fun we should have been having...and we were already in college with our housing allowance paying our rent. You have your whole life to be a "grown up" and believe me if you start too young you will do exactly as stated above...spend your 30's trying to reclaim your youth. And I don't mean you should be "chasing girls" I just think you need to stay kind of free...live with some guys if you want to move out...building those relationships will be incredibly beneficial to you someday. Girls like guys with friends, girls with a group of girlfriends tend to be happier and have better self esteem...you owe it to yourself and to her to get your youth fufilled before you settle down...trust me!! I have seen it end badly A LOT!! Sorry to sound like an old lady but I really wish I had listened to that advice when I was 20 and moved in with my now husband. We both missed out on good stuff and either way we'd have ended up together but I doubt I'd be going to Vegas every six months with my best friend if I had moved into the sorority house instead of into his apartment.
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
6,071 posts, read 8,689,803 times
Reputation: 7806
if your plannign on getting aplace with your 'sweetheart" some things i would suggest.
1: make sure you can carry it ON YOUR OWN (on both sides of the equation) one of you could loose your job, or (not that i want you too) you could decide to break up...in which case, who gets the apartment, can you afford to stay?
remember most rentals require some kind of contract and untill that contract is through at least one of you is going to be responsible for the rent...

2: get someplace big enough for both of you to have seperate spaces ( ie a 2 bedroom) if things go sour and one of you moves out, theres the option to get a roommate.

personally i have no problem with "young people" living together...
but even long term relationships that are sunshine and lollipops can crash and burn...
i was in a 6 year long relationship, we were legally domestic partners...but he decided he wanted more (open relationship) at that point and i wasnt willing to share him with other women so it ended...

it can happen to the best, so please do NOT get an apartment based on the "well be together forever" mentality...
living together in itself can be stressfull enough to destroy a relationship...and having the stree of knowing if things dont work your stuck can make things even worse.

in terms fo your other questions...
im looking at moving to tn and have found some cities list their rates for gas, water and sewer rates on their websites under their utilities information (if not they list contact info) you can certainly look it up or call the areas utility dept and see what the current rate if for the area as well as average use for an apart of the size your looking for and do a little math to get a good idea

i knwo here in ct they suggest having a minimum of DOUBLE the rent comming in each month just to cover utilities and rent...
i also know tn is a LOT cheaper compared so mabe you could go less...but id definatly get serious about setting up a budget, figure out exactly how much you have comming in, exactly how much you have going out in insurance, gas for the cars, taxes ect, then plug in rent, and a general estimate for utilities (you can usually find average usage with a quick google search for the zip code) and see where you stand.

i also want to say while the idea of working 2 jobs and going to schol may SOUND doable, i have a friend trying to do just that, she has NO life, she has NO money, she never has time to spend with her fiancee, she gets up at 5am, goes to work, then goes to job #2 untill 8-9pm, then home where she has to make her dinner, and eat while online doign her classes, shes not in bed untill after midnight, she gets "social time" MABE once a month...
the days shes not working both jobs are the days she spends cleaning, doing laundry ect...

1 full time job and school would be the max for a normal person to handle at one time in my opinion so their heads dont explode.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Hendersonville, TN
2,832 posts, read 3,402,396 times
Reputation: 1666
Some valid points, but I'll take a stab at answering the questions irrespective of personal belief.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mscar111 View Post
We are trying to figure out how much its going to cost for gas, electricity, water (just in case), food, cable, and internet. How much does it cost to get it all turned on? We both will be keeping a tight budget and making sure to cut back as much as possible on electricity, gas, and water (we are not wasteful).
Let me preface this by saying I don't pay the bills in my house...my wife does, so I could be way off on these projections. Let me also preface this by saying don't use credit cards. If you're tight on cash it is easy to over-rely on them and the next thing you know you're in a world of hurt.

A lot of it depends on square footage and, of course, how you use these utilities. That's definitely something you should discuss ahead of time...are you a "Heat on 74 in the winter, air on 68 in the summer" person and she's the opposite, etc. My wife and I still have these little struggles all the time and we've been together for awhile.

That said, gas is converse to electricity. Your gas bill will be higher in winter and lower in summer. Likewise, electricity will be higher in summer, lower in winter. For a modest apartment (I'm going to guess 600-700 sq ft) I'd guess gas would be about $100/month at the peak months assuming reasonable usage and probably $5-10/month during the summer. Electricity during the summer would be a little more expensive probably...$100-125. In the winter it might drop down to $30-50 just because your appliances are electric.

Cable...for no internet the basic package is probably about $60-70/month. With internet it will be about $110-120. You might also look to see if your apartment allows satellite dishes because you might get a better rate with a dish. Comcast has great deals on the cable and internet signup...and usually give a great 6 month rate...then sock it to you on the back end. Just beware of that.

Groceries...for 2 people you can probably budget $100/week. Maybe $75/week if you're frugal or if you're planning on eating out. I suggest checking online for coupon sites...you can really catch some great deals if you buy in bulk and use coupons.

Water is probably the cheapest utility...which is why a lot of apartments will pay it as a perk. Total stab in the dark here...but I'd guess $15-20/month.

You also need to budget for savings/emergency fund. Your car is going to need oil/brakes/tires or worse...you might have your hours cut back...etc. You need to have at least several months' worth of expenses saved. 6 months is usually the ideal amount.

Quote:
My family will keep me on they're cell phone plan but we aren't sure about her family so we also need to figure out how much a cell phone would cost for her.
You can probably get a stripped down, no frills plan as low as $30-40 a month. But a more reasonable plan (especially if you plan on calling during peak hours and texting) would probably be more like $65-75.

Quote:
We both are wanting to go to college and I plan on getting a 2nd job since we are thinking it wont be enough income.

We could use all the help we can get. Thanks
It will be tough...but it can be done. From a financial and practical standpoint, you defintely need to have some real conversations with your girlfriend about budgeting and sticking to the budget. Be a budget hawk. Pay cash for everything and avoid credit cards like the plague. I'd also suggest reading Dave Ramsay's book Financial Peace. I don't agree with all of his points, but as far as budgeting goes he's dead-on. It's a great book for someone starting out.

I would definitely keep everything short term if possible. No one wants you to break up or anything, but the reality is that you need to plan for contingencies like a breakup. If you sign a 2 year lease because it's cheaper and a year from now you aren't together or can't make it work...you'll have some VERY tough decisions to make...decisions that can really wreck your finances and credit, not to mention your personal life. You can break a lease...but it is extremely costly. So short term is the better option if possible.

And in case you didn't read me earlier. Just say no to credit cards.

I do wish you the best of luck and hope it all works out for you. Goodlettsville is a great area to live in.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
1,284 posts, read 2,050,296 times
Reputation: 621
Good job Don. I couldn't stop being a mom long enough to think about any answers!
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
6,071 posts, read 8,689,803 times
Reputation: 7806
just a side note here...
i said nO to credit cards and it has HURT me in the long run because i now have limited standard credit history...
since you dont have the benefit of paying for your own car, ect you pretty much have no REAL credit...
so my suggestion is, get at least 1 low interest credit card and use it EVERY month BUT use it wisely and pay it off in full EACH billing period...
credit companies like to see activity, im told they dont realy care as much about how much you put on it each time, but thye like to see activity and on time payments.

that is of course if your planning on trying to buld some credit while your at it...(ie you plan to buy a house one day)
if not, i agree avoid credit cards like the plauge, for some folks they are just too tempting, too "easy" and easily get you in trouble!
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:54 AM
 
Location: East Nashville, 37206
1,038 posts, read 1,627,231 times
Reputation: 1049
You definitely need to sit down & work out a budget as your number one priority. According to my calculations, a $615 apartment is out of your price range. You'd be much better off in a $400 a mo. situation, but then quality of life issues might come into play once you go too low for rent.

Basically if you're collectively earning $14.75/hr. & only work 30 hours a week then you're left with around $1500/mo. after taxes.

Let's say this:

Rent including water: $615
Gas (I don't have gas so I'm not exactly sure): $50
Modest amt of electricity: $70
Car Insurance:$80
Cheap Cell for her: $35
Modest amt of gas for your cars: $320
Modest food budget for 2: $400

This put's you at $1570 right here & those are all very modest figures & there is no wiggle room for luxuries like cable & internet let alone ever going to the dentist or getting an oil change.

I'm certainly not one to talk though, I moved out of my parents house as soon as I turned 18 & only had a part-time $7.40 an hour job at a dry cleaner in Goodlettsville & no car

I survived by eating about $10 worth of cheap fruit & vegetables every week from Artrips Market & staying with my friend's family for 8 months while she was off at college. I bought a 1988 Volvo & was on my way. But what I didn't have was a TV, a cell phone, furniture, money or a hot social life there for awhile. But my mental state was always positive & I worked hard & saved money, didn't go into debt & by the time I was 21 I upgraded to a nice Land Rover that I paid for myself & bought a house by myself at 22. I beat the odds & no one ever would have thought that when I was essentially homeless just a few years before that I would be able to do all of that on my own. So it can be done, you still can be successful, but you have a lot of struggles & dark days ahead of you if you move out on your own so you need to ask yourself what your motivation is & how bad you want it because I don't think love would have been enough to get me through that. My motivation was that I had to make it because I didn't have any alternatives.

Just food for thought.

Courtney
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Hendersonville, TN
2,832 posts, read 3,402,396 times
Reputation: 1666
Well said Courtney.
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