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Old 12-13-2008, 09:42 PM
 
34 posts, read 116,709 times
Reputation: 16

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Hi there,

I will be graduating from college in May 2009, and I just got a job in Skillman, NJ. I am from Bergen County, and my drive from my parents house is approximately 1hr with little traffic. I have the option to live at home for the first year to get on my feet, however, I want to consider all of my options before I commit to that commute.

I would like to live somewhere between Bergen County (further up north) and Skillman. I am just graduating, so cost is an important factor in my decision.

I also have to consider that I will need to buy a new car because my car is on the frits and is not reliable. I could live at home, purchase a new car, but putting about 35,000 miles per year would depreciate the value of the car exponentially.

Any input is welcome. Thanks.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:52 PM
 
34 posts, read 116,709 times
Reputation: 16
Anyone?
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Old 12-21-2008, 09:20 AM
 
34 posts, read 116,709 times
Reputation: 16
this forum is super helpful, thanks guys...
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:41 AM
 
1,462 posts, read 4,443,496 times
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Sorry, I just saw this just now.

It would help to know what your rental budget is. Also if you want to be closer to Skillman or closer to Bergen. They are pretty far away from each other relatively speaking.
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:48 AM
 
34 posts, read 116,709 times
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To be honest, not totally sure what my budget is (yet). I'd say no more than $800 a month. I would rather have the shorter commute to my job everyday. But, I wouldn't want to put myself further away from Bergen County (than Skillman).
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:23 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
62 posts, read 298,524 times
Reputation: 33
Hey there

Just seeing this post. If you want to be north of Skillman but close by and want affordable rent try looking in some of the smaller towns in Somerset County. Also, in Montgomery, Pike Run, offers affordable housing so if that is an option then you may want to find out if there is a waiting list and get your name on it. That is a relatively new development and the apartments look nice and would be close to your work. Smaller towns of Somerville, Manville, Raritan - have many older homes that have been converted to two families or apartments. Somerville has a large apartment complex called Brookside. Check out the prices in the area. Somerville would be around 20 - 30 minutes to Skillman and it is right near 202/206, 287, 78 for commuting north.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:23 AM
 
1,462 posts, read 4,443,496 times
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Piece of advice - start saving your deposit now.

I lived in South Brunswick for about 1000/month. That's close to Skillman + access to the Turnpike to get up to Bergen county.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:35 PM
 
1,977 posts, read 7,337,310 times
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I say commute. You dont need a new car. Just a reliable one. Build your nestegg.

10 years ago I would tell you exactly the opposite. Get out on your own and be responsible for your own destiny. These days, its just too damn expensive. Get yourself an offlease or pre-owned honda or some such. Give some money to your parents and help them out, or at least send them on a HUGE vacation. Then start saving every penny you can so that when youve established yourself you will go out on your own with little to no debt and a nice little pile of money to make the transition as painless as possible while not breaking the bank.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Splitting time between Dayton, NJ and Needmore, PA
1,185 posts, read 3,826,683 times
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Okay, this is going to probably sound like your father talking, but here goes. When I was an academic dean and advising students who were graduating, I would tell them the following:

Look at your debt first. Student loans, credit card balances, any liens banks may have against you. If you don't have any of these, you are very fortunate. If you do have these things, I know it sounds weird, but before you start looking for a place to live, figure out how much debt you need to pay down. Also look carefully at the terms of the loans to see if there are minimum amounts you need to pay and when you need to start paying. This is going to be the biggest monster that eats into your net salary first. And it will either happen now when you have some control over it or later when your wages are garnished as part of an arbiter's or judge's decision. Better to make the effort now to get this paid down ASAP instead of having it screw up things in the future. Also, it is best to get this off your credit score ASAP so when you do want to buy a home, a new car, etc., you will get a much better rate.

Once you know the amount of debt you need to pay off, you need to look at your gross and net salary. As RobRiguez said, "Build your nest egg." Save as much as you can now and put it to work in an aggressive savings plan as in a 401(k) and a money market account. If the company you are going to be working for offers a 401(k) program, go for it. Try to have the amounts taken out pre-tax. Likewise, for any health benes, you should be able to have that taken out pre-tax as well.

As for your initial question ... An hour+ commute everyday from Bergen County to Skillman would not be fun. I think looking apartments around Montgomery, Hillborough, South Brunswick, Kendall Park (part of SB), or even Plainsboro would all be options. As Sweep said, "Start saving money for your deposit now."

Obviously, just keep in mind your net salary needs to not only pay down your debt, but also your rent and your utilities (electric, gas, call phone, cable (unless you can do without), Internet access) and your car payments and your insurance and your food bills. Plus it has to give you something to put into your own savings outside of any package the company may offer, even if it just $250 a month you are putting away initially.

As for the car issue, I would definitely look at getting a reliable daily driver that has nominal miles on it. Look at the ones just coming off lease, especially with the new year coming round as lots are going to show up on lots, and they are going to need to get rid of them fast with all the issues in their niche right now. You may even want to take a look at some of the used car dealers as well that offer cars through vehix.com, autotrader.com, and cars.com.

Yeah, way long post. Still, I hope this helps.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:45 PM
 
835 posts, read 1,074,279 times
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Plainsboro NJ, its the cheapest and nicest area close to skillman, I use to work at Bristol myers squibb on orchard rd and commuted from Plainsboro in Ravens crest.
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