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For the grown folks, what advice would you give to your adult child who is about to move out?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Family<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 April 2014) 9 Answers - (Newest, 1 May 2014)
A female United States age 26-29, *zzygurl writes:

Hey everyone, I just graduated from nursing school and I'm 18 years old and I got a job as a licensed practical nurse, it's feels great and I make a decent pay check :) but I'm thinking about moving out of my former guardians home because I'm not happy being there because I feel like she took advantage of my situation when I was a minor, and me not having no biological family. It's complicated, if you've been reading my previous post you'll know what I'm talking about. me and my friend are moving in together and both splitting the bills, any advise would be highly appreciated, like how is it out there ? Is it hard like my guardian told me? What should I expect? I never really got advise about being independent and stuff like that so I just need a heads up from all the grown folks out there, thanks :)

P.s: be honest, just talk to me like you're talking to one your kids about stuff like that lol.

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A female reader, Caring Aunty A Australia +, writes (1 May 2014):

Caring Aunty A agony auntApart from the excellent advice you’ve been given by our Aunts and Uncles… I’ve read your previous posts and your Guardian is correct; it is harder out there… Yet she prepared you for that in some ways when she started to take advantage of you as a minor; with your Fathers Insurance money and Car repayments etc. The only difference is you won’t know who will do it to you next!? There are sharks out there that’ll prey on the vulnerable.

However your mind is set to move out when I surmise; you just barely have the savings to move? Hopefully you’re not thinking of using your Fathers gifted money on this independence? I also wonder who this friend is; male or female; you’re moving in with together? As I wouldn’t dare think of living with a boyfriend at this stage!

For me I’d grin and bear it a little while longer with your Guardian, if she’ll have you, in order to save as much money as I can before moving out. This way you’ll be taking advantage of her this time; cheaper rent etc.

Take Care – CAA

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2014):

1. Don't move in with a boyfriend unless you've been together for AT LEAST a year.

2. Read the book "Taking Charge of Your Fertility".

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A male reader, BrownWolf Canada +, writes (1 May 2014):

BrownWolf agony aunt

Lots of folks will tell you all about money...Good advice. But DO NOT neglect yourself. Know when to turn off your phone, TV, Computer, and so on. Take a vacation, a real vacation. Laugh… a lot. Love everything and every day you wake up…some are not so fortunate. When you get paid, buy something for yourself…even if it’s an ice cream cone. Do not spend all you time trying to get rich…you can’t take it with you into the hereafter.

Do not make enemies, love those who love you, and have pity on those who don’t know how to love. Speak up for those who can’t, and treat everyone with the same respect…rich or poor, boss or fellow employee. These things money cannot buy.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2014):

My advice is simple: save, save, save, and save some more. Put some of that money aside in a rainy day fund. Put some of it towards a retirement account. Further, put some of it in other investments. Save as much as you can so you have it to go towards whatever you decide to do next--get married, buy a house, have kids, whatever.

Also, I would recommend doing what you can to start building credit if you have not done so. Pay your student loans on time, credit card bills on time, and any other bills on time. As it pertains to credit cards, do not obtain more than one at this time and only put on it what you know you can pay off each month. These simple things should help you build a great credit score over time.

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A male reader, CMMP United States +, writes (1 May 2014):

Get on birth control and use condoms.

Otherwise not much because I would have spent their lifetime preparing them.

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A female reader, Atsweet1 United States +, writes (30 April 2014):

Atsweet1 agony auntEnjoy life I left home early to. Got married young divorce.now but it can work. Its been.hards days and good days in my life cycle I perfer at this time to be single and independent free agent so to speak cause I.had hard times with people and I need.to grow as a individual. But saving.is important and building credit also paying bills.on time is essential it will work out well. You can also look back into being a RN. To better yourself also.

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A male reader, C. Grant Canada +, writes (30 April 2014):

C. Grant agony auntCongratulations on graduating -- that sounds like quite the accomplishment at 18.

It's hard to imagine trying to give advice all at once, when I've been trying to spoon it out to my kids over a space of years. Yes, it is hard out there. I remember being quite surprised at the cost of little things -- toothpaste, lettuce -- when I first got out on my own. A budget is your friend -- keep careful track of how much you're bringing in and how much is going out. It's important to have money put aside for genuine emergencies. It's important to save generally. Without family you're more dependent on yourself than many, and that means retirement in particular. If you can start putting aside $20 per week now you'll be way ahead of the folks who start at age 30 or 40.

While you'll be tempted to bust loose and enjoy your new freedom, keep in mind that your first obligation is to your employer -- with the tough job market these days there are fewer second chances if you screw up. Over time you'll learn to balance work and the need to 'have a life', and of course the latter is very important. But until you get there, err on the side of working too hard.

Work out in advance a set of rules with your roommate. Who pays for what? Who cleans what and when? What about visitors? Be very careful of signing contracts or leases jointly.

Good luck!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 April 2014):

So I'm only 24, so I'll give you advice that if I could go back in time I would give myself! I left my actual home at 17, and was kindly given a home with my boyfriend - and now husbands - family. (Too long a story to even explain that). My bf and I got our place when we were 18.

Before you leave, SAVE SAVE SAVE! It's incredibly hard to save for any emergency once you've got the responsibility of bills. Save enough money so if you lost your job, or become ill, you could pay for at least 2 months worth of bills - then save a bit extra just incase your car needs repairs or some other random expense! Then when you have that money do not touch it - keep it saved!!

No matter how well you budget, and even if you've created a little in comings and outgoings spread sheet somehow there is always a difference haha! So just keep an eye on your bank account as the month goes by! I totally recommend having a joint account with your friend where you each deposit half of all the bills as soon as you get paid and don't have any cards on the account. It's just for bills. At whatever point in the month both your contributions are in - have as many of the bills go out. If it's all paid ASAP it can't get spent by mistake and also you have a much better idea of what money you have left for your food, and still try and save where you can!

Don't let "friends" take advantage of you having a place of your own. Agree with your house mate times that suit you both to have people over and stick to it - that was easier for me as me and my bf generally had the same attitude but you don't want to get annoyed with your friend if they have people over every night (or vice versa!) and if there's an agreement then it can always be referred to. People will think they can turn up and crash every Friday or Saturday night when actually it's not always cool!

Don't be afraid if it actually becomes to much to ask to go back to your guardians. Once me and my husband had our place - loads of friends thought it looked easy and tried it themselves. But it's hard when it feels like everyone is going out and your stuck in on a Friday night as you're waiting for pay day and some of our friends ended up going into overdrafts and spending on credit cards. They should've admitted defeat as if they'd just gone back to live at home their debt wouldn't have been half as bad! I worked for a financial institution so was well aware of the perils of credit cards so take my advice - don't get one! If you do get an overdraft then only have a "buffer", say 50 quid that's there just incase you need food or pay a bill and try not to go into it regularly.

Most of all, have fun! Don't let life get too serious and still make sure you make the most of having your own place. If there are times you can't afford to go out but really want to have a get together - get all your mates to bring some food/drink each and have a dinner together with all your contributions! Be careful with your money but don't let it rule you - if you get into good habits you should escape the stress lots of people have. Hopefully your good enough friends with your housemate that there is no troubles there. There will be days they annoy you and you'll annoy them but that's just life! Good luck!!!

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 April 2014):

Honeypie agony auntWell, first of all congratulations on getting a job :)

Secondly, Make sure you sit down with the friends you plan to move in with BEFORE moving in and set some rules. Dishes, food, bills, money. MAKE sure everyone is on board with these rules. That will be rules like having BF/GF's over, parties, bathroom rules, who cleans what (or just make a simple chore schedule).

WRITE them down, all sign them.

My suggestion is that you ALL either SHARE all food bills or keep your stuff separate. Having been in a room mate situation I'm a big fan of having my OWN fridge. And NOT sharing.

Make sure you CAN afford you share. Talk about internet/cable. It's not exactly cheap. (I'd say $100 a month for both - consider wi-fi maybe?)

Thirdly, make a budget. I would for 1 person guess you would need about $120-150 a month for food, If you are smart you buy a CHEAP cell phone plan (they have those $40-50) a month with unlimited call and text instead of a bigger/fancier plan/phone.

Look around Thrift-stores/Second hand store for smaller furniture/ you can pick up some plates/forks/pot & pans cheat that way to. To start out with.

SAVE up money. PUT as much money aside EACH month for rainy days. It can be tempting to buy stuff you don't need instead of saving up. Take my advice, and save up. A Coach purse will not feed you or pay the bills. (I bought a pair of $250 kid-leather shoes when I first moved out and well, that meant.... I had to live on Ramin the rest of the month lol. I still have the shoes though 20 years later lol.

TRY and avoid eating out. (IT is expensive and will add up fast).

If you have problems with your room-mate/friend TALK to her. Don't let things go bad because you don't want to bring up issues. And don't let a room-mate walk all over you.

Keep your place neat. If you walk past a dirty cup/plate (even if it isn't yours) pick it up, wash it off and put it away - if it was your room-mates make sure you tell her to do the same (see the #1 advice on house rules).

Remember to lock your house when you leave for work. I say this because I didn't do that every time when I first moved out. I came from a small-ish town where people really didn't lock their doors.

Learn to cook simple dishes. Considering making a double batch and freeze in smaller containers so you don't HAVE to cook daily.

It's not really HARD to live alone. It just take some getting used to.

YOU can do it.

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