Budget first step to moving out

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 Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

By Tim Hernandez

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Moving out is a big deal, college students moving out on their own need to be prepared to budget, plan and make special considerations.

First, you have to create a budget and set realistic expectations for rent and other recurring expenses and decide how much of your budget you’re willing to commit to those expenses.

This first step toward life style independence is paramount to a successful change of address and financial stability is crucial to making that dream a reality.

You might think you will be fine living in a tiny apartment, subsisting on ramen noodles, but the late psychologist, Dr. Abraham Maslow, would disagree with you, according to an article in Simple Psychology.

“Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one need is fulfilled, a person seeks to fulfill the next one, and so on. One must satisfy lower-level basic needs before progressing on to meet higher-level growth needs,” the article reads.

After determining your budget, you can look for a new home.

Rent will usually be the most expensive item on the budget.

Apartment rentals almost always include the first and last months’ rent and a hefty deposit for the better places to live.

Not all apartment properties include utilities in the monthly rent.

If the rent for the apartment property you want does not include utilities, you will need to re-evaluate the situation or revise your budget.

San Antonio Water System requires a Texas driver’s license or ID, a verifiable address, the date the service is to begin, and a deposit between $50 and $86.

The deposit is based on your address.

If after looking for an apartment you find yourself unable to afford a location you would like to live at and don’t want to lower your standards, you may consider taking on a roommate.

The next step is to go shop for initial pantry and cabinet stock.

You’ll want to take a note pad and head to the grocery store, creating a price comparison of your favorite foods and necessities.

Take into consideration how you will prepare the food, how long the food will last, and how often you’ll need to by those items.

It’s important to be honest with yourself.

This may burst your bubble, but while some people would like to believe they can survive on nothing, the truth is many of us live in suburban areas and living off the land is not a viable option.

Remember that not all of these items will be bought on a regular basis and so it is best to separate them into groups by how often you need to buy them.

Keep this list handy for shopping trips in the future.

Budgeting, shopping and apartment hunting is a lot to take in, but don’t forget about entertainment and recreation.

Make a list separating your favorite activities based on regularity, the same way you did your foods and beverages but also further separate them by whether they are an at-home activity or going-out activity.

Once your list is complete, do your research.

For at-home activities, determine if there is any additional cost, if there are, you need to enter the amount on the appropriate line.

Remember entertainment activities like cable television, renting movies, pay-per-view, and other media like these add up.

Some apartment complexes provide cable television, but don’t count on it when preparing your budget.

For going out, you will need to call venues and gather pricing information.

When it comes to entertainment, make sure to budget extra money for those times when something unexpected comes up.

Also include unexpected home and vehicular repairs in your budget.

Planning for this is difficult because you never know when things will go wrong, but they will go wrong.

The best thing to do with this budget line is to put money aside each month.

Money that isn’t used should be put in a savings account.

Setting money aside is a good idea so when the automobile oil leak happens you have something already saved up toward the expense.

When those bad things happen, it’s always a nice to know that you don’t have to pay a big charge on a credit card or take out an emergency loan.

There are many free sources of information for the moving-out-on-your-own first timer.

A few Internet searches will reveal a wealth of knowledge, but as in all else Internet-related, a person has to be willing to dive deep for the pearls.

Here is a useful website to help you plan your move: http://www.realestate.com.au/blog/a-first-timers-guide-to-moving-out-on-your-own/.

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