Advice for a fur making a move to her first home? +horror stories?

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14 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

-goes to vent on forums- why are apartments so expensive T~T im so broke.... my last job i made $8/hr and i really dont have any1 i trust enough for a roomate... im a terrible roommate anyway... Any suggestions on making my first move out my family's home? Should I get a credit card... How about any do's/Dont's for roommate-ing....

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D_Duncan's picture
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Be very careful with credit cards. They are great to build credit with, but if you're careless they will destroy you. If you do get a credit card make sure that you NEVER carry a balance and ALWAYS pay it off in full every month, no exceptions. And NEVER think of a credit card as a source of a loan.

I don't have any roommate experience, but with apartments you just have to figure out your budget and look accordingly. Figure out how much you make every month after taxes and how much money you need to live (food, entertainment, savings, etc.) and hopefully what you have left is enough for an apartment. If not then you might need to rearrange your budgets or maybe someone can chime in on how to find a good roommate to help share costs.

Good luck.

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Malcolm the Bear's picture
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If you get a roommate (and at little better than minimum wage, you'll likely have to), BE SURE that ANYONE with whom you enter a financial contract is responsible enough to hold up their end of the deal, because their mistakes can end up affecting YOUR credit on a joint contract.

 

Ideally, rent/mortgage should cost no more than 25-30% of your TOTAL monthly income, and yes, that INCLUDES utilities.  I know first hand how difficult it is to achieve this ideal range with minimum-wage paying positions.  However, this site has a LOT of helpful tips on what you can do to keep your expenses down overall:  Frugal Living

 

Also, don't be afraid to look into assistance resources, such as Food Banks, The United Way, and other organizations.  Don't let pride get in the way of doing what you need to do to keep your head above water.  Remember that we're a social species that rely on each other to survive and grow, despite our own society's emphasis on independence and self-reliance.

If you're looking to build credit, getting utilities in your name and keeping good on those for a year can help.  Also, while they may have higher interest rates, you could look into getting a secured card.  If you budget well and track your finances accurately, you should be able to keep a habit of using a secured card for some of your monthly expenses, then paying it off in full at the end of each month.  From my own research, I've learned that building good credit with a credit card (even a secured card) involves never having more than 10-25% of your max limit charged to your card and paying it off in full each month.

There are plenty of scam sites out there that will happily take your money to track your own credit, but here are 100% FREE resources where you can do the same--no trials that charge you later, no hidden surprises.  Just free, accurate credit checking, as I feel we should all have for our own credit:

 Experian: www.creditsesame.com

TransUnion: www.creditkarma.com

Equifax:  www.quizzle.com

 

 Credit Report: www.annualcreditreport.com

 Please note that every US citizen is allowed by law one free copy of their own credit report per year, but if you want additional reports within the year, it will cost you.  This is a useful tool you can use to see if there are any problematic areas in your credit as well as if there's any fraudulent activity you need to correct with the appropriate reporting bureau.  Also, I would advise not checking your credit scores TOO often, because change due to activity can take time to reflect in your scores.  I check mine once every 6 months.

The last tidbit I'll offer is this:  Before you move out, set aside extra funds for all those peripherals you won't automatically think of after moving in.  A trash bin.  A broom.  A plunger.  Wall hooks for framed pictures and art.  Additional costs to moving (gas, mover's expenses or even just a pizza and some suds for your friends who might help you move), security deposit, pet deposit, first/last month's rent, etc.

Best of luck. 

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hello

 

GokuTheOmegaMale's picture
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On the credit card note, they can be OK in the short term to carry a balance since it will improve your credit score, but it can very easy for even the most financially diciplined person to get over their head (i'm a case in point) with the amount of money you could have access to. Suze Orman has some good ways on how to live in the short term on credit, as long as you expect to have a job that pays well in the future. My rule of thumb is to live only on what is necessary to subsist on a daily basis (meals at home, basic utilites, etc.), whether you pay cash or use credit. Don't make the same mistake I made and be in denial about debt if you do choose to use credit- I shot myself in the paw and i'm still recovering...

Roommates are a touch and go prospect- you could move in with your best friend and it could be hell living with them, or have a good expirience with a total stranger. When I moved out to Pittsburgh, I didn't know any of the three people i'm rooming with, and the risk paid off since I get along with all of them quite well. Use your best judgment before making a commitment with anybody; I will advocate living with a roommate because it will reduce costs and will encourage you to be social, but assess the risk before signing a lease with anybody.

Last, plan for the unexpected- i've been on my own for nearly three years after moving out of my father's apartment and while things have been good for the most part, there are so many variables that could stress you out if they aren't taken in stride, whether you choose to live alone or with roommates.

Plan throughly before you make the move and everything will work out- I wish you luck as you take this step!

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PensivePixie (not verified)

still reading the comments while i play borderlands, thanks so much for the input C: but, before I forget again, something I didnt mention... most of my friends.... are guys...... have any of you had problems with the opposite sex being a roommate?

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GokuTheOmegaMale's picture
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Haven't had the expirience, but I have had friends of mine had successful roommates of the opposite sex-- just make sure that there are clear boundaries if you choose to live with a guy (cleanliness, hygiene, personal space, etc.) You would have to touch these subjects with anybody you would consider moving with, but i'd really drive the point for anybody choosing to live a person of the other gender.

Not to strereotype men, but we could be quite messy (i'm fairly anal about cleaning on a routine basis). I'm still reeling about finding about six coffee cans (that were full!) of used bacon grease in the kitchen when I first moved in and cleaned the kitchen before I started working full time in Pennsylvania.

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Roommate experiences vary from person to person. The best advice I can give you is this: If you have an issue with something your roommate says or does, address it directly. Passive-aggressive comments often lead to misunderstandings, and not dealing with the problem just allows resentment to fester. It's definitely better to have a little bit of discomfort now than to have a lot of it later.

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PensivePixie (not verified)

wow thanks this is definitely way more advice than i couldve gotten outta my mom "idk Pix, thats up to you" xD

see when it comes to roommate stereotypes, im the oddball messy one.... BUT Im big on having a tidy livong room and kitchen just my room has no limits  Sweatdrop/embarrassed would the "work together" concept be a good or bad one... should every1 just worry about "this is your plate, you wash it" or is it best to have a "i'll cook, you wash dishes, i'll put them away" kinda thing....

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Malcolm the Bear's picture
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I think that working together is better overall, because it fosters a stronger sense of community within your household.  Your roommate(Drunk and you understand that you're all together and working to build and maintain good relations with one another, instead of just being strangers occupying the same building for fiscal convenience.

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hello

 

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When it comes to credit cards, don't spend money you don't have.  Because once you owe money to credit card companies, they own you.  Any purchase you make while carrying a balance will accrue interest from day one, making it that much harder to get out of debt.

 

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PensivePixie (not verified)

you guise have better and more advice than i extra appreciate all of it. what if i dont apply for shools, is it harder to find a credit card that fits my life style? aka buying groceries n junk?

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GokuTheOmegaMale's picture
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School has relatively little bearing on getting a credit card- there are a few factors that will weigh fairly heavily on whether or not you can get a credit card and subsequently, how much they will give you access to:

  • Your age
  • Bills in your name
  • Public records (Bankruptcy, liens, child support, tax evasion etc.)
  • Length of accounts in your name

If you have nothing on your record because you're just starting out, it may be a little difficult for you to get a card because you're assumed a risk because you have no credit. I would apply for a card at a local bank (in person) or get a secure card where you're required to put a nominal deposit because of your lack of credit. Whatever you do, do not send 50 applications to random card companies and hope for one or two. Eveytime you open a line of credit (or open a cell phone account, apply for a loan, get car insurance, submit an application for a lease), there is a "hard inquiry" that gets put on to your credit report. Having a few on your credit report every year is normal, but having a high number in a short period of time can be a bad sign because it can show credit entities that you are desparate, for lack of a better word. If one or two banks reject you, wait about a month or two and pay cash, then try again- once you have more practice, the credit game can be pretty fun since it dictates a lot of you're future as long as you play your cards right and are responsible from the beginning.

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http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-things-everyone-forgets-to-check-when-apartment-hunting/   This. All of this.

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PensivePixie (not verified)

I can't read it?

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Buy things right the first time.  You save money saving up and buying a higher quality item that you don' t soon have to replace.  Sometimes its better to just no have something than to buy a junk version.  We just didn't have a dining-room table until we were able to acquire one locally made of solid wood to last a life-time.

 

Check freecycle.  Look for free things to fill in gaps.

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