Moving away from home for the first time can be a challenge for teenagers. However, the new responsibility of living alone will present you with the opportunity for personal and financial development. Whether you are pursuing a new job in another state or moving to a college campus nearby, you should plan your move in advance while taking advantage of strategies that will save you time and money.
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Always plan a budget. Prior to moving into your new place, get an estimate of your monthly costs. Call the cable, phone, water, electric and sewage companies and ask questions on the process of starting new service. Find out if they require that new customers have an extensive credit history in order to set up an account, and whether they require a deposit. You should know the answers to these questions prior to moving. A budget will also tell you how much your roommate will be required to pay each month. If you are currently working, determine if your income is sufficient to cover monthly costs.
You may find it tempting to eat out every day after realising your are responsible for your own home cooked meals. The excuse of not having groceries or not knowing how to cook are two common complaints. However, planning meals will save you time and money in the long run. Shop for groceries similar to those your parents purchased at home so you feel comfortable with what is in the kitchen. If you have a favourite meal that you don't know how to prepare from scratch, a frozen dinner is a viable alternative.
When the power goes out or a water main breaks in the gutter near the front door, you should have a list of emergency numbers on hand to call. Teens moving out for the first time are unlikely to know which department or company handles each issue, so creating a list of all the possible vendors you may need for various emergencies helps to keep you safe in the long run. Keeping records also includes filing away household bills in a place that is easy to access. Read each bill for accuracy and keep track of payments made.
Roommates help reduce expenses by splitting important living expenses such as rent, bills and other household costs. Consider having one or more roommates until you become financially secure. Roommates help you to reduce the stress of managing household finances alone. Also, another person living in your house is the closest arrangement to being at home with family since there is always someone else in the home. Select a roommate with traits similar to your own to create a safe, comfortable environment. Ask family friends with teens in the same age range for roommate suggestions, or post an ad in the classifieds and screen tenants in the same age range. Screening strangers should be done with the help of your parents.
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