Move out and thrive! Advice for new graduates.

(Guest Post)

Transitioning from your parent’s home to one of your very own can have its ups and downs, especially if you’re a newly graduated college student and up and coming young professional. Whether you’re moving to the West Coast, East Coast or even out of suburban Denver, CO, new grads need to keep in mind a few things that will make their transition efficient and cheap.

Keep your expectations low! With a wayward economy, new grads need to be open to new horizons. Make sure expectations are low when looking at potential moving areas around the country, don’t automatically assume that you’ll find a cheap penthouse in New York City and land a job that pays $75,000 right off the bat. That takes time and effort. Settle for affordable alternatives when it comes to housing, perhaps getting a roommate will lessen the burden of rent. Keep in mind that you may not be hired directly into upper or middle-management, be prepared to begin as an intern or entry-level employee.

Draft a good plan! Once you find an ideal, yet affordable home, make sure you’ve calculated your total personal monthly expenditure (including food, gas, bills, etc.) and add it to a three- to six-month budget. If you like many new grads have federal student loans, make sure make room in your budget to make timely payments. Because everything that can go wrong will go wrong, it’s always advised to have savings that surpass your expected estimations. This way you’ll have enough money to pay for a broken radiator or that parking ticket you’ve put off paying.

Move in and consolidate! If you’re moving cross-country, or even further than 200 miles, it’s always best to only take what you absolutely need. A rental truck may cost from upwards of $500 just for a two hour drive. If need be, you may want to store the belongings you cannot take with you at your parent’s house (if they decide not to turn your room into a gym) or in a storage facility like Uncle Bob’s in the Denver area. Usually, friends will help you move for free, so make a party out of it, the more friends you invite the easier your moving day will be.

Be frugal! Once you move in, find ways in which you can save. It may be beneficial to invest on a wholesale membership in order to save on home necessities such as toilet paper, bottled water or the famed ramen noodle cups. As far as utilities go, never let the water run longer than it needs to, don’t leave the lights on when no one is home and try to unplug appliances when they’re not being used to prevent costly overcharges.

Thrive! You’ve settled in, you’re right on budget and you’ve gotten yourself an entry-level job, what do you do now? One can never be too prepared or too knowledgeable about living on their own, it’s a continuous process in which new grads find out who they are and explore the limits of their resourcefulness. Always be on the lookout for trends or savings that will help you accumulate your wealth and make the most out of this sacred right of passage. Ultimately, your goal is to stand on your own two feet and thrive.