Friday, January 8, 2010

Moving out?

I have a friend who wants to move out of her mom's house, and she's looking for room mates. I would love to move out of my parent's house, and want to be one of her room mates. But the more I think about it, the more things I realize need to be taken into consideration.

1) I'm not going anywhere without my cat. So if we're room mates, that limits where we can move.

2) Money. How much will rent cost? Utilities? Groceries?

3) Will I be able to pay my share with the job I have?

4) If the answer to the previous question is no, then there's another question: With my school schedule and homework, will I be able to pick up a second job?

5) Health care. Will I be able to stay on my mom's insurance?

6) If not, can I get my own health care at an affordable price?

7) Computer access. Yes, I can get on computers at school. But having to go to school just to check my e-mail would be sort of inconvenient. So, would I be able to buy a computer that could just do the basics, Microsoft Word and internet?

8) Oh yeah, and I would have to buy cat food and kitty litter myself. Oh and mom might appreciate it if I take my fish with me...

9) The piano would cost a couple hundred bucks to move, and then periodically I would have to pay something like $75 to have it tuned. I can't afford that. So, can I afford to get a good keyboard so I can practice piano at my new home? It wouldn't replace a real piano, and I would continue to practice on those at school, but I think I need something at home.

I don't have answers to any of these questions, and I'm not sure when I'll have answers.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Those are all excellent questions to consider.

Maureen said...

Craigslist became an awesome tool when my husband and I had to move out of military housing. Especially when looking for a cheap place that wouldn't mind our cat, dog, and five rats.

Sarita said...

Rats! I love rats! :) I haven't had any in some years, but they are such wonderful pets.

And thanks for suggesting Craigslist. My potential room mate has used it before and would probably have thought of it, but I know I sure wouldn't have.

Lyon said...

Agreed with Debra - all very excellent questions to ask.

You may be able to get student insurance from the school as long as you're a student there, though sometimes those plans are kind of crappy. But it's something to look into. I had student insurance when I was in college.

Computers are expeeeeensive. But you know that I'm sure. ;-)

What I might do if I were in your spot would be a bit of an experiment. First, I would look at the local ads and get a feel for about how much rent runs, divide it in half to get an idea of what you'd be responsible for. Then, I would go to the grocery store and get an idea of how much things cost that you might want to buy on a weekly basis, multiply by four to get an idea of your food bill. Don't forget in this instance things like toilet paper, razors, soap, laundry detergent - things ya don't necessarily think about but things you need.

And then figure out about how much your utilities will cost each month, divide in half. You can do this by talking to people to get a rough idea what they pay.

Add it all together and then you get a base cost idea. Think of other expenses you might incur on a monthly basis such as cable or internet access, bus pass fees, clothes, music, other items you like to buy.

Basically put together a practice budget and figure out how much you'll need a month vs. to what you have or can bring in.

Sarita said...

When I start thinking about all that, it gets really really scary.

Lyon said...

I won't sugar coat, it can be scary. It's not always easy out in the world. But when you realize you *can* and are doing it for the first time on your own?

It's the best feeling in the world.

I don't mean to discourage you in the least, it's totally possible to pull off. As long as you give yourself a semi realistic idea of what you can expect and a good plan to meet those needs, you'll have a good start. Of course you can't really fully plan for every eventuality or know exactly what you're getting into til you're there, but the real trouble would be having no idea at all and getting out there and getting in over your head from the start. Which, you're a very smart person and I don't think you would put yourself in that spot in the first place. ;-)

Sarita said...

Thanks. :)

The real question is whether I can move out and get enough money to cover rent and whatnot without losing it in school. So it's really a matter of if I can balance school with how much I would need to work, I guess.