Adulting advice needed.

mgr22

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DragonClaw, it's been a long time since I was your age, and I'm not sure what the average 22-year-old knows these days, but you sound like you're going to need lots of help getting started. As DrParasite suggested, maybe you need to rethink the roommate thing. Consider rooming with someone a little older who can show you how to do basic stuff in return for sharing rent. You'd probably have to compromise on some personal preferences, but it would only be temporary.

Have you seriously never done laundry or used an iron? What are the microscope and centrifuge for? Do you have a job? Doing what? What did you do before that?
 

DragonClaw

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DragonClaw, it's been a long time since I was your age, and I'm not sure what the average 22-year-old knows these days, but you sound like you're going to need lots of help getting started. As DrParasite suggested, maybe you need to rethink the roommate thing. Consider rooming with someone a little older who can show you how to do basic stuff in return for sharing rent. You'd probably have to compromise on some personal preferences, but it would only be temporary.

Have you seriously never done laundry or used an iron? What are the microscope and centrifuge for? Do you have a job? Doing what? What did you do before that?
My siblings had roommates that stole and did drugs and all kinds of stuff, then again, one was a dealer... whatever

My mom... she's... egh. She needs help.

I tried to sneak into the laundry room one day to try and figure out this witchcraft. It was after noon and mom was still asleep. (She would often sleep till 3PM, she's also photosensitive. She's a Mexican vampire) I try to be as quiet as possible, but the second I opened the washing machine door.

BOOM.

I heard her feet hit the floor in her bedroom followed by her scream "WHO'S IN MY LAUNDRY ROOM!"

I just ran. She's a thrower. My brother once expertly dodged a hammer, got the door pretty good, though. Brooms, wooden spoons, hangers, belts, bult objects, etc, whatever goes .

When I was younger, she ( and my dad) sent all my older siblings to the nut house. She said I'd go too, if I kept talking back to her.

Boiling eggs is a dang near mortal sin. And if you need a can opener? Probably a bad idea. And the oven? Forget about it. You're not allowed to look at it. Actually? Just, starve. :)

The microwave is the holy grail. TV dinners were my life.

So you see, it's not safe to go against her wishes.

The lab equipment was for my farm stuff, I have animals (I'm surprised I'm allowed)

I do fecals and stuff on them. Hobby stuff. I love science.
 

Remi

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A lot has been said here about the financial aspect of getting started out on your own, and that really can’t be stressed enough. This is because while money is far from everything, what you do with your money is one of the very few things in your life that you have complete control over, and the financial habits that you develop now will have a huge impact on the rest of your life. It’s very, very easy to fall into poor financial habits. Working hard to get this right from the get-go is very well worth the effort.

It starts with developing some simple (but not necessarily easy) habits:
  1. Have a budget.
    • Plan what you are going to do with every dollar you earn. This isn’t hard but getting it right takes some time and attention.
  2. Spend less than you earn and save & invest
    • Save some money out of every paycheck, starting with your very first one. Save up about 3 month’s worth of expenses to start.
    • If you employer offers a 401k match, invest enough in that plan to at least get the match. Start doing that as soon as your have your three month’s worth of expenses saved up
    • If your employer doesn’t offer a match, open a Roth IRA and fund it yourself with automatic deposits out of each paycheck.
  3. Avoid debt.
    • A modest home, a reliable used vehicle, and an education (total student loan debt should be less than what you expect to earn in your very first year after graduating) are the only things that you should even consider borrowing money for, and any debt should be kept absolutely minimal and paid back as soon as is practical.
    • Don’t even consider credit cards or borrowing money for vacations, cell phones, computers, or other things you should be budgeting for and paying cash for.
  4. Know the difference between needs and wants
    • Once you convince yourself that you need the newest model iPhone or that motorcycle or whatever, it’s very easy to spend money that you simply shouldn’t be spending
  5. Work a lot while you don’t have anything better to do with your time.
    • While you are young and don’t have a family, work OT or part-time jobs in order to accumulate savings or occasionally, to come up with the money you need to buy something that you want but isn’t in your regular budget
    • Do not adjust your lifestyle and budget to rely on the OT. Use the OT to increase your financial independence, not to increase your reliance on stuff.
There’s a book called The Simple Path to Wealth that I highly recommend. There’s an audiobook version that is actually pretty entertaining and easy to listen to.
 
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DragonClaw

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A lot has been said here about the financial aspect of getting started out on your own, and that really can’t be stressed enough. This is because while money is far from everything, what you do with your money is one of the very few things in your life that you have complete control over, and the financial habits that you develop now will have a huge impact on the rest of your life. It’s very, very easy to fall into poor financial habits. Working hard to get this right from the get-go is very well worth the effort.

It starts with developing some simple (but not necessarily easy) habits:
  1. Have a budget.
    • Plan what you are going to do with every dollar you earn. This isn’t hard but getting it right takes some time and attention.
  2. Spend less than you earn and save & invest
    • Save some money out of every paycheck, starting with your very first one. Save up about 3 month’s worth of expenses to start.
    • If you employer offers a 401k match, invest enough in that plan to at least get the match. Start doing that as soon as your have your three month’s worth of expenses saved up
    • If your employer doesn’t offer a match, open a Roth IRA and fund it yourself with automatic deposits out of each paycheck.
  3. Avoid debt.
    • A modest home, a reliable used vehicle, and an education (total student loan debt should be less than what you expect to earn in your very first year after graduating) are the only things that you should even consider borrowing money for, and any debt should be kept absolutely minimal and paid back as soon as is practical.
    • Don’t even consider credit cards or borrowing money for vacations, cell phones, computers, or other things you should be budgeting for and paying cash for.
  4. Know the difference between needs and wants
    • Once you convince yourself that you need the newest model iPhone or that motorcycle or whatever, it’s very easy to spend money that you simply shouldn’t be spending
  5. Work a lot while you don’t have anything better to do with your time.
    • While you are young and don’t have a family, work OT or part-time jobs in order to accumulate savings or occasionally, to come up with the money you need to buy something that you want but isn’t in your regular budget
    • Do not adjust your lifestyle and budget to rely on the OT. Use the OT to increase your financial independence, not to increase your reliance on stuff.
There’s a book called The Simple Path to Wealth that I highly recommend. There’s an audiobook version that is actually pretty entertaining and easy to listen to.
Okay. Budget. I'll figure out If I can not taking every crumb of my existence, dog included, and go from there. If I don't have to, that saves me a lot of moving costs, pet deposit etc. And storage costs.

I've been saving what I can, but I need more money, that's for sure.

I have a 401K, have had one for about a year? I know I'll never see a penny of SS. Thanks Obama.

Smart of the OT, I honestly thought I'd be able to rely on it a bit more. I guess I shouldn't.

I avoid debt like the plague. I have no debt.

I have a car coming up on 225K, no student loans, no big purchases. I have 2 credit cards for credit, building, balance stays at 0. Credit score 742.

I only use the credit card if I can an immediately deduct the funds from my checking account.

I know the difference, but I can be an impulse spender. I won't put myself onto debt, but my savings won't grow like it should. I'm working on that.

Live at work. Get rich (not), got it.
 

hometownmedic5

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Okay. Budget. I'll figure out If I can not taking every crumb of my existence, dog included, and go from there. If I don't have to, that saves me a lot of moving costs, pet deposit etc. And storage costs.

I've been saving what I can, but I need more money, that's for sure.

I have a 401K, have had one for about a year? I know I'll never see a penny of SS. Thanks Obama.

Smart of the OT, I honestly thought I'd be able to rely on it a bit more. I guess I shouldn't.

I avoid debt like the plague. I have no debt.

I have a car coming up on 225K, no student loans, no big purchases. I have 2 credit cards for credit, building, balance stays at 0. Credit score 742.

I only use the credit card if I can an immediately deduct the funds from my checking account.

I know the difference, but I can be an impulse spender. I won't put myself onto debt, but my savings won't grow like it should. I'm working on that.

Live at work. Get rich (not), got it.
Right about the time you're comfortably reliant on that OT money, the overtime dries up and you're left trying to figure out how to make the jet ski payments that were easy when times were good, but not so much now.

No matter how good overtime ever gets, or how long it has lasted so far, never ever ever put yourself in a position where you're reliant on it. In other words, if you can't afford it on your base wages, you can't afford it.
 

hometownmedic5

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Ok, I've got a minute now I can offer a proper response, not to discredit my previous reply as it remains tremendous advice.

First off, adulting sucks. Everyday on your own, you'll wonder why you didn't listen to the people who told you to slow down and just be a kid for awhile. That being said, you have to do it and the sooner you rip the bandaid off and get to it, the better.

If you aren't already planning for retirement, start. Even if you're putting ten dollars a week into retirement, it's something and if your employer offers a match that you aren't taking advantage of, you are literally leaving money on the table, and you'll need that money. You'd be well advised to max out your retirement, but I understand that's not feasible as an entry level employee so just recognize that that is the goal you're working towards. The key is to try to position yourself as best as possible. Also, although not recommended as a primary plan, you can borrow against your 401k in a pinch. Again, not recommended, but it's better than being homeless. I suggest you pick a reasonable 5% contribution to start and then, if your plan allows this level of control, every time you get a raise, split it with your 401k(i.e. you get a 5% raise, increase your retirement contribution by 2.5% and put 2.5% in your pocket). Small increases are barely noticeable, especially if done in this manner, but the compounding really adds up.

Money is the reason most people struggle in life, so you need to slay that dragon. there are dozens of gurus that have written hundreds of books and so forth on the topic of personal money management. While he's a little too preachy for my taste, Dave Ramsey has some good ideas and has helped a lot of people figure out how money works, which is the basic foundation of smart money management. If you don't understand how money works, you don't have a chance, so learn. Start with interest because if you don't understand that, that's where all your money is going to go.

If you're not living three to six months ahead of the curve, you're doing it wrong. Take a breath, most people are doing it wrong, myself included. It takes an incredible amount of dedication to do it right, but once you get there(I visited this beautiful land for a time), life just gets easier. If you can, do the work, make the sacrifices, and get ahead of the game.

Living alone is great, but is it worth being perpetually bordering on bankrupt? This is a personal choice, no doubt, but one you need to consider thoroughly. Having a roommate for a few years doesn't mean you'll have one forever. Whether alone or with others, live cheap for awhile until you have a path laid out. My first year on my own, I lived with basically no furniture. I had a bare bed frame, recliner, tv stand, and a set of four tray tables that functioned as my night table, end table, dining room table, and valet table(best 50 bucks I ever spent). Overtime, as I could afford to(in cash), I added things, but I didn't force myself to have things because I had become accustomed to having them at my parents place. You don't need to go broke just to fill the space in your apartment. Buy what you NEED when you can afford to pay for it in CASH.

So what do you really need to hit the road on your own? MONEY! A great big pile of money. Depending on your landlord, you're going to need some combination of first months rent, last months rent, security deposit, and fees. This just covers move in costs. You might have to put down a deposit with the utility company(s). You may be required to purchase renters insurance(which you should have, but not all LLs require it). Then you immediately need to start putting money aside for next months rent. Then you need to actually move, which you may be able to do yourself without much in the way of costs, or you may have to hire movers and purchase supplies. I moved a few months ago and I spent nearly a thousand dollars to do so. Pots, pans, dishes, linen, food, cleaning supplies, the list really is quite endless, the point being plan ahead for life to nickel and dime the crap out of you when you're starting out on your own. You need a colander. They don't cost much, they last forever, but you have to have one if you want to eat pasta(dinner last night, colander is sitting on top of dish strainer right in my eye line, I am not a crazy person); but until you make pasta one night and then realize you don't own one you might not think of it. Be prepared for lot's little surprises like that.

So if you don't have lets just say six months rent in cash, you aren't ready to move out. Three for move in money, three(ball park) for immediate expenses(adjust as appropriate for your situation).
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
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I think you have be given some great advice so far. A few things I would add.

Always try to work towards where you want to be. Dream jobs don't typically just fall into your lap. Do you want to be on flight, in the fire service, PD, management, school of some sort? What are the steps you need to take to get there? If you end up where you want to be that is great but don't sit idle just hoping something better comes along.

Always have an emergency fund. Most financial advisors say that you should have at least three months of cash in savings that you can use for an emergency (I think it should be more like six months). Dont touch this unless you absolutely have to, it isn't for spending on something that can wait.

Spend money wisely, but also realize that life is worth living and it costs money. Your favorite band is playing and you've been waiting for years to see them, if you can afford it then go and have fun. Don't turn into someone who never has fun just to save money, you'll end up on cable TV as a middle age bald man yelling about stock prices. There is more to life than just cash.

Consider the value of anything you are buying. Will this thing last for years or will it break down. The shiny fun car (or phone, gun, playstation, or whatever) might look good but is it going to last? Do you actually plan to keep it or not, if the latter will it hold resale value? Is there a reasonable alternative that will hold value well?

Keep in mind that many things people buy are not investments despite what they may think. In a more extreme example you could consider beanie babies or trading cards, in a more common sense we could look at houses, expensive watches, and the like. Unless you are an expert in the field you will almost always lose money or essentially break even. Most people dont make a lot of money on real estate, you have to consider the cost of property taxes, repairs, things that have a natural life cycle (refrigerators, electric garage doors, and the like). I bought my house so that I wouldn't get priced out of the market, I dont expect to make much if anything at all when I sell it but I was already paying less than renters of a similar property and the market has only gotten more expensive since.

Learn to cook. It is so much cheaper to make food than to buy it on the go. If your employer or hospital has free coffee take it, dont spend money at a Starbucks or gas station that you don't have to.

Always pay your bills on time, always. A poor rental history or credit score will drag you down and keep you there.

If you qualify for public assistance take advantage if it. If a few months of food stamps or housing assistance get you stable then use it, that is what you pay taxes for. Politically I'm very against people who are able who stay on public assistance for years, but those who need it for a few months are what we designed social welfare to be. Nobody is out picketing the old folks for taking a social security check.

Some of the other posters have mentioned 401ks. If your employer offers match on a 401k (or similar program like a 403b) you should be contributing at least to the max of the match. Also strongly consider a Roth IRA, while it will look like more money lost now since the contributions are post tax income, the earned income is completely tax free when you are eligible to pull it out. If you invest early this could be millions of dollars when you retire without any taxes paid.

Consider what else your employer will pay for and essentially give you for free. If they will pay for you to take a class like ACLS, PALS, ENPC, TNCC, and so on do it (one of my side jobs in EMS before I became a nurse was university hospital affiliated and we could take any class at the university hospital for free, whether it was required for our job or not). Will they pay for you to take college classes (but be very careful about getting stuck in a disadvantageous employment contract)? If your benefits package includes a gym membership or pass for the mass transit system take it.

One of my biggest American pet peeves. Do not buy gifts that you cannot afford. This is especially true for other adults but should also still be the case if/when you have kids. Certainly you should not be sinking a ton of money if the gift isn't something special but just a gift of perceived obligation (Christmas, new years, weddings, bridal showers, or whatever). I dont want to sound like I dont believe in being charitable, but dont waste money just so you can show up with a gift in your hand.
 
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Flying

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My perspective on handling money/adulting:
When it comes to the budget, or the plan, have it rule your life. Hard math defines 99% of my year ever since taking over the family finances.

Figure out some spreadsheet software (Google Sheets or Excel or whatever), make your master plan, keep it in the cloud with google or dropbox. Refer to it often.
Start from the hourly wage and what hours you can reasonably expect or guarantee. From there extrapolate the monthly income (minus taxes). From there plan every single month out to at least a year.
Add a cushion and/or plan conservatively on top of that. Modifications to the plan come with changes in income.

Money is needed to make more money.
A multi-millionaire Malaysian acquaintance of mine who is about to retire really drove this point home when he told me he started saving in his early 30s doing only low-effort, low-paying jobs.
His advice is that it doesn't matter how or how much, just start saving now, in one's 20s, whether its in a 401k or seed money for an investment.
Note that he was also incredibly frugal, buying used new-to-him $20 shoes and making sure to make them last at least a couple of years.

Back to the budget: Having all of the monthly/yearly expenses written down is absolutely needed to identify whether you have any surplus cash guaranteed in the future, and one acts on that surplus.
With that guarantee, one then works on the future (school, training, moving, investment, more school, etc.).

I mention guarantees frequently with reason. Anything that goes against the plan (and therefore presents a risk) has got to go.


Aside from the budget:
While adulting, I find myself needing more and more accounts to access stuff online. More accounts for stuff means more passwords. Passwords are coming to be a pain in the ***.
I'm guilty of reusing the same passwords and have had a couple fairly common ones compromised by nefarious elements.

Solution, use a password manager! You don't have to remember anything and you can have hard-to-guess passwords.
Using one with an auto-fill plugin has made internet browsing in general much more bearable for me.
 
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DrParasite

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Aside from the budget:
I find myself needing more and more accounts to access stuff online. More accounts for stuff means more passwords. Passwords are coming to be a pain in the ***.
I'm guilty of reusing the same passwords and have had a couple fairly common ones compromised by nefarious elements.
sound advice, esp if you use simple passwords....
 

Jim37F

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Aside from the budget:
While adulting, I find myself needing more and more accounts to access stuff online. More accounts for stuff means more passwords. Passwords are coming to be a pain in the ***.
I'm guilty of reusing the same passwords and have had a couple fairly common ones compromised by nefarious elements.

Solution, use a password manager! You don't have to remember anything and you can have hard-to-guess passwords.
Using one with an auto-fill plugin has made internet browsing in general much more bearable for me.
IMG_20190717_082354.png
 

johnrsemt

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Don't go out and buy everything you want, save your money and buy things 1 at a time. Used furniture never hurt anyone.
A friend had a nicely furnished living room and kitchen and slept on a cot for 4 years, in a sleeping bag. he didn't need bedroom furniture, but even his living room and kitchen stuff was purchased at garage sales, his 1st apartment was furnished for less than $150.
 

johnrsemt

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Your parents probably didn't go deep into debt to get what they have now. Mine didn't; I just wish they had actually taught it to my sisters and I and not just expected us to learn by example.
 

DragonClaw

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Your parents probably didn't go deep into debt to get what they have now. Mine didn't; I just wish they had actually taught it to my sisters and I and not just expected us to learn by example.
They're actually in immense debt right now.... they may need to sell half the land.

But yeah. I have some furniture but for a kitchen table or chairs, a couch, I'm not above dumpster diving or curb rescuing or garage sales. A lot of good stuff gets put out.
 
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