Need advice getting my first apartment (flat)

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catchrylie
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I graduated from high school in May. I have been working mainly as a hostess since I could first start working as a student. Thankfully, I have a somewhat sizable checking account from my time hostessing and now working as a cashier at a local grocery store since the restaurant's new owners are such jerks.

I came home from work about a week ago and my parents were sitting in the kitchen and decided they wanted a meeting. They decided its time for me to move out. I've been talking to some friends of mine who are going to the local university and we all would like to move into an apartment building, preferably with 4 bedrooms. The problem...rent is going to be US$2000/month. Doable with 4 of us. We would have to pay for TV, phone, internet, electric, and a few other utilities.

i'm not sure how I'm going to balance working with going to school, paying bills, and having a bit of a social life.
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Oxford Brookes University
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Hi there!

I'm not living by myself (still in halls) but I have a list of things that might be useful to know about and I am pretty sure others will add in their information as well.
First I will focus on balance working with going to school, paying bills, and having a bit of a social life. I think you're overthinking it a bit, in fact, I'm pretty sure you're already doing it and the only change that is being made is just the rent. Think about it, before you were working and going to school/ college before but now instead of putting all the money you make towards what you like, a portion of it per month is going to your rent. I'm not saying it's going to be easy in fact I know for fully grown adults who struggle with work and bills not even adding in school.

My advice in balancing all three would be to decide which you're going to prioritize first. Say you decided on full-time schooling with part-time work. You would first schedule your lessons and any extracurricular sessions that you are aware of on a diary, calendar etc so you are aware of it ahead of time. Next, you could start figuring out work shifts around your schooling. The way you get paid (weekly/ monthly) can also have a difference in regards to bills as well as they both have their own benefits and drawbacks and you should already know based on your hours and pay how much you would have to work to stay on top off your bills - Document your shifts in the calendar as well and whatever spare days are left can be used to meet up with friends or catch up on assignments or for extra shifts if you're running low that month.

Final advice not regarding your schooling though: whilst you may have a contract with the landlord see about making an agreement between your friends in case you fall out or one decides to leave and sticks you with the bill - as a student, you won't need that kind of added stress.

Other things you might want to keep in your mind are:
Updating your address with the mail service, (take this time to cancer any unnecessary subscriptions as well)
Changing dentist + GP if necessary,
Taking photos of the gas, electricity and water meter so you are not charged before you all moved in
Be aware of whatever tax you may have to pay
And maybe look into insurance for your stuff

I hope that this was some help to you (and not a stream of consciousness that it feels like)
Goodness
Last edited by Oxford Brookes University; 1 month ago
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catchrylie
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(Original post by Oxford Brookes University)
Hi there!

I'm not living by myself (still in halls) but I have a list of things that might be useful to know about and I am pretty sure others will add in their information as well.
First I will focus on balance working with going to school, paying bills, and having a bit of a social life. I think you're overthinking it a bit, in fact, I'm pretty sure you're already doing it and the only change that is being made is just the rent. Think about it, before you were working and going to school/ college before but now instead of putting all the money you make towards what you like, a portion of it per month is going to your rent. I'm not saying it's going to be easy in fact I know for fully grown adults who struggle with work and bills not even adding in school.

My advice in balancing all three would be to decide which you're going to prioritize first. Say you decided on full-time schooling with part-time work. You would first schedule your lessons and any extracurricular sessions that you are aware of on a diary, calendar etc so you are aware of it ahead of time. Next, you could start figuring out work shifts around your schooling. The way you get paid (weekly/ monthly) can also have a difference in regards to bills as well as they both have their own benefits and drawbacks and you should already know based on your hours and pay how much you would have to work to stay on top off your bills - Document your shifts in the calendar as well and whatever spare days are left can be used to meet up with friends or catch up on assignments or for extra shifts if you're running low that month.

Final advice not regarding your schooling though: whilst you may have a contract with the landlord see about making an agreement between your friends in case you fall out or one decides to leave and sticks you with the bill - as a student, you won't need that kind of added stress.

Other things you might want to keep in your mind are:
Updating your address with the mail service, (take this time to cancer any unnecessary subscriptions as well)
Changing dentist + GP if necessary,
Taking photos of the gas, electricity and water meter so you are not charged before you all moved in
Be aware of whatever tax you may have to pay
And maybe look into insurance for your stuff

I hope that this was some help to you (and not a stream of consciousness that it feels like)
Goodness
Thank you so much for this and it gives me a lot of food for thought. Thankfully, before all this went down, I really didn't have too many bills. I paid for my portion of the family's cellular bill, my medical co-pays (thankfully, I'll be covered still by the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare until I'm 25), and I paid for stuff like clothing and shoes (I spent a lot of time in thrift stores).

We're not moving all that far from where we went to high school to go to our post-secondary schooling (around 24km). My biggest worries are covering bills and other things I know we need. My friends for the most part hate cooking and doing laundry. I really don't mind cooking and our building has a laundromat. So aside from having enough change, that shouldn't be a problem. I know my friends eat out a lot where I don't eat out nearly as often as they do. My portion of the family's cell phone bill was like US$80 a month. Ofc, I had to have a smartphone (my brother does as well). And I don't know what our TV and internet bills are going to be like. I will be having an added expense since I should be getting some orthodontic work done (I'm going to wait until I am settled in and have a new dentist and stuff before I take that plunge).

I'm going to be doing the full-time school/part-time work thing. Thankfully, I have been making decent money during the pandemic. I made something like US$12/hr working like 10 hrs/week (we have laws in the US regarding how many hours minors can work and other stuff). I also feel like I do a decent job keeping up with the few bills I do have and the few expenses I do have (like gas, my cell phone, and my part of the car insurance). I would, however, like to still play at least some field hockey since we don't really have a club for adults where I live. Plus entertainment can still be pretty pricy (I also don't mind having Netflix and chill nights watching sappy romantic comedies).

We haven't made our move yet. The four of us are going to be driving from Bryan to College Station to talk to our prospective landlord and check out some apartments. We're going to be going over some things like who's going on the lease and what happens if one of us has to drop out or move out or whatever. The other stuff you mentioned I had never really thought of. I did know like if I needed to change my primary care doctor, dentist, and specialists like my OB/GYN. But I never would have thought to take pictures of the apartment itself and all of the meters, renters insurance, and taxes. What would something like renters insurance cover? Would it be for something like damages or would it cover property inside the apartment? Is there other stuff I should know before making the move?
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Oxford Brookes University
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(Original post by catchrylie)
Thank you so much for this and it gives me a lot of food for thought. Thankfully, before all this went down, I really didn't have too many bills. I paid for my portion of the family's cellular bill, my medical co-pays (thankfully, I'll be covered still by the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare until I'm 25), and I paid for stuff like clothing and shoes (I spent a lot of time in thrift stores).

We're not moving all that far from where we went to high school to go to our post-secondary schooling (around 24km). My biggest worries are covering bills and other things I know we need. My friends for the most part hate cooking and doing laundry. I really don't mind cooking and our building has a laundromat. So aside from having enough change, that shouldn't be a problem. I know my friends eat out a lot where I don't eat out nearly as often as they do. My portion of the family's cell phone bill was like US$80 a month. Ofc, I had to have a smartphone (my brother does as well). And I don't know what our TV and internet bills are going to be like. I will be having an added expense since I should be getting some orthodontic work done (I'm going to wait until I am settled in and have a new dentist and stuff before I take that plunge).

I'm going to be doing the full-time school/part-time work thing. Thankfully, I have been making decent money during the pandemic. I made something like US$12/hr working like 10 hrs/week (we have laws in the US regarding how many hours minors can work and other stuff). I also feel like I do a decent job keeping up with the few bills I do have and the few expenses I do have (like gas, my cell phone, and my part of the car insurance). I would, however, like to still play at least some field hockey since we don't really have a club for adults where I live. Plus entertainment can still be pretty pricy (I also don't mind having Netflix and chill nights watching sappy romantic comedies).

We haven't made our move yet. The four of us are going to be driving from Bryan to College Station to talk to our prospective landlord and check out some apartments. We're going to be going over some things like who's going on the lease and what happens if one of us has to drop out or move out or whatever. The other stuff you mentioned I had never really thought of. I did know like if I needed to change my primary care doctor, dentist, and specialists like my OB/GYN. But I never would have thought to take pictures of the apartment itself and all of the meters, renters insurance, and taxes. What would something like renters insurance cover? Would it be for something like damages or would it cover property inside the apartment? Is there other stuff I should know before making the move?
Hiya,


I asked around and whilst I am, not 100% sure what it would be like in America in the UK the landlords are the ones that can provide property insurance to the renters. There should also be a range from private insurance available for you to choose from as well..


As for if there is anything else..... well I suggest having enough money, and extra, for several months as it may be difficult for your to gauge how much living expenses you may need for bills and other random necessities. Don't forget that you can arrange the date where money can be paid from your account (at least in the UK). So I arranged it that I get paid on the 27th of each month and my bills come out on the 28th, I'm not sure if you can do this in America but it might be worth looking into for your bills as having them all taken out on the same day may eep it easier to keep track off.

I hope this helps!

Goodness
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