Living independently/making ends meet

Strangelongtrip

MyPTSD Pro
Hello all! I'm not sure if this should go here, but it's sort of related to employment and education?? please move if it's not in the right space.

So, I am only ONE YEAR!! from graduating college. It's taken me six years, but I'm going to finish. There were times I didn't see the finish line, but now I can and it's glorious. I'm doing everything to be a competitive candidate, in both of the fields I'm interested in (and there's a huge demand to fill these jobs) and I am starting to digitally network and all. I know something could happen and I don't get what I'm looking for right away, but I'm recognizing that's not totally in my control and just trying to control what I can, which is an accomplishment in my book!

One big aspect that causes me great anxiety is that I still live with my parents. Being a full-fledged adult living with them has been difficult and grating, especially with this pandemic. I want more independence, but it also feels good to be dependent. Part of the reason I have PTSD is from them, mental and psychological abuse. They've gotten so much better (my dad regulated his emotions yesterday! He used to just yell and get upset and never take responsibility for it but he stopped, took a deep breath and said "here is what I am thinking and how it's coming off for me" and my mom and I talked about it and he apologized for not understanding) but I still think moving out and being independent would be so great for my healing process.

Part if it is I think I have to move far, far away in order to truly gain independence and create my new live. In college, before I went online, I would come home every weekend because I only lived an hour away. I don't know why I'm both so desperate to be around them and desperately want to go away. I've been diagnosed with BPD/ CPTSD, so that sort of makes sense "I hate you don't leave me", but my symptoms are totally manageable now and I know how to work with them instead of against them

Anyways, my point. I have NO idea how to live independently. I try to budget and all but I have no idea the expenses that go into it, what it entails, how to rent a house, how to make sure the apartment is good, how to find roommates if I need them, etc. How to budget and save for things (although I have done this before for things like laptops and cars), how to eventually buy a house, how to make travel plans and all. My parents lived with my grandparents until their 30s, and they had a house without a mortgage because of some deals. Their incomes are not even comparable to what I'll be making originally, so they can't help me. My cousin could help, but she also had an unconventional start to living independently by living in another country. It seems like everyone actually who has lived independently had a different situation than me.

Does anyone have any hints who have done this before? I realize I'm trying to control something I probably won't be able to completely, but I'm terrified I won't be able to move out. I want to start my "real life". Of course, with this virus, it'll probably be even harder, but eventually it'll return to normal!
 

osiris

MyPTSD Pro
Congratulations on being so close to graduation. That’s a real triumph and one you should be proud of.

I went straight from higher education to a job and bought a place of my own - but that was back in the 2000s when it was fairly easy to get a mortgage if you were in the right job. There was no way I was going back home for lots of reasons.

I learnt as I went along. I was rubbish at lots of things - did not understand finance (and still don’t truth be told), but budgeting and managing bills and stuff was needs must. I got a small place as I didn’t want to have to worry about sharing with anyone and the stress that would cause me.

I got better at all the skillls required but I still mess things up many years later ;)

Sounds like you have a bit of time to plan first which is great - and if you already worked out how to save for laptops and cars then it’s exactly the same principle, just bigger scale.

Travel plans - loads of great places to look online, some companies are geared up to help people doing it for the first time and you can never beat lonely planet or rough guides to help. Often the best thing with travel is make a few plans and do stuff on the fly, but that requires being in a stable (ish) headspace.

Independence is great - I miss my first place and what it symbolised in so many ways. Make sure you have good support systems around you though if and when you have bumps along the way.
 

FauxLiz

Sponsor
@Strangelongtrip I don't know if you are in the US or not but if you are there are free assistance agencies that can help you with exactly what you are talking about. Most people don't turn to them until they are in financial trouble already but they really enjoy helping anyone and being able to provide assistance to help you get a good solid independent start is something they will do with personal one on one meetings, classes, etc. They usually have free/low cost weekend classes on setting up a household budget, basic home repairs, they could arrange a meeting with local rental inspectors to discuss with you things to look for when touring apartments and talking to landlords and usually will assist you in reviewing lease agreements to make sure that you understand what all the different clauses need. You can do an internet search in your area for non-profit housing and credit counseling organizations. Often times they will be supported by the local United Way so check with that organization if there is one in your area for a quick and easy reference. Remember this, if they ask for money up front or for your first meeting keep looking there are many free resources you just need to keep looking for them to find them.
 

Strangelongtrip

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @osiris thank you!! We'll have to see how this virus affects mortgage rates, I would love to buy my own place but I also feel uncertain about moving to a new location and immediately buying a house. I think maybe it's a bad idea to move so far away, but in my gut I know it's the right decision. Also, I found a company I'd LOVE to work for. We'll see how it all goes.

It's good to know it's okay to mess up and learn! I was raised growing up (by my granddad) that you're NEVER supposed to make mistakes, and just do what your elders told you do to. Little did I know as a kid he'd made many, many mistakes and was just projecting. But it's sort of messed with my head about what is "okay" and it definitely brainwashed me into just following along whatever my family approved of and being dependent.

Travel plans - loads of great places to look online, some companies are geared up to help people doing it for the first time and you can never beat lonely planet or rough guides to help. Often the best thing with travel is make a few plans and do stuff on the fly, but that requires being in a stable (ish) headspace.

Independence is great - I miss my first place and what it symbolised in so many ways. Make sure you have good support systems around you though if and when you have bumps along the way.

I'll look through those! I've done two local-isn trips (about 6 hours and 3 hours away by car) with a friend before, but never travelled extensively and I think I'm worried about getting stuck somewhere and losing it lol. But now that I'm thinking about it I've proven again and again I can do it!

I'm lucky to have some great friends, and my parents are supportive even if they have their flaws. Thank you again!

Wow @FauxLiz that's such great help, thank you!! I'm going to look up those programs and all. I know of United Way, my old boss volunteered for them, she was awesome. And thank you for the tips at the end there! I'll look into that some more.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Part if it is I think I have to move far, far away in order to truly gain independence and create my new live. In college, before I went online, I would come home every weekend because I only lived an hour away.

I moved out not long after I got my first job out of college (and in the same town). I had NO idea what I was doing but I just needed to get away from my parents and make my own decisions/choices about everything. When I was away at college, I also came home weekends - every other - but once I moved out on my own, I had no desire to do that. It's a completely different world. You are responsible for making all your own decisions about everything, including leisure time. And you will likely find all kinds of things you want to do without someone looking over your shoulder.

I have NO idea how to live independently. I try to budget and all but I have no idea the expenses that go into it, what it entails, how to rent a house, how to make sure the apartment is good, how to find roommates if I need them, etc. How to budget and save for things (although I have done this before for things like laptops and cars), how to eventually buy a house, how to make travel plans and all.

Yeah, I had no idea either. You learn as you go. I would go into apartment-hunting kind of prepared, but the other stuff will come (LOL or not...I still have troubles budgeting). There are books on finding apartments and buying a house for the first time and all sorts of tools to help you with travel (which I actually love to plan). I am currently planning a series of shortish road trips for research for a book I'm writing and am doing it all on the AAA website. There are others out there, though, that are also good.

Awesome about school! Took me 11 years for my Bachelor's. Sounds like you are excited about it - just keep plugging away!
 
I think reaching out is a good first step! I was thwarted into my independence after being kicked out of foster care and everything I came to know, I figured out on my own. This included applying for college, loans, renting, etc all within the 18-22 year age range. There is a plethora of resources available to you both online ("wiki how" covers EVERYTHING) and in customer service agents, non profits that offer independent living skill resources. The first step towards your independence will be securing that first job. Once you have the financial independence and have a good sense of your income, you can then start to budget real life expenses. Looking for apartments is fairly straight forward (apartments.com or other online tools). If you want roommates you can advertise on sites (Craigslist, though there may be better ones out there?). One of the best things I did for myself was downloading a budgeting app. once I started my job. This will enable you to eventually be able to plan vacations, other fun things. It may feel overwhelming at first with everything that comes with independence, but you will adapt and grow into it!
 

Friday

Moderator
One of my favorite pieces of advice for just starting out:

If you ever have to make a choice between paying your rent and paying your car loan? Pay for the car. Because you can always sleep in your car, but it’s hard to drive an apartment. ;)
 
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