From your parents basement to your own apartment
Today, college graduates are taking a different approach to housing but with the same dream of independence. Living with parents or perhaps other relatives or multiple friends seems to be a must. Whatever the situation, the reality is the days of graduating college, going from intern to employed and renting an apartment at least for the moment, has gone out the window. Today, many graduates are not finding work in their field of study, having to suffice to minimum wage employment. Despite the reputation of these millennials being lazy and wanting things handed to them the facts still remain that the federal minimum wage has not increased in awhile, yet rent, food, clothing, and gas have increased in cost.
The reputation of millennials living at home has gained a negative stigma but could this actually be a smart move? Renting an apartment in a major city will run a student with decent credit about 12,000 a year for a studio without factoring in a deposit. A recent graduate has up to 6 months, per agreement on most loans to begin paying back their student loans. The biggest challenge, however, is the fact that schools, whether it be high school or college, are still not teaching finance classes unless you are an accounting or finance major. The country has been told they are in debt and since the leaders of the country can’t seem to find ways around the debt who would be the right person to teach a millennial how to stay debtless? Here are my suggestions towards a millennial getting a place.
Assuming you are in your parent’s basement or the room you grew up in, the fact is you need two things, money, and good credit. Hopefully, you have paid the interest on your student’s loans at the very least while still in college but let’s assume you didn’t. Start now. If you have credit cards, pay them all off as soon as possible, even if this means working in the mall during the day and McDonalds at night. Cut all but one credit card up and leave the one for emergency only. Let’s talk about emergency for a minute. Emergency by definition is, your car broke down and the money in your bank account is allotted to your bills but you need a tow. An emergency is NOT the latest iPhone, iPad or the awesome shirt on sale. Can’t find work? Bull! Sites like Indeed.com have a ton of job opportunity. Notice I said job, not career. Sure you want a career, you are now in debt because you want a career truth is you may have to scrub a few toilets or flip some burgers first. Sure, you may want to freelance but that isn’t going to always fly when applying for an apartment, those managers want solid proof of income and you better be making a minimum of 2x that rent first some places want 3x the rent. That means if you find an awesome studio that will run you $1,200 a month you better be making a minimum of 2,500 a month and that will not be enough factoring in gas, electric, the internet, food, and laundry. Don’t become disappointed though because it is possible just be money smart.