Leaving home is expensive

Decisions like when to “leave the nest” and move into your own place are difficult, but necessary.

After being a Monroe County Middle College student for five years and graduating this May, I decided that I am going to move out and find my own place this summer.

I want to have this all settled and done by the time I start my education at Eastern Michigan University this fall.

I never realized what an enormous mess I got myself into.

Most young adults can agree it is difficult to find a high-paying job at a young and inexperienced age. Minimum wage seems to be the normal starting point for most high school and college students.

Even after leaving MCCC this May with a diploma and an Associate’s Degree, it is not unrealistic to expect to be serving tables to finance living on my own.

At a surface level, all I could think of was RENT. That was the most important and at the front of my mind.

Unfortunately, I have come to realize that this is a common mistake people make when they are set on moving out and trying to find somewhere fast.

I scrolled through hundreds of pages of apartment listings, showing locations ranging from Southgate to Ypsilanti, and everywhere in between.

The average rate for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment was at least $600 a month.

The sickly feeling in my gut began when I realized how many expenses I have to juggle on top of trying to cover the rent payment.

Car insurance, lease payment, Internet, gas, tuition, and food all clouded my mind at once.

How on earth am I supposed to do this without going insane?

The biggest tip I can offer for trying to save money and plan ahead is to apply for as many scholarships as you possibly can.

There are many scholarships available for students to use that never even receive any applicants. There are basically large sums of money collecting dust because students are too lazy to compete for them.

I recommend you spend a chunk of your time applying for free money to help cover the cost of school, and search long and hard for the right place for you.

The FAFSA alone can be a huge help toward covering your educational expenses, and it is completely free to apply for.

Do not be afraid to ask others for help.

Ask those who have moved out what to look for, red flags, and tips on saving money and time when searching.

It helps to remember that there are students everywhere who are stressing out over the same issues,  and eventually everything will fall into place.