Post Reply Living on your own w/ no financial help?
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19 / M
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Posted 8/28/15 , edited 8/28/15
My question is, is it possible to work part time to pay for an apartment, while attending community college which will be payed fully by the government?

I'm in a situation, where my relationship with my parents has always been, and is recently getting unbearably toxic. I've tried to tell them with politeness that in order for me to be happy as a person, I would very much appreciate if they can get me an apartment, or even let me go to a university where I can dorm. With this they lashed out pure hatred at me, and told me I am not leaving this house until I get married. Keep in mind my parents are conservative muslims, while I'm a hippie atheist lol. So because they, on a daily basis, restrict my freedom to even meet friends and go out, and forcefully make me do prayers and study islam, I'm at a situation in where I'm very close to just leaving the house and cutting ties with them.

But the problem is that its very hard to live on your own financially. However, in the area that I live, you can get an apartment for 800 a month, or if I were to find a roommate it would be 400 a month. But if not, I would have to rely on working a part time job almost everyday to pay for rent, and also others utilities, such as phone bill, bus money or maybe i'll just get a bike, shampoo, and other basic needs. The apartments here usually cover heat and water, food stamp would cover food, and financial aid would cover community college, while even giving me back a thousand or more dollars extra. I know how financial aid works because my cousins get it and they get full coverage, so if i were to live on my own with that much of a low income, I would most certainly get full coverage too.

So is it possible for me to live on my own? I decided to post this here because I've noticed that CR has a lot of older and experienced members and I have nowhere else to get advice and this is really effecting me mentally.
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M / Australia
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Posted 8/28/15
In my counrty you would get government assistance if you were studying but it would be very tough on your own if that were your sole income.
You'd probably only be able to afford a one bedroom appartment and it may not even have a laundry.
You'd probably need to work part time but i think finding a housemate would be the best solution.
I rent on my own place currently but i work full time.
When i moved out of home at first i had a housemate.

Like you said you can take measures. Like could you afford a mobile phone plan and the internet? i wouldn't bother with a home phone. You can always eat on the cheap and if you dont need a car then thta would help you in a really big way becasue cars are massive money pits.
If you dont drink and smoke then that will help.
I work with people who walk or ride their bike to work. I couldn;t though, personally.
Shame that you dont know any other family or mates that you could move in with. But living with friends often ends bably anyways..lol
Good luck.
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21 / M / Scotland
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Posted 8/28/15 , edited 8/28/15
I do it pretty well but i am very lucky that the Scottish government helps me a lot with funding because i'm a university student. If you really want to do it you can, don't let anyone stop you (not even your parents) it's your life not theirs!

If you really worked hard at it and ensured you got a stable part time job i don't see why it wouldn't be possible, eating is super cheap if you know how to do it and you can take loads of measures to cut down bills and other expenses as well. (getting a bike is a grand idea and is something i am glad i did.)

I manage to maintain my course and work well (and i'm king of procrastination) so the work load although it may seem like a lot at first (being inexperienced) you'll quickly get used to it.

Edit: I realise i'm not a lot older but i moved from my home to the other side of my country when i was 16, i took advantage of travelers hostels and cheap food from frozen food places and simple tinned food rather than fresh (which saves a great deal of cash), also made use of as much part time work as i could get till i was steady putting any spare cash i had away in a savings account for a rainy day so i'd like to think i'm at least a little experienced. These days i hardly live in the best comfort but i have my own flat where i live with a good friend of mine and i get to do most things i would want to do without needing to worry too much about the time and money it would consume. I did it and i've never looked back, it's not something you will soon regret.
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19 / M
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Posted 8/28/15

tyranofication wrote:

I do it pretty well but i am very lucky that the Scottish government helps me a lot with funding because i'm a university student. If you really want to do it you can, don't let anyone stop you (not even your parents) it's your life not theirs!

If you really worked hard at it and ensured you got a stable part time job i don't see why it wouldn't be possible, eating is super cheap if you know how to do it and you can take loads of measures to cut down bills and other expenses as well. (getting a bike is a grand idea and is something i am glad i did.)

I manage to maintain my course and work well (and i'm king of procrastination) so the work load although it may seem like a lot at first (being inexperienced) you'll quickly get used to it.


Thank you so much for the advice
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25 / M / New York
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Posted 8/28/15
Sorry to hear all of that. It's never pretty when people bump heads with their relatives but your situation seems worse. At the end of the day you need to think what would make you happy and set that as your goal. Clearly, moving out is one of them.

According to your assumptions, rent would be about 800. FIND A BUDDY!!! Split that crap into two and you'll already be on the road to being independent. Check universities in the area for people looking to get an apartment, there are usually plenty of them trying to split the burden of rent.

I believe after 6 months to a year you can fully claim yourself as independent on forms sent to the IRS. As a student, this helps tremendously in getting federal aid and may even land you full coverage. The key is to not have to pay for school so apply for scholarships. DO IT!

Taking the bus would save you money but costs you time for commute. Depending on how close you are, in regards to your new apartment and the school, purchasing a bike and lock may be the best investment and good exercise too!

Food: Do your homework and learn to cook because nothing brings your morale down than having shitty meals at every sitting. You'd be surprised by all the bargains grocery stores have to offer.

I know this may be hard to do but try to save money too for emergencies. A decent amount for emergencies should cover 3 months worth of your expenses. God forbid you lose your job and then you're staring at that new Xbox One/PS4 with a tear in your eye.

Lastly, make tons of friends. Just balance how much you go out with them because that can eat up your paycheck before you can scream "Uncle!".

So lets try some numbers. 400 for rent, 200 for groceries (300 is the US average according to a quick google search), and throw in another 100 for utilities or blah. You'll most likely be looking at about 750 total in expenses WITH a roomie. To keep that up, you would need to work 30 hours a week at $10/hour. After taxes and stuff, your revenue is looking around 850 (using NY taxes btw). That is only 100 bucks to do whatever you want a month. Ask yourself if that is worth leaving the hostile environment you're living in right now. Some people would still say yes.

This was all quick speculation so don't take any of these numbers to heart. Just something to think of. Is it possible? First make sure you get that job then maybe it is doable.

Good luck friend. (Sorry I typed so much, kinda got into it lol)
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Posted 8/28/15 , edited 8/28/15
I'm sure the government help with tuition will be significant. It will be tough to go to school and work, but at least all you have to worry about is finding a cheap enough rental space near the school and you don't have to worry about tuition.

I'd say it's impossible without government aid if you wanted to try loans or no financial assistance and you wanted to work and go to school.

If you're close enough to school, I recommend a bike, scooter, or even walking/running. Ideally, your job will be close to you as well. A car is a huge financial burden and you need to have all sorts of insurances.

Try splitting a rental space with one person, but no more. It's easier to control that way. Living with many bad roomies can be very draining. If there's only one, you don't have to worry about several of them.

Try to cook meals or eat very cheap fast food. It's a good idea to eat stuff like raw celery and baby carrots to get your veggies. Multivitamins are good for everyone and a large bottle lasts a long time. Try not to do things like drink soda every day. Wean yourself off it and have water and tea. Make your own coffee and tea at home instead of going to Sixbucks.

Focus on your goal of independence. This means not going out to that party and going to work instead. It means working through the summer and covering for people on holidays. Think about your purchases twice beforehand. Do you REALLY need a new console when you already have a laptop to play games on? Do you REALLY need to go to that event? Is it worth it to get into a certain confrontation? Stuff like that.

Pick up cheap but fulfilling hobbies. Exercise is probably the one that most people recommend. Health is the first wealth and getting into the habit of exercising kills two birds with one stone: you save money because you're healthy and you feel better because you're healthy. It's easy to take health for granted and not miss it until it's gone. People who exercise also tend to have more energy and look more attractive. Just don't exhaust yourself too often since you have work and school. Of course, if you're running around and/or biking all day, you might not need to exercise much more. Gym memberships can be expensive, so try to do it at your own place with everyday objects.

Reading is a good hobby. Mastering the language goes a long way and can mean the difference between churning out a great resume and a bad, generic resume. You might even land a tutoring job if you're good enough. Good command of the language is also good for things like e-mails. People automatically pay more attention to a sender who is courteous, friendly, and eloquent.

Play free games or games that you only need to buy once. A $35 investment for months of entertainment is good. You might even get some card game so you can bond with your roomie and have a good relationship, ensuring that your time at the rental space is stress free. You don't want to be stressed outside and then be stressed at home.

Recycle.

Watch the utilities and reduce wastefulness. Shut the windows when you have to turn on A/C and don't keep running it. When you aren't using a light, close it. Don't keep water running when you are brushing your teeth. Try to take showers in less than 7 minutes. Don't buy more food than you can comfortably eat. Portion your meals so that you eat every grain of rice on the plate without feeling too full or still hungry afterward.

Consider your job to be a chance to show your skills. Try to care about the job and to treat it as though the business is owned by you. You won't have to try so hard that way. A well-done job is easier to do if you care about it. You are also going to catch the eye of your supervisor if you're always a step ahead of the others.

Learn new and useful skills from youtube. Or just learn random stuff. It can be pretty fun.

Being independent in that situation can probably be extremely stressful. You should try to take half a day off a week to spend at your own leisure, at least. You might also consider using some time to ebay some stuff that you don't need. Even if an item you no longer use cost $50 and you resell it for $10, that $10 is more valuable than an item you don't use that would've gone to waste otherwise.

Goodwill stores can be a good source of cheap and good clothes, as well as good cookware, utensils, and dishes. They do a decent job of making the clothes clean and wearable and you never know when you might stumble upon something really nice and net a good deal. Goodwill store items also tend to be more unique and full of character. Much goodwill stuff is antique. Having a nice plate to eat from can allow you to enjoy your daily life more fully and you'll feel better about your life when you're surrounded by things of good quality. I go to my local goodwill store once a month or so. I always find antique Japanese ceramics and stuff like that. I've amassed quite a collection and nothing has cost me more than $2.99 there. That's $2.99 for a lifetime of pleasurable use. As long as you hand-wash and don't pile up dishes, of course, which you should be doing. Dishwashers use water and electricity and you have to clean the sink more due to the food that has been taking root and becoming alive in the basin. And it just makes you feel filthy.

You may want to consider going to a place like a church. You don't necessarily have to believe the gospel or anything, but it is easy to make friends and network there, and fellow churchgoers who care about you will be more likely to help you and to comfort you. Many places often offer free lunch as well. Or join a club on campus that consists of people that have something in common with you so you can create new bonds.
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Posted 8/28/15 , edited 8/28/15
Ideally, you will want to do the following:

- Find a job on campus because working at a college pays very well for part-time positions as well as working around your school schedule.
- Ask a friend if you can rent out a bedroom at their parent's house or their place
- Apply for scholarships and Financial Aid
- Seek free shuttle buses provided by the college if you live near campus
- "ONLY!" eat out when you have Coupons
- Ramen Noodles is your best friend
- Drink Water
- Apply for Medicad / Obama Care just to have some form of health insurance
- Consider Online Side Jobs like working as a translator if you know your native language
- Subscribe to the Penny Hoarder Blog "Great advice for money"
- Consider side jobs like clean outs where you go to foreclose homes and do a haul-a-way
- Enjoy campus activities like hitting the gym or outdoor / indoor sports
- It is wise not to spend over 30% of your income on rent
- Apply for Cash Back credit card and treat it like money you can actually spend per month
- Consider shopping at discounted retail stores like Goodwills and Uptown Cheapskate
- Grow your vegetables if there is a place for it
- Run the fan rather than the Heating/AC because the Heating/AC usually takes up 40-50% of your electric bill
- Do well in school and consider picking up a "Paid Internship" job
- You only need a PC to live with multiple sources for entertainment
- T-Mobile is really good for individual plans.

Side note. Before my current position at the college, I worked at the bookstore as a cashier and my college paid me $12/hr. Also, working at the college, you can get discounts at cellphone companies like Verizon just for working for the US government. Also, know how to use coupons, coupons, coupons, coupons and I will say it again, coupons and combine it with sales. Furthermore, look out for Harris Theater double coupon events if you have a store near you.
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Posted 8/28/15
I wish you luck and wellness.
I can't give more advice than to act in your own best interest, and remember to help others, but I can hope you do well for yourself.
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Posted 8/28/15
It's definitely doable. As other people have mentioned, definitely look into finding a roommate if possible. Also, try to keep a detailed record of everything you spend for a month; go through it at the end of the month and see if there are any expenses you could easily cut (eating out is good example). You don't have to keep that detailed a record every month, but it's a good idea to have a budget and track your expenses against it each month. Finally, subject to any limitations imposed by scholarships/financial aid, don't be afraid to take a course less than a full courseload if you need the time to work more hours. I'm doing that right now with grad school, and it means it will take me three years to finish instead of two, but in my opinion, getting away from living with my parents is worth it.
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