Starting out on my own

edited May 2009 in The Pub
So I'm about to graduate from college, and I've now signed for an apartment and now have a full time job programming C# ^_^. What I'm wondering is if you guys have any advice for starting out on my own. Suggestions of things to avoid, or things that you wish you did differently etc.......

And no getting wasted every night is not an option as alcohol tastes like crap to me :P

Comments

  • airbornflghtairbornflght Houston, TX
    edited May 2009
    So sorry to hear about the alcohol. Might I suggest Hawaiian punch, pineapple juice/slices , and everclear? All you taste is the punch.

    Anyway. Depends if you are looking at the short term or the long term. Right now the housing market is down so it's a good time to buy if you have 5-10 years to let the property appreciate back. Also, if you are handy you can buy a nice house the needs some work at a pretty good discount, do the work, and turn a tidy profit once the economy rebounds.

    You could go out to clubs, join sports teams, or whatever you like to do. I'm not sure what you are fishing for here.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX
    edited May 2009
    Budget 10,000 times. Budget 10,000 more.
  • JBJB Carlsbad, CA
    edited May 2009
    I agree with Thrax. Set your budget, make sure it is below your income AFTER taxes, and then live at or below that level of spending. You never know when you need some spare $$$ for car repair, dentist, etc. Good luck!
  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC
    edited May 2009
    Budget and make sure to save. Consider reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. It's generic and aimed at older people with considerable debt, but the basic financial principles he outlines are sound (albeit sometimes deemed excessive).

    You don't have to buy a house. It can be a good investment. It can also be a millstone around your neck. I prefer the idea of saving for a down payment for a while before even considering buying.

    Learn to cook. Eating out at fast food places and restaurants is expensive and generally unhealthy. Microwave dinners are about as bad. Remember that you can make food ahead of time and freeze it.

    Buy a chest freezer. A big one. Also, a George Foreman-type grill. Both are awesome.

    Ditch cable TV and use the Internet. It's cheaper and you can skip commercials.
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA
    edited May 2009
    As others have stated, Save save save. If possible, put more in the bank then you spend.

    Learn to survive on off-brands, be resourcefull with repairs and the like (i.e. do it yourself), Don't leave lights/electronics on to conserve electricity, in the winter use blankets, not heat, in the summer, open a window rather than using AC. Every little thing you can do to save a buck will help a ton.

    Once winter rolls around, be prepared for astronomical gas bills. Learn to live in a slightly cold room, because gas bills can go into the multi-hundreds of dollars (in a house anyways).

    Make efforts to get to know those around you and make friends. Can be coworkers, neighbors, regulars at a bar, whatever. Just find a social life. When I moved out I found it easy to live in my box in front of my PC. It was easy to do in college, but outside of school it becomes maddening. Find ways to get yourself out of the apartment and interact with real people.

    And Buddy J has it, George forman grills are excellent (make sure it's the type where the heating irons can be removed for cleaning)
  • airbornflghtairbornflght Houston, TX
    edited May 2009
    If you invest $5 a day into a 401k you can retire late 50's living off interest. The sooner you start the better. I obviously don't have a 401k right now, but I do have a considerable sum of cash spread around a few different companies already.
  • RichDRichD Essex, UK
    edited May 2009
    The biggest thing that I belive is that if something looks too good to be true then it usually aint! Be very wary of any offers of credit and make sure what you have going out each month is covered by what you have going in. I got into debt after uni and then moved away from home where my out goinings were more than I had coming in or the basis I had more career option and more prospects post move. This meant I was living on credit until my wages picked up. I am now just about on a break even basis but I have been lucky enough to buy my own flat instead of renting now.

    The whole reason that the world is in the state that it is now is because people borrowed more than they could afford. Protect your credit rating because in these times good credit is literally worth its weight in gold.
  • kryystkryyst Ontario, Canada
    edited May 2009
    Everything listed so far is good advice. If you don't have a credit card then I suggest you get one. However here's the caveat. Use it occasionally and then pay it off right away. It can help later on when you need a credit rating, plus it can be extremely helpful if you are in a pinch when your rent check is due, your gas bill came in and your stove just blew up.

    The trick though is to not keep an outstanding balance on it and only use it when you have cash to actually pay it off. Of course if you are a weak person and know you can't control spending stay away from credit cards or when you get one specify you only want a small limit like 500-1000 dollars and when they raise it bitch at them to lower it back.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX
    edited May 2009
    ^ Sage advice. I've been using a credit card for every purchase since I was 17, but I've always treated it like a debit card: If I don't have the money in the bank to pay it off at the end of the month, I don't buy it.

    I've been offered crazy good interest rates on mortgages (4%), I was able to sign for my new car at 20 years old (again, great interest rate), I've breezed through every credit check I've ever had.

    Seriously. Credit is your friend. Use it smartly, or don't use it.
  • RADARADA Apple Valley, CA
    edited May 2009
    OR....

    You could be like a loin's share of other Americans.....


    .......you could rack up some major credit card debt you can't afford, buy a car you really can't afford, then buy a house you seriously can't afford....

    then wait for the govenment to bail you out.. :wtf:


    Seriously - Every previous post is exactly right, follow the advice of others who have been there, (made the mistakes already) and set your self up for the future.
  • LincLinc Bard Detroit
    edited May 2009
    All very financial so far.

    Find a great hobby that's unrelated (or tangentially related) to your job. Learn some new skills. Read great books. Get involved with open source. Create opportunities for yourself and get out and meet other people in your field.

    If all you're doing is your 9-5, then that's all you'll ever have.
  • GargGarg Purveyor of Lincoln Nightmares
    edited May 2009
    Lincoln wrote:
    If all you're doing is your 9-5, then that's all you'll ever have.

    Sage advice. You'll probably get bored with your job eventually. Make sure there are other things in your life that get you up in the morning.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI
    edited May 2009
    Find local tweetups. They're a great way to meet new people.
  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC
    edited May 2009
    Icrontic gets me up in the morning and keeps me up at night ;)
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA
    edited May 2009
    Lincoln wrote:
    If all you're doing is your 9-5, then that's all you'll ever have.

    Very good point. Find things to do that expand your ability, not burn you out. For me it's short films. When I work on them, I not only build my portfolio but I strengthen my photography and animation abilities. It's a great challenge that is also fun to do.

    As Linc said, open source is probably a great method of doing so.

    And agreed on what Prime said, it coincides what I said about getting out and find people. Tweetups are a great method to find not only locals in your area, but those that are essentially like-minded.
  • RichDRichD Essex, UK
    edited May 2009
    Work to live not live to work.
  • edited May 2009
    Find local tweetups. They're a great way to meet new people.

    Tell that to the people in Kansas City -.-
  • jaredjared College Station, TX
    edited May 2009
    Gargoyle wrote:
    Sage advice. You'll probably get bored with your job eventually. Make sure there are other things in your life that get you up in the morning.

    That was one thing I learned upon entering the "real world".

    Aside from your job- the ability to unwind, relax, and take up hobbies you are interested in is crucial.

    For the first 6 months of my job. I sat in front of a computer 8-5 everyday coding and designing. Then I would come home, and sit in front of my computer doing more coding designing for the rest of the evening.

    That was all peachy for awhile - but then I got burned the hell out. Being extremely productive isn't worth a shit when you are miserable.

    Now I make a point to sit on the front porch after work with a beer, go to the shooting range, play golf, work out, etc - things that have helped me strike a balance with work and truly enjoy myself.

    On the surface it seems like I'm not getting as much work done since I don't put in as many hours (freelance and what not), but I am actually more productive since I am happier when I am working. And to me, ultimately that's all that matters.

    cheers :jared:
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA
    edited May 2009
    ^ this a hundred times.
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska
    edited May 2009
    Work to live not live to work.
    I would find something in the middle. Work satisfaction improves home life. A good home live will will enable better work/career.
  • edited May 2009
    I wish I would have learned to cook before I moved out on my own. I would have eaten way better and saved tons of money.
  • RichDRichD Essex, UK
    edited May 2009
    ^Very True^
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska
    edited May 2009
    Darksword, it's very good to see you here!
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