Get a checking account and keep a checkbook registry. Write down all your purchases that day, so you always know how much you have so you avoid bank fees. Pay all your bills on time. Certain ones paid late can effect your credit score. Set up a budget. Know where your money is going and where you can cut if money is tight. You start by thinking about your money you have coming in from your job. Then think about what you have to pay monthly, right now: Cell phone, car insurance, food, gas etc. Now think about the other expenses that you will incur monthly being on your own: utilities inc cable and online services, rent, laundry, etc. Some places include utilities in their rent. You have to ask. The utility company might be able to tell you the previous owners average monthly expenses. Best bet is to move to a college town where the bulk of rental houses are for college students. They would be more open to someone without a history. Don't eat out all the time. Cooking is generally not a priority for 17 years old, but trust me it is cheaper to learn and go grocery shopping and get food costs down to around three dollars or less a meal vs. $6-9. You are never to young to clip coupons either. It is hard being on your own when you are younger, and every little bit helps. Get the Sunday paper every week and if there are a lot of coupons in that week that you will use buy more than one paper. Go through the sales catalogs of the closest grocery stores and match up the sales. Buy things that are on sale, otherwise your grocery costs will run away from you easily. You can also find coupons online, and I think there is an app with coupons too, but you'll have to google that for yourself. If you do go out to eat try to make your meal last for two meals so the per meal cost goes down. Food is def. the one area you can control your costs the most. If there is a bus route where you are moving learn about the bus route instead of driving to save on gas. If you like books, your local public library can fill that void for free. Put something away in savings from every paycheck, if you can. If you can get direct deposit, do so. Saves you from going to the bank. See if your financial institution can set up automatic transfers from that paycheck to go into a savings account, even if it is just ten dollars. It will add up and give you a small cushion if something like your car brakes, or you want to make a Special practical purchase. Shop around for the best car and renters insurance rates. Being so young it might be hard to get a better price, but quotes are generally free. Start establishing your credit by seeing if your financial institution offers a secure loan or credit card that they offer to help you build credit. Usually they are small amounts like $500 or $1000 and the money is placed on hold in your account and you pay it off monthly for a year or two. Don't sign up for those credit card offers you will most likely you get in the mail. They might have a good intro rate, but in the fine print you'll see after the certain intro rate the rate will jump to ten plus percent, and you might be tempted to tap out your limit and create a bad situation where you dig your financial grave before you have the chance to make credit decisions. On the subject of credit. Do not pay your whole college education on student loans if you are planning on going. I am friends with too many people who made some crazy student loan decisions when they were younger and now they struggle to make ends meet b/c monthly they are spending $400 plus a month on just student loan bills. I pay $70 a month on student loans off of about $7500 worth of debt, and I went to school at a community college full time for four years while living with my boyfriend. We both paid equally on everything monthly. I most likely could not have managed as well as I did without him, but if I had to do it on my own, I would have worked more and went to school part time so I could avoid future debt. My boyfriend and I eventually married and now own a home together and we were both under 30 when we made that happen. That is not the norm in this day in age when it seems a lot of young adults are going to far into debt with credit cards and student loans to be in a position to buy anything, inc. something smaller like a car vs. a home. There is a good book with ideas of how to get through school without going into too much debt. I am very passionate about young adults not ruining their future credit well being, because I feel that my friends were not informed enough about the consequences of their decisions. The school system does not teach this stuff. Anyway, I found this book after I was out of school for a few years. It is called Debt Free U: How I Paid For An Outstanding college Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off my Parents by Zac Bissonnette.
Good luck with everything. Hard work makes your results that much more satisfying.
· 7 years ago