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Teens moving out the first time

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Initial post: Sep 18, 2008 9:23:24 AM PDT
I am a Financial Education Specialist, I work with inner city youth who are ages 17-19 and about to graduate from high school.

Many will be living in apartments and getting ready to "Be a Grown-up" for the first time.

What was the very best tip you ever got about moving out and how to navigate the "real world" or what blindsighted you?

Please note this is a public forum and I will be sharing your response with my classroom. - Thanks Mickey Mikeworth

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2008 12:48:53 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 19, 2008 2:17:57 PM PDT
What a wonderful question Mickey. I teach a Personal Money Management Course to high school seniors and I address that very issue. I ask how many are a bit frightened to venture out into the world on their own for the first time and the hands do go up all over the room. The primary reason they are scared is because they do not know if they will make enough money to pay all their bills. In my book, Manage Your Own Money and in the high school handout, is a budget sheet and I simply go over discretionary and non-discretionary spending. Knowing how to spend less than they make gives them the confidence to leave home for the first time.

You can never become rich knowing nothing about money!! There are Paths to Prosperity in the book showing them ways to become a millionaire. Students like knowing ways in which they to can have a slice of the American dream.

Good luck to you and your class!!

Dan Clemons, author Manage Your Own Money

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2008 1:11:48 PM PST
Oregongirl says:
Teens need to to set goals. They need to understand what they want out of life so they can head to that goal. Do they need higher education? Funds to start a business? How will these funds come about? Will a new car hinder that goal, or is one required for the goal? These questions should be pondered before a teen moves out so they have a plan to immediately act upon.

If they don't, they'll end up in debt and life will just pass them by. I know some of my former highschool classmates ended up in deadbeat jobs and now look eerily like their own parents at a very early age. Worn-out, tired and bored.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2009 7:06:16 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Jan 26, 2009 5:19:57 PM PST]

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 1:31:37 PM PST
To all the young men out there, stay focused on gettin' money. Don't let these young girls trick you out of your paycheck. If you meet a girl you like, offer her some chicken nuggets and a milkshake. If she accepts, then keep her around. If not, drop that gold-digger. All she'll do is bleed you dry and move on to the next highest bidder.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2009 9:31:11 AM PST
Hi Mickey,
This is such a good question. I think we often overlook preparing youth for adulthood. I worked for 14 years as a Director of an Independent Living Program for runaway and homeless youth. Our primary mission was to help them understand what it is like to be on their own. I recommend that you help them understand that they can plan on using approx 3/4 of their income just to survive depending on what ciy they live it. Youth often don't learn that they can't just wildly speed however they wish. I recommend going to google or the website to find program plans for independent living programs. They often provide a curriculum which can give you some tips. Finally, they learn very fast when the actual "moving out" happens. So lot's of support is important and making sure they have places to go when the poop hits the fan. Good Luck!

Posted on Mar 15, 2009 6:02:05 AM PDT
MIckey - I remember the very worst thing I did the first paycheck I got from my first job after I moved away from home. I went and blew the whole entire thing on clothes. And then for two weeks I subsisted on ramen noodles. It was the best lesson I've ever had and was a real reminder about the value of budgeting my money. I've never starved for two weeks again.
Cherie Miller

Posted on Mar 15, 2009 6:29:30 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2009 6:30:47 AM PDT
I'm raising 7 boys, ages 15-27. One of the biggest things we stress is, "live way beneath your means." One money guru I respect is Ron Blue, who studied finances in college and wrote many books on personal money management throughout his life. Once, someone asked him to sum up the most important thing he knew about finances in one sentence. He thought about it for some time and then said, "Spend less than you make, and do it for a long period of time."

Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world, made his original money by working hard at regular jobs (caddying, paper routes, etc.) through elementary school, middle school and high school. What he did different from others is that he saved massively and invested it rather than spending it. Sam and Bud Walton say that Wal-Mart's success in the early years was that they made money by not spending it. Benjamin Franklin was frugal enough to live way beneath his means, allowing him to retire in his early 40's, so that he'd have time to experiment with electricity, start a library system, improve the postal service, help start a pretty neat country, etc. It's called frugality, and it's not all negative. It's fun to watch your savings grow!

J. Steve Miller
Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It
Legacy Educational Resources

Posted on Mar 25, 2009 11:50:06 AM PDT
* says:
Learn to tell the difference between a "want" and a "need." My teenagers will say the "need" something like a new pair of shoes when what they are really saying is that they "want" a new pair of shoes. They already have a dozen pairs of shoes in the closet. Gotta make sure you have enough for the actual needs (shelter, food, savings) and then with what's left over you can decide what you want (a car, entertainment, clothes, etc.). Even within the "needs" there is room for choices (hamburger vs. steak, McMansion vs regular-size home/apartment). And the biggest one -- credit cards can actually enslave you with debt -- not create the fun and free lifestyle you think you are getting when you buy anything you want whenever you want. Credit card debt takes away choices you may want to make down the road.

People who manage their money, rather than letting their money/debt manage them are much happier!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2009 10:57:02 AM PDT
Dear Mickey,

In my senior year, we had to create our own budget or what I prefer to call a "spending/saving plan." As part of the assignment, I had to ask my parents for their budget (the list of our family's monthly expenses), but not everyone can do this. The school counselor then gave us a list of items to price at the local grocery and department stores to help us figure out how much it would cost to get started in our own apartments--a great exercise.

Young people must be able to acknowledge or recognize the difference between a "need" and a "want." Needs include food and shelter, not entertainment or the latest tech gadget or fashion style. Use a cash envelope system, marked "Rent/Utilities," "Food," "Allowance" -- yes, allow yourself a small amount for incidentals each week which is a PLANNED amount and stick to it -- and work from a cash-basis for three months to establish good habits. It's one of the best ways to get started, because dealing in cash makes the money management process visible in this electronic-plastic-driven world. An ATM card, "Always Tempting Me," makes it too easy to drain your account with impulse spending because you can't see the damage right away. Then after practicing for a couple of weeks, you might see that the amounts need adjusting, so make the needed changes in your written plan. It's nothing fancy, just a piece of paper with your spending plan on it to help you stay on track. In three months, your budget plan will be polished and then you can switch to electronic accounting (banking online and using an ATM card). It's important to establish good money habits first, however.

As the advisor, you can provide some guidance to your students on cost-of-living percentages for each category for these students as they get started, such as saving 10% of every paycheck for their future, and a percentage for your area's living expenses (in my area, housing and utilities run about 35-40% of income). Then add five percent of your housing cost for those non-monthly expenses that you know you'll have to pay for, such as car repairs or transportation. General guidelines such as these percentages help students get started in creating their budgets and plan for the future.

A budget--a money management plan--helps a student do four things:
1. Learn how to PLAN.
2. Learn how to GIVE (and help others).
3. Learn how to SAVE.
4. Learn how to SPEND, with a PLAN.

In brief: Don't spend your whole paycheck, but save some, share some, and plan ahead for expenses. As the saying goes, "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail." Thirty percent of Americans do not have a spending/saving plan and won't achieve their dreams, but instead, live stressfully from paycheck to paycheck. But it doesn't have to be that desparate, if you consciously choose to live on less than you make, and plan ahead (save) for expenses. You CAN do it!

I hope this helps.

Kimn S. Gollnick, coauthor of GETTING YOUR FINANCIAL HOUSE IN ORDER (ISBN 080542720-1)

Posted on Sep 16, 2011 6:25:04 PM PDT
Finding blogs from people who have done it and are well adjusted saved me! They give advice and tips about everything from recipes, decorating tips, affordable living, scheduling and on and on. One blog is great for posting questions and the answers are spot on. The author just updated and reformatted it. I was on it earlier and got a killer recipe for ice cream that uses bananas as the main ingredient. I am always munchie at night and wanted to know if there were any "healthy" or somewhat healthy ways to kill those cravings!!! here is the link

Check it out and post your question so we can all LEARN!

Posted on Mar 2, 2012 9:23:25 AM PST
BrightStars says:
I am 18 and i moved out of my parents house immediately after i finished massage school (i finished highschool early and started going to vocational college right away). I had enough money to do that because i had been stripping for about 7 months (did that right after i turned 18) and now i do webcamming (much more lucrative). My parents think i am a massage therapist at Kaiser for cancer patients and i feel bad lying to them (and all my other relatives) but i dont think its any of their business. I do very well and take care of myself, no one gave me any advice on how to do that. I still go home every once in a while to visit my parents (and do laundry)
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Discussion in:  Finance forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  12
Initial post:  Sep 18, 2008
Latest post:  Mar 2, 2012

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