After college graduation, the real world is something that you go from having to think about something you’ll have to deal with. It’s time to put that education to use by finding a great job and starting the next phase of your life. In other words, it’s time to grow up and start adulting. The most pressing concern you’ll probably have is figuring out where you are going to stay. If you live in a college dorm you are going to have to find a new place to stay after graduation. One thing you should avoid doing is signing a long-term lease for a house or apartment until you have found your new job. The last thing you want is to sign a lease for a place, only to discover that there aren’t any jobs in your field in the area. That can leave you stuck with a long commute, or having to break your lease which can be expensive as well.
You also don’t want to sign a lease because you don’t know what your salary will be. You’ll probably have an idea, but what happens if you sign a lease only to discover that you don’t make enough to afford your rent? Maybe you’ll need roommates? Maybe you’ll need to settle for a smaller place for now. Maybe your new job will require you to work at home frequently, which means you’ll need a home office. The point is that until you have a job, and have a handle on your finances, you shouldn’t sign a lease anywhere. What should you do instead? Living in your car isn’t an option, so what is? Why not find a place you can crash at for free while you get ready to take the next step in your professional life?
Finding Temporary Lodging Until You Land A Job
Unless you were a social outcast in college you probably have some close friends. Why not see if you can impose on them for the time being? You could offer to pay a little rent if need be so you can crash on their couch while your job hunting. You could stay with family as well, your parents would probably love to have you back, even if that’s not an ideal solution in your eyes. Don’t look at this as a setback, look at it as a way to move forward while remaining flexible. Embrace the situation and try to have fun while you’re at it. The people you are staying with are your friends and family, so make the most of it and have a good time.
Place Anything You Don’t Need Right Now Into Storage
If you find a friend or family member that will take you in for a while, then it’s time to start thinking about moving and storage. You may or may not need to rent a moving truck, but one thing you’ll definitely need to do is rent a storage unit. No matter how good of friends you are with someone, or how close you are with your family, you don’t want to move into their place for a few weeks and fill it up with your stuff.
Renting a storage unit is an inexpensive solution that will give you a place to store your belongings until you find a more permanent housing solution. You should store any clothing that you don’t’ wear during the current season, sports gear, furniture, and anything else you don’t need on a daily basis into storage. For example, if you are going to be staying with your parents, and their house is 4 hours from the beach, do you really need to clutter up their garage with your surfboard?
Renting a storage unit will lessen the burden you place on whoever you are staying with. It will also help to keep you mobile in case you have to move around. You might only spend a week or two at a friend or family member’s place before you need to move on. Do you really want to have to pack up all of your things each time you move? Or, would you rather keep them in storage until you find a place of your own?
Finding Permanent Housing Once You Land A Job
So, you’ve landed a job! Maybe it’s your dream job, or maybe it’s an entry-level position in your field. In either case, this is a momentous occurrence. You are taking the next steps to becoming a responsible adult. Most importantly, you’ll now have a paycheck! Since you know where you are going to be working, what your housing needs will be, and how much money you’ll be making, you can start to look for a place of your own.
The cost of apartment rental varies wildly depending on where you are looking. You’ll have to decide about how much you can afford to pay, and then how to get the most out of your money. Is it worth paying more for a small apartment that’s closer to your job? Or would you rather save money and get a bigger place in a less affluent area, but you’ll have a longer commute to deal with? What about family and friends? How close are you with them? How much time will you spend with them? Do you have an active social life? If so, then staying near an area with an active nightlife scene might be something you desire.
When you are first starting out in life it’s important to try to keep your expenses under control. Sure, that large and luxurious apartment looks nice, and you’d probably love living there, but is that really the best way you could be spending your money? Why not be a little smarter with your money and rent a smaller apartment that is closer to your job? This will save you time on your commute, and it will save you money. If you rent a smaller apartment and don’t have enough space for your things, you could always rent a low-cost storage unit to store things you don’t need at the moment. The point here is that you should be focusing on building up your savings, and if that means living in a smaller place, for now, that’s what you should do.
You should also keep in mind that leasing an apartment is tougher when you have low or no credit, so you may end up struggling to find a place at first. Nobody ever said adulting would be easy, and things only get tougher from here on out. That’s life, so you can either stress about it, or you can embrace it.
California Is A Great Place To Live With Opportunity Around Every Corner
After graduation, you are probably at a point in life where you don’t have a lot of disposable income. That means you have to be smart about how you spend your money, especially before you land your first job. Paying for a hotel or motel is expensive. Signing a lease for an apartment is expensive, and it limits your flexibility. Staying with friends or family is free, or close to it, and keeps you flexible so you can move if need be. Storing your furniture and belongings in a storage unit is inexpensive as well, and it gives you the ability to furnish your new place without having to buy new furniture when you move. In short, don’t be too proud to crash on someone’s couch until you land a great job, it’s humbling, but it’s also the smart move to make.