Life and Style

College 101: 5 Things Your Parents Didn’t Tell You About Living on Your Own

During adolescence, there are a number of years we spend wishing to be an adult instead. After all, being an adult is the best way to be free, right? Although there are certain benefits that come with living on your own, there are disadvantages too, such as the fact that you won't have much money to pay for the bills that are coming out of your own pocket, that you'll have to make a large number of important decisions, and your current situation will last a long time until you get on your feet. 

The good news? There are plenty of resources for you. If you are looking to thrive as a young adult, here are five things your parents didn't tell you about living on your own that you need to know.

Photo Courtesy of Scholarship Media

1. Your Credit Score Is Everything 

Your credit score is everything. Whether you are looking to lease a car from a nearby seller, apply for your first apartment or home (with the help of a mortgage lender), or even become a borrower for a certain type of loan for school, you will generally need good credit to get by on life. Fortunately, you can easily start building credit by applying for secured credit cards or credit-builder loans and making monthly payments on time to improve your credit report. The sooner you start, the better. 

2. Everything Costs Money 

There a blissful ignorance in youth. We often see our parents talking about the amount of money they have, worrying about out of pocket costs, and looking for the best deal when it comes to shopping for groceries or other basics. Once we begin to work for own things, however, we understand just how expensive life is. Whether we're chipping away at interest rates on a loan amount, taking care of out of pocket expenses for healthcare, or simply buying things we need, everything costs money. It is a good idea to start learning how to budget now so it doesn't become an issue later. 

3. You Have to Rely on Yourself 

For 18 years, your parents clothe, feed, and nurture you, and these are just some of the basic benefits of being a child. When you are on your own, however, you have to learn how to take care of yourself, which often entails more self-awareness. Take the time to set your own goals, figure out what your needs are, and learn how to meet them. No one else is going to take care of you! 

4. Loans Abound in Adulthood

Transitioning into adulthood can be rough. You have to worry about rent on the first day of the month, enrollment in school, and dealing with everything the U.S. government needs. Another major thing, however, is loans. Whether they are loans for real estate or a loan program for your education, knowing what is a good choice to make and whether or not the interest rates fall into your price range is important. Before you go through the loan process and sign a home loan or any other type of loan, take a look at the loan type, the life of your loan, and what the interest rates mean for your monthly payments. If you make the wrong decision and choose a loan with the wrong terms or one that doesn't have a lower interest rate you can afford, you can fall into debt quickly. Make sure to brush up on your mortgage 101 and other loan types for informational purposes to make sure you are getting the best value. 

5. Having Right Insurance Is Vital 

Being young often comes with a false sense of security. If we feel as though we have no health conditions and can avoid paying medical expenses, we will put off looking for insurance. This can also be due to the many confusing health terms as looking for a health insurer bring us to many different types of plans like Medicare part b. plan a, plan c, plan g, plan k, plan f, part a, etc. Then you have to worry about Medicare supplemental insurance, copayments, coverage gaps, open enrollment periods, and so on. Figure out where you lie in this spectrum and what you can afford. If you go uncovered, you can easily end up paying for medical costs you can't afford. 

The more you try to learn about living on your own, the easier life becomes. To get started, use the five points above and work your way up from there.

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