Author Topic: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?  (Read 4276 times)

luxend23

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Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« on: August 12, 2015, 08:57:23 PM »
Hi, I'm new to the Moustachian way of living and I have a tough dilemma on my hands. I'm 26 years old, I work as a cook for $10.50 an hour and I live with my parents. I wasted a lot of time and money partying in my youth, so I am just now pursuing my Bachelor's. I recently finished 2 years at community college, but due to lack of foresight, I've just decided my major and need another 3 years to get my accounting degree.

I only have about $1000 in emergency funds, I have $8,500 in student debt from a previous failed foray into schooling in my lazy youth, and a Vanguard mutual fund with only $1000 yet invested. Is it financially smarter to live in a rent-free, free food living situation while working part-time and going to school for 2.5-3 years; or should I pay for rent in order have a car-free commute? I am taking out about $25,000 in student loans to get an accounting degree, and I don't want to put my studies in jeopardy. I know that paying my debt down is important so I will work regardless of which choice I make. It's just a matter of how much I will definitively have to work. I have spent years trying to find a decent office job, but no one has hired me so I am stuck working long hours in hot and dangerous kitchens. It is truly miserable and I am ready to get my bachelor's to move on to a better way of life, even if it means being broke the first few years out of college just to pay off my debt.

I live in a pretty bad neighbourhood (think similar crime rate to Detroit) so, although I only have a 3.5 mile commute to school and to work, it would be unsafe for me to bike it. I'm a small woman, weighing just over 100 lbs so I don't have much of an intimidating physique. I want to know if it seems smarter to move a couple miles into the next town over, which is a safe town, in order to save time spent driving. I'm nervous about the prospect of paying rent (which would be anywhere from $350-$500/month-- i.e. fairly manageable even with low-pay) while going to school.

I'm afraid that the stress of working full-time while taking 16 or more credits will be too much. I know that tons of people have more responsibility, like single mothers and such, but it's still a big deal to me. I haven't lived away from home in 4 years, and then I lived at a retreat center where rent and food were taken care of in exchange for work, so no big stress there.

I'd rather not have to move back home after making this decision. It comes down to whether I should bite the bullet and seek independence and a safe, active lifestyle despite the possible stress-- or stay at home where rent is free, groceries are paid for, and I am only spending about $8 potential dollars a day on commuting.

Thanks for any responses and I hope I laid out the situation well enough!

mxt0133

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2015, 09:40:23 PM »
At 3.5 miles from work how much time are you actually driving a day, 30 mins?  What is the cost of rent and food?  If you don't know then i would highly recommend you stay home rent and board free and bust your tail to finish your accounting degree in two years. 

Why do you need to work full-time?  I would just work part-time and load up on classes, take night classes as they are normally only once a week and tailored to working students, which means the professors are normally more lenient on grades and work load. When I went to college it was the same price if I took 12 or 21 credits, guess what I took 19-21 a semester with summers classes and I was able to double major. I also earned 12 credits towards my masters after 4 years, 160 credits total.  While working part-time.  Just like you I lived at home, didn't have to cook, minimal chores, and was still able to have life.  It can be done, you just can't spend 12-15 hours watching TV at night or going out 4 times a week.

So load up on classes, take summer courses as well two classes minimum.  Get all your books used for 1/2 the price or free.  You can get that loan down if you put most of what you earn into paying for school yourself.

luxend23

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2015, 10:13:27 PM »
Mxt0133, I'm 8 minutes one way from both my job and my school, it's pretty nonconsequential I guess. I don't have to work full-time, I just feel like if other people have done it successfully, why shouldn't I? But you're right, I have about 90 credits to catch up on and with a lot of discipline I'll be graduated and working in 2.5 years. Thanks for the reply!

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2015, 10:54:29 PM »
Financially, it is smarter to keep living at home, unless your commute costs more than rent (it probably doesn't). I understand the desire to be independent and active, but if you can just hang on, the 2.5 years will be over soon and you'll be able to enjoy both independence and more money in the bank. You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. Good luck!

luxend23

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2015, 12:46:26 AM »
Thanks :). Time to keep my nose to the grindstone.

BikeFanatic

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2015, 08:25:09 AM »
Stay at home, stay safe. I have saved a lot of money and time taking summer classes at the local community college to help  finish my degree,  just have to be sure the credit is transferrable. Good luck.

luxend23

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2015, 05:34:01 PM »
I actually haven't considered that I can still take transferable courses at CC during the summer instead of at the university. That will definitely save me thousands, thank you.

luxend23

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2015, 06:11:43 PM »
Well, now I have the chance to start a bartending/cooking job 20 miles (and 20 minutes) from my home, paid under the table. Bartending is the type of job that, over time, can make me more money in a shorter time period than cooking. The kitchen I'm hired at is a completely from scratch, high-end operation, and the stress of that might trump the short commute. Especially because I spent the whole summer trying to escape cooking and break into bartending. I may have to bite the bullet on gas costs and take the opportunity being offered to me. I had a coworker who bartended/served for two days a week while getting her master's and that was enough to pay her rent and live comfortably. Which is impossible to do as a cook, a pretty laborious and high stress job. If anyone has two extra cents to throw in, it would be welcome.

dess1313

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2015, 07:12:01 PM »
Quote
Mxt0133, I'm 8 minutes one way from both my job and my school, it's pretty nonconsequential I guess. I don't have to work full-time, I just feel like if other people have done it successfully, why shouldn't I? But you're right, I have about 90 credits to catch up on and with a lot of discipline I'll be graduated and working in 2.5 years. Thanks for the reply!

just because someone else has doesn't mean you have to exactly mirror what they did.  You'd be better to focus on grades and getting classes done and back off on the work.  Living on your own isn't what its cut out to be.  Its also more than just rent, usually you have either water or electricity or internet bills as well so that adds to the costs.  renters insurance.  sometimes parking fees.  furniture to get.  stay at home for now until you're done school.

Might be able to finish sooner doing part time which is a positive. Even if you do have a bit of debt going through school its good debt as long as you're now focused and have a goal, a set path in progress and a real potential job at the end of it.   Commuting a little ways isn't the worst thing in the world on a short term basis, and as a mustachian in the future you'll be looking to fix that once you have a new job as an accountant.  Its not like you're commuting an hour one way.  I'd also highly consider the new bartending job.  Less stress and fewer hours sounds fantastic.

fb132

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2015, 07:15:14 PM »
I say the samething like everyone else, stay with your parents. If you were to rent, that would be an additional stress on your shoulders since your mind will be juggling between work, school and paying your rent + bills...at least at home, you can concentrate on school and work alone.

MsPeacock

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2015, 07:23:15 PM »
Stay rent free. See if you can find a job that pays better. I waitressed through college (88-92) and I'm pretty sure I made more than $10.50 a hour even then. Waiting tables went pretty well w/ going to school. The hours are compatible w/ going to school during the day and the pay was pretty good. (I know I paid one semester at University of Michigan almost entirely in $1 bills from waiting tables.)

I worked full time all the way through under-grad, under-grad again (different major), a M.S., and a Ph.D. - it can be done and much can be argued for keeping your student loan debt as small as possible.


luxend23

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2015, 07:33:02 PM »
Good points, dess1313. I have a pretty amiable home life as well and, being a true introvert, that extra emotional support probably has untold benefits. Given that I won't have time for much of a personal life, combining a less stressful job with embedded social interaction (bartending) will probably be a boon as well. In contrast, working as a cook almost always carries a degree of emotional abuse with it, it's the whole egoistic "if you can't stand the heat," attitude thing. I'll be glad to be rid of that. Thanks.

Fb132, I've decided to definitely follow that advice. In this economy it's not quite as shameful to stay home and anyhow, one day I'll be the early retiree instead of the late bloomer. I think I always knew this in the back of my mind, otherwise I would have just moved out to continue making bad financial decisions under the guise of carefree youth, like the majority of my peers.

MsP, I agree that if I can handle working full-time, I really should. I won't jeopardize my studies, but I will give it my best effort. It may even be worth going to school an extra half year, granted I pay my debt off as I go. It's just best to find out our full capabilities, I reckon. I served at a fairly slow restaurant for 2 months before looking for greener pastures. If I give this bartending gig a shot, I can take those skills and find a restaurant where I can do both. I also find serving for super corporate restaurants with endless scripts and upselling intolerable. I just need to find the right place.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2015, 04:10:15 PM »
Besides the money saving of living at home, I expect there is a lot of stress and time saved. If something breaks, your parents fix it, right? If you had your own place, you would have to worry about it, call the landlord, whatever. And not just PAY for your own food, but COOK it--I'm betting you get dinner sometimes, right?

I say stay put as long as you are really busting your ass at school and work and not putting too much strain on your parents. (You clean up after yourself, right? Maybe mow the lawn or cook an occasional meal?)

Tremeroy

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2015, 05:23:19 PM »
Well, now I have the chance to start a bartending/cooking job 20 miles (and 20 minutes) from my home, paid under the table.

Don't jeopardize your future in exchange for a short-term financial boost. You aren't looking to stay in hospitality as a career. The lingering fear of an IRS crackdown is not what you need at a time when you're borrowing money to pay for your education. It's great to minimize your borrowing, but not at any cost.

luxend23

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2015, 10:38:47 AM »
Frugalparagon, I help clean up around the house and pitch in occasionally for groceries. There are a lot of luxuries that I currently enjoy that I probably won't notice until I'm out of the house, definitely.

Tremeroy, it's true that I'm not looking to stay in this industry,  and I'm not sure what the repercussions are for working under the table. However, it doesn't really seem like a looming danger. I just feel like tha extra skill of knowing how to bartend could afford me the privilege of a three-day work week where I'd make the same as a cook makes in a week and a half. I still have a couple of days to decide. The kitchen job could be great, I would learn a lot of classical cooking techniques that I don't yet know, so that's nifty. Also, I wouldn't have to cater to alcoholics all day. It could go either way, weighing pros and cons like this. I will take your words into account though, thank you.

dess1313

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Re: Move out of my rent-free home, for a no-car commute?
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2015, 07:17:04 PM »
thing is about taxes, making not much as you are, even if you do claim some tips officially, you're not in a high tax bracket to even have to worry about it much.  being a student should give you some discounts.  as long as the main job is legit handled, thats the most important part.  Being able to work half your hours and still make the same amount is a big time factor especially if you're going to do a large course load