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Living on My Own

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As noted recently, after several months of searching (and a few weeks of *hard* searching) I finally managed to get myself a job. I'm enjoying it, and they're starting to give me more hours it seems. I must exert myself to become as competent as possible.

Consequently, I think this would be a good time to start planning the next major phase of my life, moving out and living on my own. The difficulty -- which has prompted the necessity of my moving out -- is that I cannot consult my family in this endeavor. After breaking off my relationship with my mother, my closest family members (though not my whole family) has proven themselves to be of despicable characters by ignoring the harm that came from my living with my mother, refusing to acknowledge my intellectual stance, and encouraging me to do some arbitrary duty. The irrationality they have exhibited in doing this is detestable (and documented in the link), and as such I would like to cut them from my life so I can get on with being productive and pursuing my happiness.

I want to keep this a secret from them since I'd probably get harangued about if found out. Worse yet, they might continue bothering me at my new address; they're so saturated in emotionalism that they cannot recognize the world of ideas, so even if I told them I never wanted to see them again they would get angry and try to continue dealing with me, believing me to be in a simple bad mood.

So what do I need to know about living on my own, legally and responsibility-wise? I mean, I know I could certainly handle my finances, laundry, food preparation (I am trying to become a chef after all), and whatnot, but I know little about searching for good apartments, dealing with landlords, knowing how to properly maintain furnaces and washing machines, laws I need to obey, and so forth.

Could you guys assist me in this informational endeavor, or at least point me out to some good resources? I'd appreciate it. My moving out is a long ways away yet, but I'm saving and working my way there.

Thank you for your time.

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edited for spelling

I have two bits of advice.

The first is-move out. Living with your parents is like living in a nest-most everything you need is given to you, and reality is (for the most part) not staring you in the face. So stretch your wings and try it out. It will suck, speaking bluntly. You will have very little money. Once common items will become treasured treats (I remember when it took me almost a month just before I had enough money to casually afford myself a nice latte from Starbucks. Then again, I am pretty averse to spending anyway). Do not be surprised when the smell of Ramen Noodles makes you sick, but you eat it, because you could not afford the pork roast at the grocery store. This is reality, and this is what you need to face. Your priorities will change.

The second is-do not burn the bridge with your parents. I understand that you do not want to be "bothered" because of their emotionalism, and maybe giving it awhile before you tell them where you live will help things "cool down", though I certainly do not think so. Just get into the habit of asking yourself this question ever single day: "Why do my parents feel as they do?". Either way, you'll learn something.

Edited by VcatoV
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To expound on two things VcatoV mentions, sucking and parents: It probably will be rough when you move out on your own depending on your expectations. If you can sit and really imagine all of the things that your parents now provide you for free, that you will have to pay for yourself, you may take the jump realistically. But that will probably not happen since you have no perspective in your life on this matter yet. Maybe the best you can hope for is for things to not seem too miserable.

When I moved out, I did it with no savings and no financial support from anybody. It took years to establish myself in what may seem like the simplest ways; food, multi-room housing, clothing... God, I have forgotten about some of this since then. There was a period where I ate only pasta and oatmeal, and looked forward to affording a bag of apples! I wore the same shorts and shirt for an entire summer. I cycled to work for months. My apartment looked on to brick walls five feet in front of me. It may sound ridiculous to mention that I really wasn't miserable. I did not, not, not want to live at home anymore. Independence, even the limited, struggle-ridden version I'd made, was better.

As for cutting out your whole family, I wouldn't recommend doing it in an over-the-top dramatic way, which could mean appeasing them for the short-term. I am not familiar with your circumstances, but short of all-out abuse, they did provide for you for years, and you may still change your mind in the future about the various values that they created for you in your childhood and youth. Granted, if you do cut yourself off and your parents care for you, they will take you back if you decide later, but why create the unneeded heartache? Also, if you change your mind soon, their dough will come in extremely handy as you figure things out and build your life.

Lastly, legally, you have nothing at all to worry about if you are over 18. The world is yours.

Post-script, do not take on personal debt in the form of credit cards.

Bonus: Tips!

Craigslist is a good way to search for the cheapest of the cheap with apartments. But another good way is to drive to neighborhoods you think you may be able to afford, collect a bunch of numbers from "For Rent" signs, and call to ask for rent rates. You will probably be able to afford next-to-nothing, and your landlords will probably be terrible. If you can avoid the ghetto, do at all cost. Your stuff is literally in danger of being stolen as soon as you move there; ghetto people have nothing to lose by leading a life of petty crime, and law enforcement will do nothing.

Walmart means you will never go hungry, so do not worry about that. A $0.96 box of pasta and a $1.60 can of sauce will feed you for a day, and there is loads of stuff like that. Especially if you are going to cook as a profession, you will find many ways to get creative with the "Save money, Live better" store.

There is loads of stuff you will learn as you go, but if you get stuck on any one point, internet searching will never, ever fail you. Take your computer and have access, even if it's the cheapest. Half of your anxieties about this could be solved on the internet, and the other half will be solved as you experience things for yourself.

Good luck! It is, like :D, so fun living on your own!

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Thank you for your responses, though I would like to admit that I plan on saving to at least the extent that I don't have to worry about "ghetto" housing or food. Food (good food) is an extremely important value I do not want to neglect. I'm fine with depending on a radio for entertainment or the library for all my reading, but I'll wait a bit on the food since I don't want to depend on pasta, especially since it would make me sick and interfere greatly with my ability to be productive.

The first is-move out. Living with your parents is like living in a nest-most everything you need is given to you, and reality is (for the most part) not staring you in the face. So stretch your wings and try it out.

Wouldn't that be dangerous? What if I became unemployed?

The second is-do not burn the bridge with your parents. I understand that you do not want to be "bothered" because of their emotionalism, and maybe giving it awhile before you tell them where you live will help things "cool down", though I certainly do not think so. Just get into the habit of asking yourself this question ever single day: "Why do my parents feel as they do?". Either way, you'll learn something.

I've written on this at length to other person and have spent hours and hours and hours doing thinking on this, so I must admit I'm not tempted to repeat myself, so I'll just give this summary: I've spent a long time giving consideration why I feel the way I do about my family, and why I think it's necessary to cut them off. I'm not "irritated" with them, but disgusted. My childhood was miserable because of my mother's bipolar and self-destructive way of living, and I planned years in advance on cutting her out from my life before she finally decided to kick me out while in one of her mood swings. My life has never been better, and her absence is required in that. In fact, I consider her to be literally the worst, most immoral person I have ever met in my life. She had a nearly unlimited amount of chances to change her character, but instead she chose to continue indulging in her raw emotions.

My grandmother and family, on the other hand, did not lose my respect until recent years. I was elated when I got away from my mother and thought it would be self-evident to other people why I wanted her out of my life, but they thought I needed a "cooling-off" period of a few days before resuming my relationship with her, so they didn't take me seriously when I said I planned on never speaking to her again. When I started doing exactly what I said I would do, they acted surprised and started encouraging me heavily to start dealing with her again, because she was miserable without me. In response I laid out my case and gave them a long argument detailing my misery, how it was connected to my mother, and how these traits were a part of my mother's fundamental character (as opposed to being isolated, freak incidents), and they in response ignored me, distorted my arguments, yelled at me, mocked me, sent me nasty internet messages, called me names, and so on. I KNOW I've been ignored because when I asked my grandmother to recite my argument to me she could not. I also know I've been ignored in that my grandmother has turned on the answering machine to drown out my voice, turned her head away from me and stared out the window behind her, and even on multiple occasions walked away from me when I was talking to her (and I knew she could hear me).

My mother was of great harm to me, so I needed her *out*. When I got her out, my family then proved they also weren't valuable relationships by refusing to acknowledge my intellectual stance, stating their conclusions over and over again while refusing to support or prove them, getting nasty when they failed to convince me with their "arguments," and so on. On top of that, by living with my grandmother I have seen much more of her irrational traits, such as how she blindly obeys authorities and gets upset at me when I reach opposing conclusions, acts dishonestly in front of other people since she's second-handed and terrified of other people, and so on. If I didn't cut her off, then she would be constantly calling my phone, dropping things off on my porch, begging me to move back with her since she feels "so bad" about my living conditions (and wouldn't change her emotions no matter how much I told her I felt otherwise), and so on.

I've never been happy dealing with these people. I'm not making the decision from the seat of my pants, but rather from the observations I've accumulated over more than a decade and the thinking I've done the past several years. I'm definitely burning this bridge.

When I moved out, I did it with no savings and no financial support from anybody.

How did you survive? Why so hastily?

As for cutting out your whole family, I wouldn't recommend doing it in an over-the-top dramatic way, which could mean appeasing them for the short-term.

I don't understand what you mean. I'm not acting dishonestly towards them (e.g. pretending to love them), but I don't plan on doing some "eff you" when I leave. My current plan is to pack up and get ready to leave in my grandmother's absence, leave a short, polite note to let her know I'm not dead in a ditch (and so will not need to call the authorities), and then departing, simply never contacting them again.

I am not familiar with your circumstances, but short of all-out abuse, they did provide for you for years, and you may still change your mind in the future about the various values that they created for you in your childhood and youth.

See above. I've written more exhaustively on this in other places and have done endless amounts of thinking on the hundreds of observations I've made over the years, so this problem is neither petty nor recent, but rather a matter of moral characters and life-long problems.

Craigslist is a good way to search for the cheapest of the cheap with apartments. But another good way is to drive to neighborhoods you think you may be able to afford, collect a bunch of numbers from "For Rent" signs, and call to ask for rent rates.

Is that safe? I worry since I live near particularly bad parts of Michigan, though I would be knowledgeable enough to avoid ghettos.

You will probably be able to afford next-to-nothing, and your landlords will probably be terrible.

In what ways could a landlord be terrible? This is something I'm curious about.

* * * * *

Again, thank you for your input.

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Ben, as for being a Tennant, Michigan ought to have a tennants act or some such thing which will not only tell you your responsibilities under the law but those of your landlord as well. Knowledge is power.

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Okay, so would a simple internet search inform me about that law?

Anyhow, I'm making progress. I have identified all the things I need to take into consideration (expenses, lifestyle, living location, etc.), established what it is I need to do in regards to them, and have little else to do except carry them out. To start with, I think I'll compare car insurance companies (I mindlessly allowed my parent to pick out my car insurance for me, so I doubt it's the best deal) and document dates for neighborhood garage sales so I can buy some necessities on the cheap (cups, plates, towels, etc.).

However, my plans have run into a bit of a delay. The restaurant I work for has decided that I'm not yet fit to be a replacement cook for any of the current cooks, so they just have me about washing dishes. I find this arrangement perfectly acceptable given my lack of experience -- it's just that they're giving me extremely few hours: my next shift isn't until this Friday, and at that it's about five hours long. With these hours I might have to figure out some other way to make money, or even get another job. I'll wait until the middle of June to see what my employers' long-term plans are, and then act accordingly. Another restaurant a town away from me has shown interest in me, but won't know of their hiring needs until June.

Until then, I'll work to establish some basics, answer my questions, and so on.

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  • 1 month later...

I've made quite a bit of progress, both materialistically and intellectually, but I don't feel like exhaustively detailing it unless anyone is curious. Anyhow, after doing some price estimates on the cost of my living alone (not with roommates) -- taking into account utilities, internet, rent, and whatnot -- using "high-price" scenarios, I have determined that I can pull this project off in 1-3 months, 1 month if I cannot bear my living situation anymore and 3 months as a safety net. I just need to up my income, which I am working on, and I'll be able to initiate the "waiting period." This pleases me greatly, because at minimum wage I'd still be able to afford safe living areas, seemingly satisfactory apartments, and healthy food. Nothing like the nightmare scenarios projected; I just need to be prepared.

However, another question occurred to me while driving: Will I be subject to *new* taxes when I move out? Right now I'm aiming to simply rent my living space and to be the employee of another person, so I doubt it but want to be certain.

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However, another question occurred to me while driving: Will I be subject to *new* taxes when I move out? Right now I'm aiming to simply rent my living space and to be the employee of another person, so I doubt it but want to be certain.
You're already working, and therefore paying taxes. I cannot think of any new tax applying when you move from home into an apartment.
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