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Old 09-12-2004, 03:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Getting Married and Living Together- Ah Expenses!

So, this thread spawns from this one: http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthread.php?t=68540

Basically, nwlinkvxd and I want to move in together once I get my AA in my current town (two years from now). This is, of course, if everything works out relationship-wise. However, will we be able to do it financially?

Here's what nwlinkvxd came up with: http://www.ageofinsanity.com/expenditures.xls

He is currently making 10$ an hour as a computer programmer, but his employer is remaking his contract so he'll most likely get a raise (since on average computer programmers make much more than just 10$). I am just starting to work, making a measly 6.75$ an hour (and I can get a raise of 1.5% of my paycheck every six months). However, with school, we aren't quite sure if we can do it financially.

What do you think? What are your experiences and how can we cut down costs?
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Old 09-12-2004, 03:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 09-12-2004, 03:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Here's some advice:

SLOW DOWN!!!

Yes, it's good to look ahead and plan but you both are so young. You're both in school and have that pressure to go through. I think if you both get on this marriage train so early, you're putting so much pressure on your relationship. Take it easy, save what money you can and take it one step at a time.
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Old 09-12-2004, 03:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What if we've been thinking about this marriage thing for a year already?

Plus, I didn't put this in Living because I want advice on finances. I wanted to hear peoples experiences, since we already know we're getting married.

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Old 09-12-2004, 03:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Okay. Well, you have to take into account how much things will cost where you will live. How much rent will be. Will you rent or buy? 1 bedroom apartment or 2? Townhouse, condo? Then you've got utilities. Heat/hot water/electricity. Will you want air conditioning?

Cable/internet. Furniture. Kitchen supplies. Groceries.

Do you have credit? If not, start building it now. If youre parents have credit cards (and good credit) get yourselves onto their accounts. Just have them put you as authorized users.

Do research. Research the hell out of it. Take your time, save up as much as you can because it is SO expensive living on your own, let alone with somebody else.
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Old 09-12-2004, 03:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Augh, look at that link, Averett.
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Old 09-12-2004, 03:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 09-12-2004, 04:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Damn I dont have excel on my home PC....I'll take a look tomorrow guys and see if I have any suggestions for you
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Old 09-12-2004, 04:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwlinkvxd
I built this for a reason.
http://www.ageofinsanity.com/expenditures.xls

Quit assuming we are stupid, please.
Um, sorry but I'm not going to click on some unknown link. Because I'm not stupid and I don't want a virus on my computer. Sorry for giving advice.
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Old 09-12-2004, 04:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Old 09-12-2004, 05:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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1000 for unforseen expenses is low...

What about health insurance costs?

Rent is too high - your rent should be a specific percentage of your income -- 900 is too high.. (i dont remember the percentage off the top of my head, but your rent should be a lot lower than it is based on your income)

3200 a year for car insurance? and you don't live in NJ? That also seems much too high, I'd get a cheaper to insure car, or get a beater that you don't need fire and theft on. (If that's what you are paying on a Camaro, it's because it's a sports car - -lose it - you are getting married, you don't need to pick up chicks

Renter's insurance is also high - When I lived in NYC, in not the greatest area, I only paid 175 a year - now I'm paying much less..

Shop around for better insurance.
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Old 09-12-2004, 05:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Since I havent seen the spreadsheet yet I will just comment on Mal's comments

remember that if you get married the car insurances rates will change a little, we paid 1500 dollars a year for full coverage on a camaro and a brand new dodge pick up truck (multicar discounts apply when you're married)

If possible get renters insurance with the same company...our insurance gave us ANOTHER discount for having both car and renters with them. (We are in GA and paid 150 a year for it)
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Old 09-12-2004, 05:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Kudos to you guys for being responsible enough to think about stuff like this beforehand. A few suggestions:


Looking over your numbers, there seems to be a few places that some numbers didn't seem quite realistic. For example, gas = $80/ month. Especially with a camaro, unless gas prices are extremely low in San Jose, this seemed a little low to me. In order to prevent unpleasant surprises, I'd rather err on the side of caution when you're trying to budget. It's always more fun to have money left over than to be trying to scrape for some more.

One thing to think about is maybe trading in the camaro for a car that has lower insurance costs. The motorcycle is theoretically a good idea, but is that the only mode of transportation for the two of you? A car might be more feasible to handle all weather conditions, and especially things like getting groceries to and from places. Having a bicycle to use for local transportation might be good, as well as looking into taking a public bus at times.

The biggest thing I had to learn was what was a neccessity, and what is a luxury. Seeing your food allotment at $350/month, I remember back when I had $80 a month for food, and I made it stretch. For two people, that could be $150-160. Coupons, bulk, and creative cooking will be your friends. It is especially tempting to eat out when you're on a college campus, but make lunches and pack snacks with you, and resist the temptation to kiss the money goodbye. Don't be afraid to splurge every once in a while, but a splurge becomes a trip to McDonalds for a hamburger instead of Cheesecake Factory.

And I hate to say it since I love internet/cable tv too, but if you're close to a campus and can access internet from there, that might a place to cut some bucks as well. I type this as I suffer withdrawls from The Daily Show and Who's Line is it Anyway


I hope this gives you some ideas. I had my students under my care as an RA who were struggling to pay their bills, and these were some of the things I suggested to them as well.
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Old 09-12-2004, 05:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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100 dollars a month for gas/electricity is also seems quite high. Invest in energy efficient appliances, they'll save money in the long run.
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Old 09-12-2004, 05:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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to me 100 bucks seems LOW...granted Im in a 1300 sq ft house, but mine breaks down like this

winter
gas-aprox 150
elect aprox 50-60

summer
gas aprox 30
electric 200 (June, July and Aug)-granted I pay to enjoy being comfy in my house and my thermostat stays at 75

when I was in an apt they were all electric and I remember the bills were between 80-120 depending on the time of year but that was 12 years ago
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Old 09-12-2004, 05:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Utilities look fine. I live in Oregon, that much for gas/elec each month seems about right.

Wash your own damn car by hand, you lazy bastards .

Unforseen expenses does look too low, I concur with some of the other posters.

Why the high car insurance? It's a freakin' camaro. Up the premiums on that to around $1000. Use car insurance for the big items, not piddly little things like windshield replacement.

$1000 for gifts? WTF? If you're broke, your friends and family will understand. Buy them cheap shit, and make up for it when you have the cash.

Part time jobs aren't going to cut it, expecially when, combined, you're making around $17 bucks an hour. Assuming, after tax, of around $13.40/hour, the two of you need to work around 2200 hours a year, which is basically one full time job plus 200 hours of overtime. Combined.

Find a higher paying job(s), if possible. Or move in with another couple to help defer costs. Face it - in your current situation, you can't do it. You need more income, because the costs look about right to me.

Good luck.
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Old 09-12-2004, 05:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=la petite moi]I am just starting to work, making a measly 6.75$ an hour (and I can get a raise of 1.5% of my paycheck every six months). [QUOTE]

And don't put much stock in your raise, sorry to burst your bubble. The combined raise of 3% annually is a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), and is supposed to cover inflation. However, if things like your insurance, utilities, and rent only go up 3% a year, I'll eat my shorts.

So....if you're relying on that raise to help cover costs, you will in all likelihood be moving backwards.
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Old 09-12-2004, 10:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 09-12-2004, 10:51 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I have no direct advice other than your tone and response to people trying to help you leaves a lot to be desired.


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Old 09-13-2004, 01:10 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Old 09-13-2004, 06:54 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Everyone's advice has been pretty helpful.
nwlinkvxd is not the most thankful person in the world, Mr Mephisto.
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Old 09-13-2004, 07:13 AM   #22 (permalink)
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You have obviously thought the financial part through. You know the actual numbers better than anyone else, so use them. I didn't see any glaring omissions. One thing that was mentioned was health insurance costs. You probably don't have any now as you are probably covered by your parents' plans, at least partially. At your ages it doesn't make sense to spend a huge amount on health insurance but you need to budget for ordinary health care. Office visit, dentist, ER (it happens), gyno, etc. I agree with the others, $1,000 for 'other' is low. That really is 'everything else'.

Overall, I think your numbers are about right. Which leads us to - how are you going to make up the $1,000./mo. deficit? You can't, or certainly don't want to finance it.
I wouldn't count on a business deal coming through. You can get many stories on this board alone about how that didn't happen like it was supposed to. BTDT.

Obviously, the answer is to make more money. It is hard when you are in school. That is why it is so tough to get married and go out on your own when you are in school. Something has to give and it is usually school.

I think everyone so far has tried to give you their honest opinions. Take them for what they are worth. They are offering you what you asked for and what you do not have - the value of experience.


Good Luck to you both. Anything worth having is worth working hard for.
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Old 09-13-2004, 07:47 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Hey lapetitemoi and nwlinkvxd:

Something else you might like to try out is a monthly cash flow-budget. I have one here that I can email you if you'd like to PM me. Essentially, it lets me look ahead a month or two and see what all my inflows and outflows look like, including bills, food, mortgage, car payment, etc.

I can't comment on the cost of living you've outlined for yourselves (alas, I'm Canadian and don't have health care costs and I'm sure my insurance is cheaper). How about getting a weekend job at a restaurant and get at least one or two subsized meals? (I guess that would significantly lower your minimum wage, though!)

Best of luck!

Oh, one other thought...get an apartment that's not on the ground floor or on the end of the building and you'll save on heating costs while your downstairs neighbours heat your place for you!
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:02 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I don't have too much in the way of monetary advice except my wife and I found it useful to withdraw our allotted amount of cash each week, and when it is gone - too bad. It made us really think hard about what we were spending money on (especially food). You can always cut corners.

Also, as I think has been mentioned - look at which costs are fixed (like rent - at least once you have moved in), and which are variable. For example, if you put on more clothes, you might not have to turn the heater on (as you can see, I'm not located anywhere near you, so that might not be a reasonable thing, but hopefully you see what I mean). Food is obviously an easy one to save money on - become one of those people in the supermarket comparing prices on everything!

Also on food - buying the biggest container of product X is not necessarily the most economical - take a calculator shopping and work out the price per kilogram/pound.

Think about getting a smaller/cheaper to run car (says the guy who drives a japanese 4 cylinder).

I'm in the software business as well. Just remember that you haven't sold anything yet, and for your planning you should look at any royalties as "blue sky" (great to have but you cannot rely on it). When you have sold 4 million copies, then you can factor it in - and maybe give us all a loan

Lastly - a bit of non-financial advice. My first wife and I rented a one bedroom apartment just after we were married, and I think the lack of space contributed to our eventual break up. I would seriously consider whether a smaller apartment, which may be good for financial reasons, is a good thing for your relationship.
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Old 09-14-2004, 06:38 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by nwlinkvxd
Gasoline for the car only being $80 is reasonable because I live across the street from campus. The money saved on gas is made up for in the $900/mo rent for the primo housing. The only time I plan on driving home is the monthly trip down to see my parents.
Which leads to the question, why can't you move further away. If the rent drops $200/month for moving 3 miles away, how much will the gas increase per month? Sure you may not be in the middle of all of the on campus action, but if you are talking about marriage, you probably need to have other priorities.

Your clothing budget sounds low. I'm not a clothes horse myself, but just figuring work clothes you are going to hit at least $100 a year in order to look presentable (I'm not even talking business suits - just new pants once a year). And I have to agree on the gifts - unless you are getting equal or higher from everyone else, now is not the time to spend excessively on others - and that includes yourselves. Birthdays may be dinner only for a few years.

My best suggestion at this point is to pay off whatever debt you can now before you get together and then try to save as much as you can. There is always something you haven't thought of. (Don't forget condoms cost a lot less than a baby.)
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Old 09-14-2004, 07:17 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Okay, I was going to ask how you were getting away with 80 bucks a month for gas for a Camaro (35 gallons a month?), but if you're living across the street from campus, I can see it. I went to SJSU, though a long time ago, and there is a lot of stuff within walking distance. Sometimes I went a week without moving my car.

$1000 for gifts is a bit high, frankly. If you're living an inexpensive life, give inexpensive (though carefully chosen) gifts. Shop creatively for the best deals, or make some if you're into it. $300 for clothing is a little low, but you can probably make it if you're both in college and don't need more than one change each of business/formal wear. Ross Dress for Less is your friend, big time.

Does the cost of food include eating out? Because it's always a temptation, even if not planned. Anway, $85 a week for food for two people isn't a lot in San Jose, unless you're into ramen and oatmeal and rice. And you might be. But you'll need to be.

I would say entertainment is a little low, unless you're counting on the resources of the university for live entertainment, etc. Are you?

It's really be great if you weren't making a car payment, but that's life.

I think it's perfectly acceptable to assume future income based on reasonable expectations, as long as you have scoped out what would happen if the increase didn't come through. Since the male half of this couple has already considered the possibility of trading the car for a two-wheeler under certain circumstances, looks like you are entertaining the possibility of less-rosy scenarios. Of course, you the driver also have to factor in whether long-distance motorcycle travel if emotionally acceptable to your partner. Some people worry about these things, a lot.

$900 is good rent, although I'll assume, it being San Jose, that the apartment is quite small, especially for two people. It's doable, though, if you use the university as your living room -- plenty of common areas, parks, grounds, etc. That's what I did.

You should probably budget for the car washes, because you probably can't wash the damn thing in a sublevel parking garage -- no water outlets, I assume. But when possible, wash it in the folks' driveway on your trip home and come out ten bucks ahead.

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Old 09-14-2004, 07:26 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Just out of curiosity, what are the gas prices where you live? People keep saying 80 bucks for a camaro is low and I drive a camaro and dont spend 80 bucks a month in gas (unless I use the car for an extended trip) I live 15 miles from work so I have a 30 mile a day commute just for that, not including all the running around I do.

Gas prices where I live, today are 1.61 a gallon
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Old 09-14-2004, 07:57 AM   #29 (permalink)
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ShaniFaye, last friday I spent 2.09 on gas per gallon. I live about ten miles away from college, and ten miles from my new store I'll be working at. Yikes.
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Old 09-14-2004, 11:33 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaniFaye
Just out of curiosity, what are the gas prices where you live? People keep saying 80 bucks for a camaro is low and I drive a camaro and dont spend 80 bucks a month in gas (unless I use the car for an extended trip) I live 15 miles from work so I have a 30 mile a day commute just for that, not including all the running around I do.

Gas prices where I live, today are 1.61 a gallon
I checked gas prices in San Jose (I love the Internet, there's a site called sanjosegas.com), which is apparently where they'd live together. Lowest prices in the university area are $1.93 for regular, ranging up to $2.21 or so. Add 10 or 20 cents for mid-level and premium.
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Old 09-14-2004, 12:14 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Damn, Im glad I dont live out there lol my regular gas station today had it down to 1.59 when I passed it on the way home
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Old 09-14-2004, 04:51 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Hey ShaniFaye, how much do you think car insurance for nwlinkvxd and I for his 2000 Blue Sport Camaro if he is 21 at the time we take over insurance and he's been driving since he was 15 1/2?

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Old 09-14-2004, 05:11 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Try calling up insurance companies and asking questions. It won't hurt. Insurance depends on so many factors. The sex of the driver, type/color of car, how long the driver has been driving... Call up Geico/Progressive/State Farm and such and ask questions. They might be able to give you ball park figures.

Of course it's all subject to change should he get into an accident or have traffic tickets.
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Old 09-14-2004, 05:14 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Well, he's had a few PARKING tickets, but I don't think that makes your insurance go up. I think he should ask his parents how much they're paying right now, but I recently talked to a friend of mine who drives a Suzuki and pays 1200$ every six months for it!! He has no tickets! This guy is the same age as my boyfriend, and only pays insurance for himself. That is so crazy.
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Old 09-14-2004, 05:23 PM   #35 (permalink)
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A camaro is a sports car - it automatically gets tagged at a higher rate (at least in some states

Go to sites like Progressive. com - -you can get your own rates.. then start calling insurance companies...

How long a person has been driving means nothing... he's under 25 that makes the rates go up, if he's got good grades, he might qualify for a good student discount...
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Old 09-14-2004, 05:30 PM   #36 (permalink)
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In australia, a couple of companies give a discount (10%) for signing up for insurance over the net - might be worth investigating...
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Old 09-14-2004, 06:07 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Old 09-14-2004, 08:37 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Regardless of getting lower insurance rates or paying less for gas, those are (in light of the circumstances) very small costs.

The real problem is your income. Working at starbucks will not get you a comfortable living. You guys are facing the typical dilema of rushing out too quickly, while not being able to support yourselves.

You will need to either a) get full time jobs and go to school at nights [rough going]
b) Live at home [and given the other threads, this might not be a viable alternative]
c) Have one spouse work full-time at a "real" (ie, desk/office job that might suck) while the other completes their degree, and then do the opposite later. Problem is, if one spouse gets a degree and then you split up - someone gets screwed.
d) Get roommates

While quibbling over small, yet important points, the big picture is being missed - how to make up for $12-15k of a cash flow deficit? You either need to cut expenses (can't be done on the current budget, that's about as lean as you're going to get) or make some more money. This is where you will need to make some hard choices, and dreams get shoved aside for the time being. My wife and I endured years of roommates and cheap apartments to get where we are now.

But most importantly, make your degrees count. While degrees in fields like history, english lit, womens' studies, etc. are cool and all, you can't do shit with them. But get more schooling. And schools have a vested interest in making all their degrees seem like there are tons of jobs just waiting for them, take a look in the want ads of your paper. Not much there for a lot of the liberal arts degrees. Take some cool classes, and in a field you want to make a living in, but do your homework as well as to putting your degree to work for you.
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Old 09-14-2004, 09:40 PM   #39 (permalink)
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gar1976, nwlinkvxd is majoring in Computer Science. In a couple days, he will most likely get a raise to 18-20$ an hour, and he can work from home (remotely). Also, he gets a percentage of the sales the company he works for makes of his programme he will finish soon. I am currently majoring in Business Administration. In two years, I will most likely have had a slight raise in pay- although that doesn't say much. When we live together, we will only both be going to school at the same time for one more year, and then he will be working full-time. And like his sister has said to us: "My parents won't let you guys starve or live on the street if things get that bad."

The roommates is an awesome idea, but I'm not sure we could do that with the apartment we're looking at getting. We're planning on getting a one-room because frankly, we don't really need a lot of extra room since the SJSU campus is right across the street and it has a lovely 'built-in park', I guess you could call it.

Thanks for all your advice, seriously. Some of it does get me down. I ended up telling him we just can't do it and that I'll just go crazy living at home instead of living in poverty. But I guess I have to be optimistic, right? It's still in two years, I guess. Two years is just so damn long...
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Old 09-15-2004, 03:38 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Location: Lilburn, Ga
I just wanted to say that I wouldnt know where to even begin guessing on the insurance rate for ya'll on that car my camaro is a V6 and its a 95 and Im 36 and have all my insurance with the same company. I have no tickets and my guess would be that insurance rates in california are different from Georgia...Even though my car isnt financed I carry full coverage with a high deductible. There isnt anyway I could afford financing a new car right now and I dont want to risk getting in a wreck by someone that doesnt have insurance (we have a LOT of "illegals" driving around here) and if that happened Id be really screwed without full coverage.

What everyone says about getting online and checking is the exact thing you need to do since all areas of the US are different, and there may be a requirements that vary by state (Im not sure about that, I've never been insured anywhere but GA)
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