Like many of my millennial counterparts, I moved back home after graduation. Student loans + a low starting salary + an unreliable car = one broke college graduate.

Living at home after living on my own for four years of college really put a lot in perspective for me. It humbled me and made me realize that no matter how old and mature I think I am, I'm not as independent as I think. It also made me realize how much money impacts our ability to live life unburdened. Now, two years later, and armed with a new wealth of knowledge, I'm ready to make the move.

That's right. I'm finally moving out on my own! If you find yourself in this position, let me give you some sage advice.

1. Cities are expensive.

Apartments are even worse. I first set out with a goal to buy a house. That didn't work out, as I really just can't afford it. Despite my credit union's great first-time homebuyer mortgage products, I just realized that owning a home wouldn't help me achieve my short-term life goals.

But I also knew that living in an apartment was out of the question. The cost to move in was practically that of putting 4% down on a home! So I found a nice rental house with two roommates, and the amount of money I'll save living there is mind-blowing. 

2. If you do live at home, make paying off debt and saving a priority.

I was so fortunate to have a family that took me back in after school, so I made sure to pay off as much debt as possible and get a sizeable nest egg under my belt before I considered myself ready to move out. (Pro-tip: Pay for a bill or two -- and offer to do it. Your parents might love you even more.)

3. Make sure your roommates are reliable. 

The process of finding a place with two roommates has been stressful to say the least. Coordinating schedules and making sure everyone feels like they have a say is quite challenging, and it's only the beginning. If your roommates are constantly in between jobs or bad with money, it's best to walk away before it's too late and you're stuck paying for their share. 

4. Get renters insurance. 

All it took for me to get an affordable renters insurance policy was talking to my credit union. Their relationship with an insurance partner really made the whole process a lot easier and stress free. I know I'm paying for exactly what I need; nothing more and nothing less.

5. Don't lose those frugal habits.

As I said earlier, money impacts your ability to really live your life. Set a budget and stick to it, and you'll be amazed at how disciplined you become in no time. 

We all have #LifeGoals at different stages. What are yours? We can help you get there with our Goals class

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