For many Americans, their Rent or Mortgage is their biggest monthly expense. Finding savings on this usually fixed expense can reap the greatest rewards. Here are some ways to do so for young adults.
Living On Campus Or Off Campus During College
Depending on where you plan to attend college, the money you can save may vary widely when picking between these options. For example, if you are attending a school in a major city like New York City you may make the assumption that it is cheaper to live on campus. If your college is in Manhattan then your assumption would be 100% correct but Manhattan is only one of five boroughs that comprise New York City. This assumption does not hold if your school is located in Staten Island, another borough of New York City.
Do your research. Resources like Zillow or Street Easy can give you an idea of rent prices in the area that your college is located. When making the decision to live on or off campus do not just compare the cost of rent and room & board. Factor in the other expenses that come with each option. For example, living on campus may put you within walking distance of all your classes while off campus may require a bus or car commute. You may be saving money on rent but spending more on additional expenses.
Post undergrad everyone wants to understandably strike out on their own. However, it is becoming very common for many recent college grads to move back home to save money. If done right this can help them save up and pay down their college loans (if they've taken any) and hopefully have more of a financial cushion in the form of savings for when they finally move out for good. In the words of Psychologist Susan Newman; "Before you plan to move home, you should have a plan to leave."
College graduates can use a return to the family nest as an opportunity to focus on paying off debt and start a savings plan for both the short and long term.
America Is A Large Country
Everyone has an idea of the type of life they want to lead financially. Depending on what your chosen career path is that may not be possible where you currently reside. However, that doesn't mean your dream life is impossible. You may want to consider moving as the cost of living from state to state and sometimes municipality to municipality varies dramatically. Saving money on the cost of living affords you alot more in life.
When deciding where to put down roots, many factors are in the eye of the beholder, such as climate, politics, or proximity to extended family. Other aspects are coveted by nearly everybody: affordable housing, access to well-paying jobs, a low cost of living, good schools, and quality healthcare.