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Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

Last post Wed, Jun 4 2014 12:29 PM by Maggie Trudeau. 89 replies.
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  • Mon, May 30 2011 7:59 AM In reply to

    • babs
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 2 2007
    • Vermont
    • Posts 10,988

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    Great idea for the plants, something to enjoy and be responsible for their care.  Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • Mon, May 30 2011 4:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    When he does find a job, it might be a good idea (if it isn't an imposition) to have him to a meal when he gets paid.  Then help him with the envelope system for a few months until he is comfortable with it.  My BFF's dad did this with me my second year in college and I nearly cried with relief when he taught me budgeting!  I had been on my own for a year and just couldn't figure out how to do it.

    re-tired

  • Mon, May 30 2011 7:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    My brother-in-law didn't file his income taxes when he first struck out on his own. He said he didn't know anything about it and nobody had explained that to him. It sounds obvious to us but an 18 yr old who has as you suggested, been exposed to less than functional parents may not know. That's what I would suggest you tell him, what to do when he gets his form/forms in the mail next year.  Maybe you could help him find a site that will let you do your taxes for free.

    He's very fortunate to have you :)

  • Mon, May 30 2011 9:03 PM In reply to

    • Becky
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 23 2007
    • Posts 574

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    Hey, don't laugh but if you can find an old salad spinner, those work great for spinning the water out of socks and underwear. If you have an old bucket or dish pan hanging around he can use the dish pan/bucket to wash and then rinse his underwear and socks...then even in a small space those can be spun out in the spinner thing if you find one, and then hung to dry. I would recomend finding a retractable clothes line so he could hang his things inside. Some things that are easy to make even in a camper. Also when living in a small space LESS is MORE.

    Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup. Pizza made english muffins, spaghetti sauce, and cheese. Spaghetti, Mac and Cheese, boiled eggs, fried potatoes and onions with red beans, chili and rice, pancakes, scrambled eggs with rice, mashed potatoes with butter and corn, etc. If a good used crockpot can be found that will go a long way in stretching his food dollar. A pot of soup, and bread or bisquits will feed one person for several days and only cost a few dollars to make.

    Entertainment: Reading, cards, board games, listening to music if he has a radio, Making popcorn, and roasting marshmallows, and occasionally making smores...

    The best of luck to this young man and bless you for giving him a handup.

  • Tue, May 31 2011 7:37 AM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    Public libraries offer free internet.  I don't know what the residencey rules would be for his library service district but he may be able to apply for a library card--this would allow him access to books, newspapers, and possibly free DVDs.  

    Help him find the free health care clinics so he knows where to go when he is sick. Find a dental school or free dental clinic so he can maintain a healthy mouth.  Help him find free clothing sources aka clothing closets/pantries at local churches, etc. 

    Buy him a copy of the book "Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25 and the Search for the American Dream" by Adam Shepard.   Proof that hard work and a plan will move one forward out of poverty.

    Buy him a copy of the book, "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey.

    Buy him a copy fo the book, "Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents" by Zac Bissonette. 

     He is in a wonderful spot to launch the rest of his life with no debt, and to learn the value of hard work and providing for oneself.  He will gain a sense of confidence and dignity that will see him through.

     

    Lorrie

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

  • Tue, May 31 2011 12:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    Thanks again for the help and encouragement.

    I don't want to overwhelm the kid by doing everything at once, so I'll be visiting him regularly, as will others, and we'll slowly build this up.

    I hope he appreciates the "no debt" thing...he might.  We've talked about it before and his family has been evicted and foreclosed enough that he's seen the downside of debt.  But he's also 18 and their brains are still a bit soft at that age.

     The reminder about the salad spinner is great!  I used to do that when I lived in a camper and still do when I'm camping.  Will keep an eye out at thrift.

    I'll see if his local library has those books.  He's already asked about a few cheap-living resources so he can stay within his very limited budget.  Let's hope he can put this headstart to good use.  It's so hard to think into the distant future at that age.

  • Tue, May 31 2011 1:47 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    I don't know the rules where you are, but here in Ontario, Canada the Children's Aid Society still helps 18 year olds sometimes.  Look into advocacy groups and protective services for children in your area.  Here they sometimes help out with income for teenagers living on their own out of necessity, and that can make the difference between finishing their education or not.  I know he needs cash flow right now, but if he's not done high school, that should be his first priority. 

    Don't forget when budgeting that he should be saving towards first and last month's rent when he is ready to look for an apartment.  It could double as an emergency fund in the meantime.  And we all know ordering pizza is not an emergency!

  • Wed, Jun 1 2011 12:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    Saving for first and last months rent....YES!  We've got a system for that.  A group of us are covering 3 months at the RV park, and he pays us from a government check he'll be getting for the first year (complicated reasons but he needs it for sure).  We put that money in a savings account in one of our names, but not his.  By the end of 3 months, he'll have almost 1000$ in the bank to cover first/last/deposit if he wants to get an apartment, or to pay 3 months rent at the RV park.  He can also sell the camper if he likes which will give him enough to get a place for several months, OR to move when it's time to go to college in another town.  OR he can keep living in the camper and take it with him to college.  his choice. 

    Finals are in a week or two and he has a pretty light course load so a summer job is pretty important.  It not only brings in $$, it gives structure to your day.  In addition to all the rest, he's had some emotionally tough times with his family so some structure and a reason to get out of the trailer every day is good.

     I'm really proud of how he's doing though!  I visited yesterday and he'd kept track of and emptied his greywater tank, asked me about budgeting (and I told him about the envelope system...he's interested and wants to start that), he'd taken care of a minor leak problem on his own, and kept his dishes washed (of course, he only has 2plates, 2 bowls, and 2 cups...can't really get too far behind), AND gone to a government office to check on his income, give his new address and ask how his getting a job affects the government payment!  All good things to do.  A few more people had sent donations to help him get what he needs, but he asked if I'd keep that money in my account for now since he has enough for the moment.  He has food, a bike, a home, and some clothes and he's satisfied with that for now.  Good for him.

  • Tue, Jun 14 2011 4:29 PM In reply to

    • Gene
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Tue, Jun 14 2011
    • Posts 1

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    The library is a great idea. He can get movies and all sorts of good things there. Until he gets a computer, he can use one at the library and I would suggest he sign up for the local "Freecycle" group.  He may be able to get a lot of the things he needs there, for free, or even through the free link on "Craigslist".  It's also a good way to get rid of things he no longer needs as he learns to 'live with less'.  A microwave and good microwave cookbook or a toaster oven that allows for baking, etc. could help with most all meals. I got a toaster oven with a rotisserie for less than $40.00 and use it all the time instead of my large oven. Coupons, freebies from online...there are a lot of resources out there if he is willing to look for them and use them.  It's great what you have all done for him. Your generosity is a great example of "paying it forward"!  The best to you all!

  • Tue, Jun 14 2011 8:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    Maggie ... how's the young man doing?

    www.dodgeandweave.blogspot.com
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