Lesson 2 Living on your Own


Living on your Own

As young people grow up, a common goal is to live on their own. However, the challenges of independent living are often quite different from their expectations. This lesson provides a reality check for students as they investigate the costs associated with moving, obtaining furniture and appliances, and renting an apartment.

In preparation for living on their own, students are reminded of the budgeting process. In this lesson, we will encourage students to carefully consider various fixed and flexible expenses. In addition, they’ll learn budgeting strategies for both flexible expenses (variable costs that change depending on level of consumption), such as entertainment, restaurants, and vacations, and fixed expenses (those that need to be paid every month), such as rent and apartment insurance.

As students start the apartment selection process, many factors will be considered.

  • Where to live
  • how much to pay for rent,
  • whether to share an apartment with a roommate
  • what type of lease to sign

These are just a few topics that will be addressed. Many students are probably not aware of the many important elements of a lease. In this section of the lesson, various information sections and clauses of an apartment lease are discussed. This material can help to create awareness and caution among students before signing a lease (or other contracts)

After this lesson you should be able to do the following

■ Set up a budget that includes rent, moving expenses, and the expenses associated with

setting up a household

■ Understand the rights and legal responsibilities of a tenant

■ Understand the rights and legal responsibilities of a landlord

■ Read and interpret various clauses in a lease

I. Costs of living on your own

  1. Typical fixed monthly expenses (a review).

■ Rent

■ Car payment

■ Car insurance

             ■ 2. Typical flexible monthly expenses (a review).

             ■ Food

■ Utilities

■ Transportation (gas, oil, bus fare, etc.)

■ Clothing

■ Entertainment

■ Personal items

II. Budgeting to live on your own

  1. How much will your bedroom furnishings cost?

■ Furniture

■ Rugs

■ Linens

■ Electronics

■ Other

  1. How much would it cost to set up and furnish a

two-bedroom apartment?

■ Kitchen

■ Living room

■ Dining room

■ Bedroom 1

■ Bedroom 2

■ Bathroom

■ Creature comforts

  1. Ways to cut costs

■ Used equipment and furniture

■ Secondhand stores

■ Donations from relatives

■ Used items advertised online and in local


■ Other

III. What’s in a lease

  1. What a lease looks like and what it usually contains

■ Length of lease

■ Amount of rent per month

■ Date rent must be paid

■ Name of lessor and lessee

■ Address where rent is to be sent

  1. Clauses to be aware of

■ Confession of judgment clause

■ Inability to sue clause

■ Arbitrary clauses

  1. Clauses you might want to add

■ List of appliances that come with the apartment

■ What facilities you may use

■ Any verbal promises made by landlord

■ Amount charged if you break the lease

■ List of extras you want to install and take with you

when you leave

■ Any damages that exist when you move

This lesson taught us that we should plan for the unexpected, live with in our means, and ask our parents, professors and older siblings for advice.

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