Moving into a student house with some of my dearest friends at the start of my second year of uni last year was one of the most major changes in my life thus far. And yet, it felt so natural. While I miss my family every day, change is something I’ve never struggled a whole lot with. Independence has always been fun to me, and I have loved working out on my own and through prayer a way of sustaining life for myself in a responsible way, that also leaves room for fun.

The best roomies anyone could imagine.

While I lived at home in first year, I would recommend moving out during university to anyone. I have learned so much about living in the world, and this move was my choice to install practical habits that ultimately make me a better and more prepared citizen of it as a 20-year-old.
Mary and I outside the house last year.

Tuition aside, I budget for rent payments, my phone bill, grocery/other living expenses, saving lots, and occasional room for “fun” purchases. Here is how I do so, working just a part-time job at Starbucks.
There is a base amount I have worked out, based on my earnings, that I keep in my bank account at all times. The goal is that I am comfortable enough to continue to increase that base amount. I don’t dip under that in spending, unless in the case of big/important/time-dependant purchases when I know the money will be replenished next pay day.
450/rent per month;
65/phone per month;
140/groceries per month;
$655 necessary spending per month.
Next on my priority list in birthday gifts/money spent on others.
My roommate Beth’s wedding, for example!

Each month, and sometimes well before the beginning of a new month, I figure out what kind of birthdays and occasions I should budget for in spending, and how much I can spend per event so that I don’t go over board on spending!
Living with Maddie has only brought us closer.

Any remaining money above the base limit can go to choice things such as clothes, nights out, etc., but more often than not, the vast majority of “extra” money is saved.
Once you start saving, it becomes wonderfully compelling, and seen as investment in the future, as well as the present! I am not consumed by money, but by the grace of God know it is His for His purposes, and I have definitely witnessed and welcomed His purposes in this little rundown student house of mine.

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