How do I survive until I get my first paycheck?

Isaac wrote recently with a question about how to make the transition from college to the Real World. He has a good degree, but it'll take him time to find a job, especially since the economy is still sluggish. He's worried about how he should handle is finances in the meantime. Here's his question:

I recently graduated from college with a degree in electrical engineering. I'm currently living at home with my family while I search for a job. I'm concerned about my first month or two once I find one, though.

I have no savings, and I'm not sure how I will be able to buy a car (and insurance) to get to and from work, rent an apartment, or even buy necessities for my first few weeks while I wait for a paycheck. I know that some jobs will give a signing bonus or relocation package but I don't want to count on that. My parents are in deep credit-card debt and live paycheck to paycheck, so I can't borrow money from them.

Any advice? Should I get a short-term bank loan? Or maybe borrow from better-off friends?

This is something that I struggled with almost 20 years ago; my transition from college to my first job was rough. A lot of my trouble was self-induced, though. As soon as I found work, I bought a brand-new car, a new wardrobe, and all sorts of new toys. So, instead of waiting until my first paychecks started coming in, I spent money I anticipated having…eventually.

My story is all too common; I know a lot of folks who have done the very same thing. Looking back, these mistakes seem obvious, but they weren't so obvious at the time. I think there are at least three things that Isaac can do to gain more control of his situation.

Accumulate Cash

It doesn't sound like Isaac is doing any sort of work now while he's looking for a job in his field. I think he should — and I don't think he should be picky about it. One way to ease worries about where he'll get money to tide him over until his first paycheck is to actually earn that money in advance.

Some people don't like taking short-term employment, especially if the pay is low. They think it's beneath them or that it looks bad on a job application. Hogwash. It's always better to have some income — no matter how small — than to be earning nothing. Every little bit helps. So, I'd recommend that Isaac look for work in a restaurant or a retail store, or maybe even seek the help of a temporary agency. (I waited tables at Red Robin while hunting for my first job; I also did odd jobs through a temp agency.)

Moderate Spending

Meanwhile, Isaac should be cautious with his spending until he's found a job and a place to live. That means no big indulgences, but it also means that Isaac should be wary of committed expenses. I can't emphasize this enough: When you're just starting out, you should take on as few recurring expenses as possible. And those you do take on should be kept as low as possible.

  • Keep your rent low.
  • If you don't have to take out a car loan, don't. (Buy a cheap beater if you have to! Better yet, bike or take the bus.)
  • Don't subscribe to newspapers and magazines.
  • Don't sign up for cable TV.

When you get out of school and move out on your own, it can be tempting to buy all the things your parents had, or the things you've always wanted. There'll be plenty of time for that in the months and years to come. Isaac's goal now should be to take care of the essentials so that later he can afford comforts and luxuries without having to go into debt.

Negotiate Benefits

Isaac is going into a field that could require him to relocate. When he's hired, there may be some sort of signing bonus or relocation package. But here's the important thing: Even if there's not, Isaac should negotiate for this sort of benefit. (Here's a GRS article from last year about how to negotiate your salary; the same principles apply to negotiating benefits.)

By preparing now to negotiate this benefit, Isaac can increase the odds that he'll receive it as part of a job offer. For more detail, Isaac should check out Jack Chapman's site on salary negotiations.

Note: In his question, Isaac asked if he should consider borrowing money from a friend. I really dislike this option. Borrowing and lending money with friends is a recipe for disaster. Sure, most transactions probably go fine, but the potential for catastrophe is so large that it's almost always better to look at other options.

What Would You Do?

I'm sure that Isaac's situation is common. Many folks graduate from college (or leave home) and find themselves without any cash to get by while they wait for their first paycheck to come in. Some rely on debt to get by. (That's what I did, and I regret it.) But surely there are other options.

How did you bridge the gap between the time you left home and received your first paycheck? What worked? What didn't? What would you do if you were in Isaac's situation today?

Update: Isaac left a comment below to let us know that he does have a part-time job, but that he'll look at other possible ways to make money. So, there's no need for additional “get a job” suggestions!

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sf_oxford
sf_oxford
9 years ago

I took part-time jobs every holiday during my degree course. Apart from the summer holiday before my final year, when I got a summer studentship with the company that would become my final employer, these were all as shop assistants. A couple of times, I couldn’t get a paying job and I did a few weeks of voluntary work, which only cost me the bus fare, but added to my CV. Don’t underestimate what skills you are learning in a low-paid job. Lots of application forms are “competence based” these days – just think a bit and you’ll find that… Read more »

william
william
9 years ago

Back in 2003 when I entered the job market, I also lived with my parents (though not in debt). It took me about 8 months to find a job. Keeping myself busy was a must, as I really wanted to keep my sanity intact. Answering job offers, sending out applications, etc is time consuming… and mind numbing. Having a job on the side, even if unrelated to your speciality, will keep you busy and bring in some money. For my part, I ended up doing quite a lot of temp work. This ranged from: data mining, reporting, User guide translation,… Read more »

bon
bon
9 years ago

A few thoughts: * Sell stuff, it’s great to get rid of a lot of things at this point in you life – you don’t want to have a lot of stuff stuck in boxes at your parents’ house if you move away * Look for work that will allow you flexibility in your schedule (so that you can interview as needed) * Look for local internships (or call up a company and propose one) in your field – no, this may not help with income, but if it gets you connections, sets you apart, and ultimately speeds up your… Read more »

S
S
9 years ago

Yes, get a job. If not, than at least volunteer, maybe for your local professional organization(s) or even a political campaign (great contacts and references). Either way, both working and volunteering look good on a resume and nicley fill in blank spots.

Oh, and tell EVERYONE you know, and your parents know, that you are looking for a job.

kylydia
kylydia
9 years ago

I began job hunting during my last semester of college. I also worked a part-time (10 hrs. per week) job during college. So, I saved up some money, that way. I used the return of my college apartment’s deposit to put a deposit on my next place. Upon graduation I moved, there, but I didn’t start my first “real” job until a month later, with my first paycheck then held for 30 days. I ate a lot of crummy meals. I bummed off my parents for meals and I didn’t do many activities that needed money. Once that first paycheck… Read more »

Aerin
Aerin
9 years ago

I second the suggestion to look into temp work. I’ve temped a few times when “between jobs”, and enjoyed it every time. It keeps some money coming in, and is a real boost to self-esteem. In social situations, and in job interviews, it was very satisfying to discuss temp assignments and what I learned, in addition to talking about the job hunt.

And sometimes a temp job turns permanent. That happened to me, too. The job I have now (over 4 years at the company) started out as a temp assigment!

Nicole
Nicole
9 years ago

Well… we did a little of a bunch of stuff. Getting an apartment required a realtor’s fee and a deposit, which was a lot of money on top of meager living expenses. I had a couple thousand saved from college. DH was able to get a temp job in a lab before we got our first real paychecks (I wasn’t). We made up the difference by borrowing a thousand from my mom which we paid back as soon as we got paid. We at a lot of beans, rice, split pea soup, and potatoes. We lived in a 10×10 apartment… Read more »

Julie Sibert
Julie Sibert
9 years ago

Great post. Love your blog. I agree with the above recommendations. Another one to consider… if you have to relocate, don’t hesitate to say to your new employer, “I am new in town and looking to keep my expenses to a minimum. Do you know of anyone in the company who is looking for a roommate?” Depending on the size of the company, they may even have message boards for this type of thing. The employer may even admire his frugality, affirming that they made the right choice in hiring you. Sounds like you are young, so the roommate situation… Read more »

MM
MM
9 years ago

I graduated in late 2006. After graduation, I got a part-time job at a crafts store to get some money. This also allowed me time to interview for a full time job and also ease out of the college lifestyle into the real world. I suggest finding just a part-timer while you search for the big fish. Even when you accept a “real” job, you can continue to work part time to keep the cash flow going before you tell them you quit. Even working at the Unimart is fine (just wear a bullet proof vest). If they ask you… Read more »

Erik
Erik
9 years ago

I just went through this same issue last year. I was job hunting after graduating college in May 2009 while living with my parents. I ended up finding a job an hour away from my parents house, then taking a small car loan for a cheap used car. After I started my job, I commuted for a month. The hour or more commute was not ideal, but the couple paychecks I racked up living rent free with my parents allowed me to save enough and get my own place. Theres nothing wrong with starting work while still living at you… Read more »

Nancy L.
Nancy L.
9 years ago

While I think the overall advice that you offer Isaac is good, I’d like to point out that in this economy, it’s not always as easy to just “go get any job” as it was for many of us who graduated in previous “tough” times. For example, two years ago my son’s daycare program used to be staffed by recent college graduates, but now almost all of the people working there are experienced child care specialists who got laid off from other centers. It’s not impossible for a recent college grad to get hired for a retail/service/unskilled job, but it’s… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

I worked all through college (and high school) so I can’t really relate, but my advice would be to get a job now, any job, and sock away the money. Apply at bookstores, restaurants, the mall, wherever. Even at minimum wage you can save up enough to get you started in just a couple months, since you have no living expenses right now. And yes, sell your things. Anything of value that you have and don’t use (that’s yours, not your parents’) sell it on ebay or craigslist. I have never met anyone in this situation, who graduates college without… Read more »

Malorie
Malorie
9 years ago

As a graduate student who has plenty of friends in Isaac’s position, I strongly agree with the advice to get a job – ANY job – until you find something in your field. One of my friends graduated with me in 2009 with a B.A. I went to grad school because of my field, she started looking for a job. Her job search did not include any “low-level” job, since she felt her degree should get her plenty of work. After almost a year of being unemployed, having no money, and living at home with parents, she finally got a… Read more »

Ellen
Ellen
9 years ago

Agree wholeheartedly with the advice to look for a retail or temp job. While I was job-searching after college, I lived with my parents and worked a long-term temp job, with the result that when I got a job (in another city, with no relocation bonus), I had a few thousand dollars in savings to put toward moving expenses.

MaryR
MaryR
9 years ago

Some of the best advice I got when young was to immediately get some sort of part-time retail or food service job if I ever was unemployed. It keeps you out of the unemployment drift and means there is some cash coming in. If it seemed appropriate to mention in an interview, I would say that I had been doing part-time retail work and found it extremely motivating in forming my career goals. This always worked. The only time I didn’t is when I got laid off while in school. I did a full and heavy semester on unemployment, so… Read more »

Ann
Ann
9 years ago

Warning bells went off when I read “I’m not sure how I will be able to buy a car (and insurance) to get to and from work.” If you’re not sure, then don’t. Unless you live out in the boonies, public transportation is a wonderful option–sometimes the ONLY option–for someone with no savings. Frankly, the tone of entire note makes me uneasy because it seems like Isaac’s asking for permission to go into debt. I worked all through junior high, high school and university to build my savings, but that’s too late for Isaac. If possible, Isaac should consider living… Read more »

Everyday Tips
Everyday Tips
9 years ago

I agree, he should work wherever he can to try and get some cash together. Working off shift hours may be good too so he can still have time for job hunting and interviewing. If he works while looking and still lives at home, he can easily accumulate some cash for when he does need to place a down payment on an apartment.

Also, if he does get an engineering job that is local, he should live at home while working to save some money (and pay a little rent to his parents while he lives at home).

Colleen
Colleen
9 years ago

“Some people don’t like taking short-term employment, especially if the pay is low. They think it’s beneath them or that it looks bad on a job application. Hogwash.”

THANK YOU! I have frequently been amazed at people who refuse to apply for certain jobs because they think the job is beneath them. Honest work is honest work, period.

Kyle
Kyle
9 years ago

Thirding, fourthing, and fifthing getting a job while you’re looking for one if at all possible. Even if you can only work 10 hours a week at $7.25 an hour that’s a few hundred dollars that you’ll have when you do get a job. I was so lucky (well, in some ways) when I graduated college – one of my professors offered me a job (which was extremely low-paying, and turned out to be a disaster in a lot of ways, but still), and another asked me to house-sit for the summer. I didn’t have a car, so I had… Read more »

AnneKD
AnneKD
9 years ago

Find a job, any job, like Sarah said. If you need to move, find roommates. My first apartment was shared with two other girls who advertised for a roommate. Some roommate situations can be bad, yes, but others work out great. In those situations where current roommates advertise to replace one that left, you’ll probably have to pay security but not realtor’s fees- and just part of the utility bills. Also, try to find a place owned by a single/couple who would be willing to talk about bartering as part of rent. Maybe help with mowing the lawn, doing your… Read more »

Techbud
Techbud
9 years ago

Agree with the comments. Depending on Job location you may not need a car and apartment day 1. Find a part time / temp job in the mean time to bank roll some cash to get you started when you do find the full time job. Be resourceful, leverage friend, family, college alumni until you get on your feet.

Anna
Anna
9 years ago

I worked with a temp agency while waiting for a job in my field and saved most of my paycheck- 80% and lived with my relatives and took the train to work. I also had a part time job during the weekends and by the time I got the job (took me 6 months) I was able to build an emergency fund. The odd jobs weren’t the most glamorous jobs but they helped me build my emergency fund which I still haven’t touched to date- 4 years after. It’s a lot of hard work for that 6 months but it… Read more »

MikeTheRed
MikeTheRed
9 years ago

When I graduated back in 2003, I was fortunate enough to have a part-time job at the university that I was able to extend until I found full employment. Having some income, even if it wasn’t a lot, was the key to getting through those 8 months until I found work. Any job you can find is going to help here. Even if it’s flipping burgers, or stocking shelves. Some money > no money. If you hold out for the “right” job right now, you’re just going to amass debt, which is a very bad thing. I’m also in agreement… Read more »

Isaac
Isaac
9 years ago

Hey guys. I’m Isaac. Thanks for the responses, there’s a lot here that I hadn’t considered. I’m working part time at a print shop to save a bit of cash, and you’re right – selling some of the crap I have laying around will a) declutter and b) make some additional cash. FWIW, I have a second interview on Tuesday for an engineering position at a small company. It looks like a good place to work, so I’d probably take the job if I receive an offer. This place is about 2:45 from my parents house, which would make a… Read more »

Becca
Becca
9 years ago

I don’t have any truly stellar advice, but I figured I could share what I did: When I got my job with the Federal Government, I read through everything on the hiring website and noticed that they offered new hires the opportunity to take an advance on their paycheck, provided it was done within the first X days and paid back within a particular time period. So I figured out how much I needed (and it was luckily under their limit) and figured out exactly how much I could get away with my future paychecks being so I could pay… Read more »

Alex
Alex
9 years ago

Keep doing part-time/temp work until you find what’s right for you. Not sure why Isaac thinks that getting a job requires car, rent, etc.: Keep living at home, take public transit/bike if possible, until you have an emergency fund, security deposit, and a disciplined retirement savings program. That’s what I did and it really set me up nicely for the next decade of my life. Every month when I assess my financial situation, I look back and say “thank you” to my old self for doing right.

Oluv Oyl
Oluv Oyl
9 years ago

When I graduated from college, I went immediately to grad school. And since the graduate school, at the time, did not have student housing, I had to find – and fund – an apartment on my own. What did I do? Took out student loans to cover everything. THE. BIGGEST. MISTAKE. OF. MY. LIFE. I don’t have many regrets in life. But thinking about the amount of loans I took out to finance my living expenses – and because I saw it as “free money,” of course I chose the most luxurious apartment I could find – with the frugal… Read more »

Alison Wiley
Alison Wiley
9 years ago

Lots of good advice above. I would add: cook for yourself, consistently, to avoid the costs of restaurants (which tend to be my weakness). This menu is uber-inexpensive http://www.diamondcutlife.org/my-cheapest-tastiest-healthiest-dinner-menu/

I’d also suggest living if possible in a dense, central location with one or more roommates. If you have good transit, bike and walk options you may be able to bypass car ownership altogether, which is an enormous cost savings.

Louis
Louis
9 years ago

There is a lot of great advice from other readers. I own a small business now with several employees, and unfortunately a lot come to me for money advice. I always tell them- ” You drive a nicer vehicle than me, not a bad thing, but mine is paid for. My money is in savings for emergencies, rainy days and the children’s college funds. The compay’s money is in the bank for payroll, the machines,the building and inventory.” I always give the same advice, ” Build a small fund in savings, get two jobs if you have to, get the… Read more »

fairydust
fairydust
9 years ago

One comment in Isaac’s question that popped out at me was, “My parents are in deep credit-card debt and live paycheck to paycheck, so I can’t borrow money from them.” That plus the fact that Isaac’s a college grad with no savings. I’m not trying to pass any judgment here, just suggesting that if Isaac hasn’t already learned from seeing his parents’ predicament, he should try to make sure he never ends up in their situation. Asking you and your readers for help here was a very smart move IMO and I think it shows that he’s hoping to avoid… Read more »

MBA2010
MBA2010
9 years ago

I am in the same position. I graduated with my MBA and was lucky enough to get offered a job last December. I even was lucky enough to be offered a job WITH a relocation bonus. But, even that bonus is not paid until my first paycheck, a full 2 weeks after I start working! I did have savings to see me through the summer, but I’ve been earning a little extra money since I have the time. Here are some things I have done: – I am also hanging out with my parents for the summer to save on… Read more »

Rachel211
Rachel211
9 years ago

I agree with most of the people on here and I am glad to see that he is already working at a part time job. BUT as #11 (Nancy L.) said – THE MARKET IS HORRIBLE RIGHT NOW. I certainly hope that you get the job you have the interview for, but there are a LOT of people out there with college degrees that are finding that their last ditch attempts to “fall back” on a McD, Walmart, or Target job are not even getting a call back from them. I had over 2/3 years experience working at both Target… Read more »

Erin
Erin
9 years ago

I finished my masters in May, also in engineering, and I too am unemployed, so I relate to Isaac. In my part of the country and especially at my university, nearly all engineering graduates go to work immediately. It is very common to be hired during your last year of school and to start a few weeks after finals. This year and the last few years have been different. Very few people had jobs lined up by the end of the semester. I worked all through college and I’m a saver, so I planned for my jobless phase. I saved… Read more »

Tim of Angle
Tim of Angle
9 years ago

One word: Military.

No problem getting the job, money starts coming in right away, all basic expenses covered so it’s easy to save (if you’re inclined to), lots of very good training available, and when you get out you’ll have experience that will help you get that next job. Plus a lot of government benefits, if you keep your nose clean.

And then there’s that whole, you know, serving your country thing.

This is just such a no-brainer that I can’t believe how nobody ever thinks of it.

Andrea
Andrea
9 years ago

Very excellent advice. How wise of Isaac to seek out this information…likely he’ll avoid the paycheck to paycheck hole his parents are in and decidedly manage his money more appropriately.

(If only I had been so keen)

Looks like he’s on the right track.

Ann
Ann
9 years ago

I keep hearing about how hard it is to find jobs, but then I talk to my boss and he tells me we can’t hire enough engineering, science or business grads. We haven’t been able to meet our hiring targets for the last five years. No, I don’t work for a dinky little company. I work for a Fortune 500 corporation that pays, on average, six figures with very nice benefits. I would mention the company name, but I’d rather not pop up on Google if someone in HR has spare time.

Gimena
Gimena
9 years ago

I have to disagree with the “take whatever job you can get” crowd. This is not a good idea for a person with an engineering degree. Your potential employers may look down on someone who has not been active in their field. I think it is a dumb way to look at things but that is the way it is. I got caught in this trap. Here are my suggestions: 1. In engineering OIL is where the money is. If you have a GPA of at least 3.0, apply to the new grad programs at the majors like shell, chevron,… Read more »

margot
margot
9 years ago

Stop with all of your money-spending assumptions about what it means to be an “adult” or a “working person.” In most areas of the country, you can get by without a car, at least for a period of time. So, don’t buy one. Don’t burden yourself with expenses and debt before you’ve even begun in the work world. Take the bus or other public transit, live walking or biking distance to work, etc. Get creative with the work you’re doing now, and do LOTS of it until you find your “real” job. You could work 60-70 hours a week and… Read more »

Isaac
Isaac
9 years ago

Tim – I’ve been tossing the idea of Coast Guard around in the back of my mind. Fairydust/Andrea – Exactly. I want to learn from my parents mistakes. I’m from a family of seven and we’re packed into a mobile home because my parents prioritized private schooling for the kids when they couldn’t afford it, etc. Don’t get me wrong I’m immensely grateful but I feel I can do better, finance-wise. Ann – if your company has openings, would you mind dropping me a line and at [isaac at steinmetzpress.com]? Gimena – Interesting. I hadn’t thought about applying for oil… Read more »

Ashley
Ashley
9 years ago

This is why it is so important to save money while in college so you have a cushion to live off of until your first paycheck comes in. That being said, while I understand that looking for a job is a full time job in and of itself, I agree with J.D. that he should be doing some part time work in order to build up his savings. He should be able to build up his savings quickly if he is living with his parents. I wouldn’t advise taking a loan from anyone. As far as I’m concerned, loans are… Read more »

Carrie
Carrie
9 years ago

Hi Issac, My suggestion: reach out to friends, lots of them, in every place you might potentially find a job. Immediately after graduation I taught English abroad for a year, then arrived in New York with $600 in savings and no job in the middle of a recession (2002). Somewhat miraculously, I landed one within two months, during which time I slept on a lot of couches and worked temporarily at the bartending job from hell – the only job from which I have ever been fired, and it was a mercy. Be flexible, use credit sparingly and ask for… Read more »

ebyt
ebyt
9 years ago

Live with your parents for as long as you possibly can. Pay them a small rent, help with chores and so on, but don’t move out without any savings. I did that, am I am still paying for it 2 years later.

Work 2 jobs if you can for the first 6 months to a year. It’s imperative you build a cushion.

AC
AC
9 years ago

I would take a high paying federal/contractor job and go overseas working in Afghanistan. You would pay off your loans, get a lot of experience, work with people from all sorts of backgrounds and have something on your resume that sets you apart. Plus, working overseas, you don’t need all those other expenses so that much more will go in the bank. You are young! Do it while you are young. To my understanding, they are very hungry for people in technical fields over there.

bethh
bethh
9 years ago

I graduated with twenty dollars to my name! I couldn’t even participate in a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard with friends during our college’s Senior Week, I was so broke. I moved home with my parents while I looked for work in Boston, which was a 1.5-hour drive from their place (not that I had a car!). While I looked for real work, I signed up with a temp agency and worked whatever they gave me (including a dance competition that was overrun with little girls dancing to Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” .. awful). This was in the early… Read more »

Brenton
Brenton
9 years ago

I feel alot of sympathy for Isaac. His story sounds very familiar. When I graduated in 2001, I had a terrible time finding a job. I worked temp jobs through an agency making $8/hr or so. When I finally found a job, I immediately went on a spending spree thinking my troubles were over. I racked up $1200 in credit card debt in just a couple of months, which really sucked when I got laid off soon after that. Now, I was back to working hourly jobs, only with a big credit card payment every month along with rent, since… Read more »

KMJ
KMJ
9 years ago

For me, there was a 4 month gap between the end of graduate school and when I got my first real paycheck. I had the job lined up before graduation, and there was a nice but small stipend for the lag-time, but I still ended up living on my credit card in the interim to get an apartment (w/ a deposit), get some professional clothes, eat, pay the utilities, and buy some basic necessities (silverware, dishes, a nightstand). I got a good portion of the stuff second-hand and tried to economize (i.e., I only had one utility knife for all… Read more »

Des
Des
9 years ago

This sentence was a red flag for me:

“Any advice? Should I get a short-term bank loan? Or maybe borrow from better-off friends?”

Do NOT borrow money from your friends, no matter how “better-off” you think they are. It puts your friend in the awkward position of having to tell you no, or being forced to loan you money out of guilt. If you are a real friend, you won’t put them in that position, unless money is more important to you than your friends. As someone said above, these things never ends well.

Suzanne
Suzanne
9 years ago

I graduated in a recession, too, in 1991. I lived at home until I found my first job. Once I had it, I made sure that my expenses would be very low, just in case. I rented a room in a home (that meant very low rent and tiny utilities, no need for kitchenware, etc), got my parents to buy me a beater car as a graduation present, and just took everything I could with me from my room at home. Living below my means (even at that ridiculously low salary) meant that I could build my cash cushion. I… Read more »

Honey
Honey
9 years ago

If the military’s not his thing, wouldn’t they love an engineer in the Peace Corps?

Can’t he freelance as an engineer? I don’t know a lot about it but there must be some skills he’s gained that he could put to use without violating any contracting/licensing laws. Maybe he doesn’t need to “get a job,” he can start his own business?

Other than that I don’t know, though obviously I’d echo a lot of what has been said here.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
9 years ago

During my last semester of college, I started looking for a job before I finished. I had a job lined up about 3-4 weeks before the semester ended, so I immediately left college and moved to San Francisco to start my new job. I also worked all through college, and managed to save at least enough to put down a deposit on my new apartment in SF and pay for food for those first couple weeks in the new city. I already had a car. It was an older car, but that was fine. I really didn’t *need* a car… Read more »

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