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What one thing do you wish you had known?

My oldest son is turning 13, so it won't be long before he's ready to move out on his own. I've been putting together my own "common sense" information about what you need to know living on your own. I want to start early, so that when he's ready to move out, he's not as shell-shocked as I was.

So far, I plan to cover how to find an apartment, how to write a budget, how to stock a kitchen/grocery shop, how to clean/cook/do laundry. I'm just afraid there are topics I'll miss. So, ladies, what ONE THING do you wish someone had explained to you before you left home and lived out in the "real world"?

Answer Question

Asked by geminilove at 1:57 PM on Dec. 8, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 23 (17,006 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • how much a car really costs, yes that's in a budget. But car payment, insurance, gas, upkeep, etc.
    And toiletries!!!!!!

    And good for you, because my husbands mom never taught him how to clean, do laundry, etc. She felt it was more important to do all those extra carricular activities, which are importat in their own ways, but didn't get him a job, didn't get him into a school with a scholarship ... So HOORAY to you!!!!

    Answer by 2BlondeBabies at 2:02 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • 2blondebabies, yes, I planned to cover all that in my lessons about budgeting. It's crazy all the little things you *don't* think about when you live at home.

    It was my son's idea to write all this down for him as a book. He said that it "scares him" how little common sense the people around him actually have.

    Comment by geminilove (original poster) at 2:10 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • how to use a credit card for good not evil :) And how it is very important to pay the bills ON TIME, it is easier topay your bills and have good credit rather than trying to repair it later.

    What you are doing it GREAT! More parents should do this!

    Answer by sue118 at 2:12 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • oh and I wish I had known to start saving back then even just 5 dollars a week and put it into an account. I think about all the money I would have now if I had done that. And all the money I wasted but always thought I "couldn't" come up with any extra to save.

    Answer by sue118 at 2:15 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • You're doing great!

    I'd wished my parents had emphasized how important a good education was.


    Answer by SavageGrl at 2:18 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • I can't name just one thing .. There are soo many. Believe me though, I'm sure my mom explained them to me (she's good about that), but I was a teen who knew everything. Haha

    1. The cost of living. That it isn't only rent, but it's water, gas, electric, garbage (for some people), groceries, maitenence on the home, etc. There's soo much that goes into monthly bills that I never really realized. I'm sure I knew, it just didn't sink in.

    2. That saving money is not only important when you're young, but it is vital to your future. I had two different jobs between ages 18-22 and I should've saved every single penny. It would've come in handy when I moved out with my now DH.

    This is something I knew, but not all people do. That a credit card should NEVER be used unless you can pay off the purchase right away. It should never be the means of living at all. That's how debt is created and lives are ruined.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 2:23 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • I commend you greatly for doing this for your child. He will benefit from this soo incredibly much, because it is a big bad world out there once you're on your own. With this information he'll be able to say "Okay, I can do this, because I have the know-how to do so." And he'll be able to create a solid life for himself if he follows the great advice that you give him. Other things that you should instill in him are... Explain to him that priority comes befor luxery. If he only has 2000 a month for everything and his bills come to 1800, then he doesn't need cable, he doesn't need internet, he doesn't need a new Xbox, or a magazine subscription. That living above your means only leads you to debt and eventually worse. Only purchase what you can afford without sacrafcing your priority budget.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 2:41 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

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