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Old 01-07-2016, 06:18 PM   #41
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Got a full time job and started junior college when I graduated HS... but I wasn't 18. I moved out 2 weeks after my 18th birthday.

I went back on the family dole 2.5 years later for 4 years... I'd figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up - and it wasn't being an insurance clerk for just above minimum wage. Interned my last year of college and had a full time job starting the day after graduation.

It wasn't the typical path (working/living on own then going back to college with family help) - but it was the correct path for me. I had NO CLUE what I wanted to major in out of high school. I was accepted to UC Berkeley - but knew that going to a competitive school without any purpose or plan was a bad idea. Those few years on my own working a crappy job taught me a) LBYM and b) college was a good idea.

Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:18 PM   #42
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We got married at 21 and that's the first time we supported ourselves. We had part time jobs and one semester of college left for each of us. We got full time jobs soon after graduation and stayed in our cheap ($140/mo) apartment in a college town.

Young marrieds, in love and making enough to pay the bills and even save every month, life was pretty darn good!

Married, both 61. DH retired June, 2010. I have a pleasant little part time job.
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:19 PM   #43
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24. I got out of grad school and got married. The marriage was not a good idea, but the education was great.
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:36 PM   #44
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Age 21. Even though the parents had said they would pay for four years of college, they gave me the ultimatum when I turned 21 to "move back east or they would cut me off". My freedom in the mountain states meant more to me than their control. I got a loan and worked two jobs for my senior year. Yes, there was some lean times living in one room apartments and making a piece of chicken last for three meals (extreme cooking frugality) but I would do it again!
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Old 01-07-2016, 08:40 PM   #45
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One week shy of 18 when I left for college. My parents didn't pay a dime for my college (and I didn't want them to). I worked part-time seven of my eight semesters and full time+ during the summers. Took my last semester off work to focus on my thesis. Commissioned in the Air Force but didn't enter active duty for another 2 months, so I took the money I'd saved up over the previous 4 years and travelled - Boston, California, Arizona, Nevada. I did stay at my parents house for about 3 weeks of that time, but I don't think that counts as not self-sustaining 😊

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Old 01-07-2016, 09:02 PM   #46
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I got married at 18, DF was done, he assured me I was ruining my life. He had put a new condition on his promise of a full ride to PSU, my future wife could not attend there. We had no plans of getting married then; DF's attempt to control caused us to change our plans and get married straight out of school and start life. Forty years later she's still the greatest wife I could imagine.
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:16 PM   #47
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Left home at 18 for college in another state with nothing but best wishes, and never looked back. Had academic scholarships for most of my tuition, but still needed to work pretty close to full-time in order to live. Got married at 20, so then there were two of us on our own - but also two of us working while going to school.

Not the easiest path through college, but it worked out fine in the end. We learned to live within our means during the lean early marriage years, although right on the edge of them. Made it easy to live beneath our means once we had living incomes.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:11 AM   #48
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At 17, the day I graduated high school. My dad handed me $500 and said rent was $50 a month plus $10 a week for food unless I was full-time enrolled in college. No way I was going to go to college. I lived in my van with a cat and my dirtbike, working at a motorcycle shop as a mechanic from June until the following January when it got too cold and I enlisted in the military. I joined the Air Force because boot camp was San Antonio, TX and that sounded warm to me.
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Old 01-08-2016, 07:02 AM   #49
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After my bachelors degree I got a Ford Foundation Fellowship which enabled me to become self-sustaining. Never looked back.

Borrowed some money from them for the first home and paid it off in 2 years.
For the fun of it...Keith
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Old 01-08-2016, 07:11 AM   #50
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I dropped out of Junior College and got a job when I was 19. But lived with my parents until I was 23 paying a little rent and saving some $. I then got an apartment close to work.

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"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years" - Abraham Lincoln
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Old 01-08-2016, 07:22 AM   #51
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18 or 22. Why two ages? Well at 18 I went to college and payed all the bills, but returned home during the three months of summer. So simi independent. At 22 entered the AF and self sustained sence.
If it is after 5:00 when I post I reserve the right to disavow anything I posted.
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Old 01-08-2016, 07:38 AM   #52
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21. I was fortunate enough to have my dad pay for college (with the proviso that I put myself through grad school, which I did 10 years later). Lived with him for two months after while I was looking for a job, then moved out for good.

Funny, we never had a conversation about cutting the apron strings or "having" to be on my own. I guess it was just expected on both our parts.
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:24 AM   #53
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18/19 for me. Parents helped with my first year of undergrad but after that I paid for everything through a combination of coop work terms & scholarships. However this cost me an extra year to graduate. Grad school covered by tuition waivers and scholarships/stipends.

My parents bought me a nice Honda Accord when I finished undergrad. I drove that car for nearly twenty years and FIREd on it. My mom died early and I used part of the inheritance (about $35k if I recall correctly) for a house downpayment in the Bay area.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:10 AM   #54
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Great stories here.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:21 AM   #55
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Age 23 when I got married (first time). Full time employment, part time schooling for next 7 years resulted in MBA, and CPA, first house. No help from parents. Was easier in those days I think. Tuition was very low and employer helped. Housing cost much lower and entry level jobs paid more in real dollars I think.

Having said that, I think hardship and struggle is overrated. I really could have used some parental assistance. It might build character in those that eventually succeed but many others just muddle through and don't particularly do very well. I am helping my daughter accordingly.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:33 AM   #56
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Moved out on my own at 17 after HS graduation. Stuck around my home town for a year working in a local factory then moved a 1000 miles away from the rust belt to south Florida. Then on to Texas oil boom. It's been a fun ride.
The cure for everything is saltwater. Sweat, tears, or the sea.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:40 AM   #57
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I was 21. I came back from six months in Europe, lived with my mom for a couple of months until I found a job and then moved out. I lived with my older brother as a roommate for the 1st year. I was really happy when I moved out and didn't have another roommate until I met my wife, when I was 24. A much better roommate.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:47 AM   #58
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When I was 22, a couple months after graduating from college. That's when I landed my first "real" job and moved into my own apartment.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:09 AM   #59
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I would say 17 thanks to a great factory job that paid what seemed like astronomical amounts to me when I was earning it. I moved away from home when I was 15 but had some parental support for the first two years.

I see that there is a new 'self-sustained kids' thread... times have changed - nuff said!
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:43 AM   #60
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22. Graduated from college in 3 1/2 years, then 6 months to find a job. Moved from the rust belt to the sunbelt and never looked back. Parents have made gifts over the years, and once acted as a bank to cover a home purchase (bank loan was delayed and we were going to lose the house to other buyers). It was paid off in 6 months.

Have the day you deserve, and let Karma sort it out.

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