Single Survival

crossroadsTell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and wonderful life?”  Mary Oliver

It’s almost time to step out of your parents home and into the world, responsible for your own groceries, laundry,  and schedule.  I’ll attempt to offer some insight and references for how to do these things on this page.  If there’s information not included here, feel free to write me at and request it!

Some topics we’ll be covering are:

What If I’m Not Ready?  -information on gap year programs and other alternatives to the traditional college route

 Up With People is a global education and arts organization whose goal is to bridge cultural barriers and create global understanding through service and music. Our program offers a unique, unparalleled experience for its international students through the unique mix of program components during a gap year between high school and college.

USA Gap Year Fairs is an organization and website that showcases a number of gap year programs with a variety of focuses including volunteerism, academics, travel and sports.

Where There Be Dragons – While Dragons programs vary in their focus—with some trekking and wilderness intensive, others strong on service and development studies, and still others language-oriented—all Dragons journeys are designed above all else to be fun, safe and honest educational experiences.

How to Thrive! — How to live on your own with cooking tips, budgeting, which lightbulb to use, etc has a great website with tips for dormroom cooking from what equipment you need to a few recipes no matter what your craving

Doing laundry is easy – just follow a few simple directions here!  And make sure to check your pockets before throwing laundry in the wash!

Creating a budget in 5 easy steps:  1. List your total income you have every month  2.  List your regular, fixed expenses (this includes any monthly bills, recurring donations or other charges that are the same every month). 3. Set a regular “savings expense” and move this amount out of your checking account every month (many bank accounts will let you set up a regular transfer from one account to another) and into a savings account.  4. Create categories for your variable expenses (like groceries, entertainment, gifts for friends and family, emergencies, etc).  5. Write it down on paper or in an excel document on your computer and list each purchase that you make in the correct category.  This way you can track what you’re spending and what you have left in each budget category.

Is this Good For Me?  — How to read contracts, what to do before you sign

Some tips on reading and signing contracts, written by Sarah Feingold and published on the Etsy blog, “How to Read a Contract Without Falling Asleep:

  • Step 1:  Get Mentally Prepared — Before you begin reading, think about what you expect to read.  What responsibilities do you expect to have?  What do you expect the other party to do?  What do you need?  What could go wrong?  Write down lists to answer each of these questions and review the list while reading the contract.
  • Step 2: Print the Contract — Every word in a contract matters, and you’ll find it easier to read pages of paper than a computer monitor, iPad or smartphone.
  • Step 3: Read the Contract — every word.  Find a quiet corner and read the contract thoroughly with a pen in your hand.  Use that pen to underline key sections, take notes in the margines and write questions.  Then examine your notes from Step 1.  If possible, read the contract again.
  • Step 4: Pay Attention to the Language — a contract comes down to the details.  What will you do, and what will the other party do?  You have to be comfortable with these details.  Here are some terms to look for- Term/Termination: When does the contract begin and when does it end?  How long will you have the agreement?  What if someone wants to end the agreement? Renew: What happens at the end of the agreement?  Some contracts have one Term (the contract is good for a year) and then after that time, if you or the other party doesn’t properly end the agreement, the contract will automatically extend for another period of time.  If your contract automatically renews, how does this work?  What if you want to change some of the promises? Indemnity: In the event there’s a lawsuit, will you protect the other company?  Will they protect you?  Exclusivity: Is this the only agreement you will have about this specific situation?  What if you want to enter into similar agreements?Confidentiality: Is this agreement, or its details, a secret?  Who needs to keep things secret? Fees/Payment: If money is exchanging hands, how much?  When is the money exchanging hands?  How is the payment conducted? Breach: What responsibilities do you have?  What responsibilities does the other party have?  If something goes wrote or someone fails to do something required in the contract, what will happen?
  • Step 5: Discuss the Contract with the Other Party — Get your quewstions and comments together and set up a time to talk with the other side.  Be your own adv ocate.  Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.  Don’t make assumptions, if you have questions, talk things out.    Depending on your negotiations, the contract may need revisions.  And remember, if you cannot agree on the terms or you do not understand the agreement, do not sign the contract.
  • Step 6: Save a Signed Copy!  — When you’re finished negotiating and you sign the contract, remember to keep an entire copy (signed by both sides) for your own records.

You don’t need another t-shirt — Credit cards, when to walk away and when to sign up.



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