This post has been sponsored by Michelin Tires. All opinions listed are 100% my own.
Remember when I shared earlier this month how important it was that I spend quality time with my daughter before she enlists in the the Navy? Well…Surprise! She’s decided to delay entering into the military for now, and she wants to get an apartment with her fiance Max, and attend community college first. It was a surprise to say the least, but she’s an adult now (even though she’ll always be my baby) and I have to respect and support her adult decisions. (I must admit- the idea of her staying put for a little while longer does make me smile. There was no telling how far away the Navy would send her!)
Now that her decision is college instead of the Navy, we’ve entered into a different planning mode around our house – college (and apartment) planning mode! Surprisingly, it isn’t that different than what we were doing before, she’s still leaving “the nest” to live elsewhere, and we’re still compiling a long list of things she’ll need before she goes. Even though the shopping list has changed (from a barracks room to a full apartment), we still need to plan her “must have” list together to be certain she starts off her life in her first apartment and first semester at college on the right foot.
For Her Apartment
1. Budgeting 101
Her fiance already has a job with a set amount of money earned every month, but once she gets her own job and has her own income coming in, too, she’s going to need to know how to budget their money to know what they can and can’t afford. Not only will they have rent to pay (with potential additional utility charges), she’ll want cable services, have car insurance payments, too, so they’ll only have a certain amount leftover for groceries and “fun” money.
2. How to grocery shop (and coupon)
Since it’s only just been me and her, I haven’t been too concerned about what we eat or about saving money while grocery shopping for the two of us. Since they’re going to have to stay on budget, however, I’ve been taking her out with me so she can learn to shop the sales, find and use coupons, and to show her the savings in buying the cheaper store brands as compared to name brands. I’ve also been showing her how to buy in bulk when things are on sale, too.
3. Living essentials
We’re hoping to find her an already furnished unit for them, but in case we can’t, we’re already scouting the local thrift stores and yard sale websites for good condition used furniture. (I love furniture with a little history, don’t you?) In addition, we’re looking for housewares – pots, pans, dishes, glasses, silverware – as well as electronics (microwave, vacuum). They’re also going to need linens for the bathroom, bedroom, and windows.
4. Back-up essentials
Things I want her and Max to have so they don’t have to worry in a pinch – flashlight, batteries, umbrella, surge protectors, a big cooler, battery operated radio, first aid kit, and hurricane supplies (we live in Florida, you know).
5. Car essentials
I want to be sure she’s got a good set of Michelin tires on the car, with a full-size spare, a set of jumper cables, a jack, and some pepper spray (a girl can never be too careful, you know).
6. Bathroom and cleaning essentials
Of course, she’s already got her makeup, shampoo, toothbrush, hair dryer, curling and flat irons, but she’s going to need her own stuff for her own place, like medicines, toiletries, etc. She’s going to need detergents to wash clothes as well as tools and cleaners to be able to keep the place clean.
1. A reliable laptop
This is of utmost importance, you know? She’s going to have papers, research, and classwork that she’ll need to do, and a reliable laptop will give her the ability to get her college work done without worry. Grateful for the special discounts I’ve found on many websites and stores available for college students.
2. A back-up hard drive
I would hate for something to happen to the work she’s already done in her courses, so we’re going to ensure she’s got a good back-up hard drive that she can save the important stuff to, just in case.
3. Standard school essentials
She might not be in grade school anymore, but she’s still going to need pens, pencils, backpack, binders, folders, notebooks, and more. She still has some left over from high school, thankfully, but she will still need it for college.
4. Portable phone charger
This one might not rank high on anyone else’s college prep list, but if she’s not at home, I want her to be able to contact me or Max if she needs to. In order to ensure she can, a good portable phone charger in her purse or backpack is the way to go.
It’s funny, look at these lists – I keep adding things to each category as I peruse them, it seems never ending at times. These lists to get her ready for her first semester at college and her first apartment – they are massively daunting, but I’d do anything for my baby girl to make sure she starts her adult life in the best way possible. It’s so hard to say goodbye to the little waist-high curly-headed girl who once tugged at my dresses and hugged me with her tiny, fair-skinned arms so tightly wrapped around my legs. But I’m equally excited at the bright young woman she’s become, and I know this is just the beginning for her and Max. I’m excited to see this new chapter in their lives unfold, and to be there to witness it as it does.
When it comes to the people we care about most, there is no distance too great for us to go in order to make the commitment, come together, cross the miles and show we care. Michelin understands how important these shared moments are, and we know that being there makes all the difference. #BeThereMoments is a celebration of being there for those who matter most in the moments that matter.
Be there, no matter where they go. Have a student headed off to college? Read more stories from parents like me on http://www.betheremoments.com. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #BeThereMoments.