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#31080 - 05/05/05 12:33 PM Guides to navigating the practicalities of 'Life'
Gráinne ni Mhaille

Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 1
Loc: London, United Kingdom

In August I am moving from London, where I've lived my whole life, to Los Angeles, where I'll be going to graduate film school in a long-planned attack on Hollywood.

I'm looking for a book which will help me navigate various practicalities - buying a car, building a credit rating, renting an apartment, managing my finances - things do work differently in the US. And while I do consider myself to be a competent adult, I have been living with my parents since graduating from college (pursuing the dream of a Best Film Oscar is not really all that lucrative) and so I've never actually had to deal with an electricity bill. I know it ain't rocket science, but in a way, I'm looking for something to help me plan and be prepared for things.

I've flipped through The Hip Girl\'s Handbook: For Home, Car and Money Stuff but I wonder if it's a bit lightweight? I'm not really looking for book that tells me how to "survive my twenties with savvy, soul and style" although there's definitely a place for books like that, and I'm a fan of the boost that Cynthia Rowley\'s and Ilene Rosenzweig\'s "Swell" can impart.

I think I'm looking for something a little more stern and business-like. I don't want to be told how to save money by crafting my own peasant skirts out of old potato sacks. Y'know?

Thanks for any ideas.

#31081 - 06/09/05 09:46 AM Re: Guides to navigating the practicalities of 'Life'
Ching Shih

Registered: 03/30/05
Posts: 318

I would check out Please Send Money by Dara Dugay. It's written for an American audience. She covers things like creating a budget, buying a car, credit ratings, etc. Michelle Singletary’s Spend Well, Live Rich is also a good choice. Both of these are written for laypeople, not economists.

For housing, I'd try looking at creative options. Do you absolutely have to have an apartment? If so, check for LA. Plan on having at least one roommate. There are roommate matching services you can check into as well. Consider alternative sources for starting out, so you don't have to leap into a roommate situation that may be undesirable. Get a guidebook like Lonely Planet for other ideas for international student housing, such as hostels. My other suggestion is to check out local convents. No, I'm not insane- or Catholic. Some provide housing for women, and they tend to be reasonably priced. They may provide meals. There are several in my big city, all priced under $600 a month (330.134 UK pounds or 492.614 euros, according to today’s currency calculator).

I hope this helps.

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