How my parents helped put together my Ikea furniture, from California

Close to the dream

Midterms are over with, and, so is spring break. :(

Everyone, myself included, is scrambling to coordinate their summer living situation. So close — I can feel it.

On the plus side: No rules, no restrictions, no guest sign-in policies, and, hopefully, no ugly carpet that is supposed to conceal stains. We're already planning a housewarming party.

Most importantly though, it means we get take out delivered right to our door, instead of the school's lobby. That's the dream, right?

My friends and I have decided on two things: we're staying in New York for the summer and we're moving off campus. Staying in the city seems great because it means we can continue with our internships and jobs. There's no way Lizzie is giving up her job at Aladdin on Broadway to cut grass back in Cleveland.

But on the down side: the dream has some weird costs, even beyond rent.

Exposed brick is pricey

After all of our research on apartment-finding websites, we know one thing for sure: it's going to be tricky.

We all have our own criteria. Lizzie needs the building to be near to a subway station. Meghan needs a somewhat spacious living room for her new dog. Alex wants a doorman. And me? Well, I just really like exposed brick. A lot.

This doesn't exist on Craigslist, so we need a broker. And, I hate brokers, but they're the only way we're finding something with all our wants. And they have stupid, terrible, egregious fees, sometimes up to 15 percent of the annual rent.


In real estate, now means now….

We think we found our dream apartment. The monthly rent is doable for us all, but before we get to move in, we have to pay a security deposit. Like right away. We can't even print the lease until our check clears. Seriously, who came up with process?

We will get the money back upon move out if there's no damage.

Okay, okay, we get it. But, how are we coming up with that much cash upfront.

… But the money's not here till later.

So, we have a lot of costs. But, we also have some income. (We're not living above our means, that's for sure.)

This income is going to be real, as in wages and paychecks. But they're not here right now and we can't cover all of these upfront costs right away.

There is no way we're taking out another large loan with all the_ _statistics floating around about student debt. I know I'm already paying my student loans until I'm 40. I don't really feel like adding to that.

Going to the bank for a loan isn't an option either. None of us have enough established credit, or the desire to pay it back on the bank's schedule plus their set amount of interest.

Can I build a time machine?

Maybe. Here's how it goes…

First we thought about just putting all our money down for the deposit. This might mean we need to go without food for a while. That will probably suck. We like food.

Or, we can go back to the basics of finance we learned as kids: asking Mom and Dad. But I'm an adult now.

Asking for money from parents can get awkward. Frank is a lending platform that takes the awkward out of it.

When I figure out how much that security deposit is, I hop on Frank and borrow it. I'm an adult so I want to pay them some interest, but I don't really know what constitutes a fair interest rate for my parents. Frank suggests how much to add based on what other do, so I feel legit.

It can also help me set a schedule for paying it back. Which is great. I like not worrying.

A lot of us are guilty of forgetting to pay people back. And, tracking down the people that owe us can get to be a drag. Instead of an uncomfortable phone call from mom, Frank can send reminders for when the payment is about to be sent automatically from my bank account. I won't even have to write it in my planner.

Now I can focus on school, work, and planning out how I'm going to assemble the new Ikea furniture. But hey, with the extra cash now on hand I might hire a taskrabbit to help. I never could figure out those cryptic instructions.

Thank you Mom and Dad! And thanks Frank.

Frank: Sophie

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