The pressure is building for Lori to both contribute financially while living at her mom's as well as move out on her own. I sent Lori an updated budget today that provided some realistic estimates of what she can expect to save between now and a late summer move, as well as what it may take for her family to be living on their own. It is TIGHT. In fact, without the excess student loan money, it doesn't work.
Setting aside my frustration with Lori's family for jumping on her new wage-earning status before her first paycheck is even received… the budget math scares me. The planner in me is struggling with the notion that Lori's ability to afford her own place is dependent upon student loan proceeds. The income from her job simply will not cover all the additional expenses associated with living on her own. The optimist in me hopes that I have over-stated some expense categories or that a healthy pay raise comes through.
When we talked about the budget numbers, Lori was using most of her lunch break from an all-day internal meeting and couldn't see the spreadsheet I had prepared. She has a target move date in mind — between terms, in the middle of June — and I see that it would make sense in terms of her schedule. She also casually shared with me that she now wakes up at 3 a.m. [!!] to get her studying in and that her no-charge babysitter on class nights may become unavailable, putting one more expense stress on the budget.
What concerns me is that Lori may be moving at such a velocity that the risks involved in moving out on her own too soon are not sinking in — she understandably is focused on the benefits. I sense (understatement) that living at home with mom is increasingly difficult. I know she needs to be living in the school district before the start of the fall so the kids can remain in the same school.
When she moves out on her own, I KNOW she NEVER wants to go back, and I am making it my number one priority to help make sure that doesn't happen. That, however, may mean we need to consider carefully Jessica's many cost cutting ideas as well as extend Lori's stay at mom's to the very last possible day, in order to save as much money as possible. My vote: mid-August.