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To those in Chicago, IL


Feb 8, 2011
So I'm 24, still live at home with the parents. I live in Rockford IL where the only way you can really live on your own is if you work 2 jobs (if you're lucky enough to find em) or have a decent paying job. I had plans to move out a few years ago but then my car died and through a series of unfortunate event's, had to get an 8 year loan on a car which I'll be paying on till im like 31 lol.

So, I've got like 5 friends there and one of them is moving into a new place soon and needs a roomie so she asked me about it. I'm totally down for it, I'm nervous as all hell as I've never lived on my own and I want to get out of here.

I know NOTHING about chicago other than had been there to visit a couple times. I don't know how much places pay out there, what kind of jobs are available, etc etc etc. Friend who wants to roomie said it was pretty expensive having a car out there but due to my loan and the what ifs on it not working out I don't want to get rid of the car, but other friends are telling me it's actually not that bad.

So I'm just looking for some insight, jobs, cost of living etc etc. I really appreciate it guys. Thanks :D
Yup. Can the car. Get something that will get you there that you aren't strapped with a monthly bill.
Cost of living is high as hell in Chicago. Have someone explain to you where NOT to get off the subway. One wrong neighborhood and you are no longer. Not that the media would ever say anything about it, unless it were the other way around...
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Yeah, I'd get rid of the car, or else on top of your car note, you'll be paying something like $50/day to park in the downtown area (Most likely where you'd work/attend school). Just take the el where you'd need to go.

I personally would NOT live in Chicago, but that's me...

And, while I've not lived in Chi town (spent more than a few 2-3 week stints there), I haven't found the "bad" areas yet, but the advice above is good advice.
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Unfortunately the car is staying. I've got the loan on it that I can't give to anyone else nor the funs to buy another reliable car.

I've got a few friends in chicago who said parking will only be like 100-200 a year if I find a place to live that has parking. Outside that I dunno if I'd be driving it to work or not but I won't be getting rid of it.
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I had gone to Rockford way back right after my senior year in high school to visit a friend. That was the year of the Greyhound bus strike. So I get to Chicago on Trailways bus line, and they tell me that they don't have a bus that goes to Rockford, I had to take the el to O'Hare and catch the bus from there. So here I am, this skinny 18 year old kid all alone in Chicago taking the subway for the very first time.... I was absolutely horrified!!! I thought I was going to die forsure. Never thought I'd ever make it out of the subway alive from all the movies I'd watched, etc... but, I'm still here.

That was my only Chicago experience until last year when me and my fiancee (at the time) went up there for a few days. Oh my God what an awesome city that place is! We walked all over the place, through the city, through neighborhoods, everywhere. And while I'm sure there are bad area's (what city doesn't have those?), for the most part everywhere we went was incredible. Loved the culture in that city. Super cool city!!!

I say go for it bro, you only live once. Parking in that city was not fun though I will give the rest of the guys in this thread a thumbs up on that one. Parking was expensive just about everywhere, or just plain non existant. So I say take your car there. Leave it somewhere with the keys in the ignition for a few minutes, and your car problems will be solved (you do have insurance, right?).

Just make sure you have full coverage before you go through with it.
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Depends on where you live but I don't think living in downtown Chicago is that expensive with a roommate. I assume you already know how much rent will be? When I worked downtown in my 20's going out to lunch and the bars were my biggest expenses behind rent. If you can keep those in check, and don't blow a lot on clothes and unnecessary crap, you'll be fine. But I would line up a job before I moved, Rockford isn't too far to travel from for interviews. BTW, if you think Chicago is expensive you should see what I pay in Los Angeles for an equivalent apartment.
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