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Moving out or moving back in with the 'rents?

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(CNN) - A major decision for new college grads is where to move when they leave campus, especially if they're still looking to land a job.  A lot of new grads are faced with moving out or moving back home right now.

For Jessica Spencer, four years of undergraduate study in screenwriting matched a long-time passion, with new skills.

"I've always felt like i am a storyteller." she says.

As a new graduate, she's eager to begin her next act, just undecided on where.

"I would look more forward to possibly having my own place, but i do realize the limitations, so going home isn't a bad thing to me."

At some point, Jessica sees herself in Los Angeles, a city with lots of opportunities, but a high price tag.

While new grads may be eager to jump start life in big cities, personal finance expert Scott Gamm says it's important to really crunch the numbers.  

"Doing your research, and knowing what things cost, and what your priorities should be- that's going to put you ahead of everyone else."

He says it's more than rent. The cost of utilities and the commute often get overlooked. So do the costs of experiencing a big city and having fun. And for so many grads, like Jessica, student loan repayment, too.

"That's one reason why we have kept that option of moving back home open because that will be her main expense." says her mother, Cindy.

Gamm suggests parents like the Spencers chip in with expenses other than an apartment.

"Helping them with their student loans, building up that emergency savings fund, or even helping them build up that security deposit, so when the time comes, they're able to leave without your help."

After all, these short-term decisions about spending and debt, can impact long-term financial plans.
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