The move into your first apartment is always exciting. However, these first step towards independence can also be full of surprises. And many of those surprises include how much living on your own will actually cost. Surprise fees, surprise bills, surprise items you didn’t know you would need.
Think about your budget
Before choosing an apartment, it is important to have an understanding of how much you can afford. This means taking all costs into consideration:
- Rent: First, Last, & Security Deposit. Essentially one month’s rent x 3
- Utilities: Electric, Water, Cable, Internet
- Essentials: Food, Clothes, Cleaning & Hygiene supplies
- The stuff we all forget: Batteries, extension cords, light bulbs, pen, paper, first aid kit, shower curtain, quarters for the laundry
If you are new to budgeting try using the 50/30/20 rule to create your budget. Break down your budget into three categories. 50% of you income is set aside for living expenses and essentials. 20% is flexible. Use this for fun stuff like vacations and going to the movies. The final 30% is for savings, or to help reduce any debt you may have.
Don’t buy expensive furnishings
Parents have an old couch in the basement? Neighbors put their old kitchen table to the curb? Don’t worry about purchasing brand new items for your first apartment, just make sure you have everything you need. Thrift shops are great places to find steals on slightly used furniture, appliances, even décor. Once you find the perfect couch, find local movers who offer furniture delivery services.
Your first apartment is a chance for you to discover what you really love at a price you can afford.
Once you’re settled look for ways to save even more
Are you even using your tv? Many people have rely on smartphones and laptops to watch their favorite shows. Consider dropping your cable plan and switching to a streaming service to save money.
Experiment with lowering your utility bills. Replace old light bulbs with newer, energy efficient bulbs. Check your windows to make sure they are sealed properly and aren’t letting the cool air out. We know how hot it can get here in Florida, but try keeping your thermostat at 79 degrees to save. Turn off your lights when you’re not using them.
Moving into your first apartment is exciting, and sticking to your budget, saving on furniture and appliances, and looking for ways to save even more can make help make the move that much easier.