Moving into your first apartment is an incredibly thrilling time. With your own space, you will have the freedom to come and go as you please, and you can also decorate the space to perfectly suit your style. But before you get too excited about all the fun details, your top priority is to make sure you choose a space that you can afford. To help guide you through the process, following are a few budget tips for your first apartment home.
1. Take a Close Look at Your Bank Account
Before you can determine how much you are able to spend on your monthly rent, you first need to take some time looking through every detail in your bank account. A relatively easy way to see what you are working with is to determine your monthly income, subtract the monthly expenses that you already have, and put away a little extra each month for your savings. Make sure you account for necessary expenses such as your car payment, gas, insurance, and groceries.
2. Figure Out Your Living Expenses
Now that you have figured out how much you can potentially put towards an apartment each month, it’s time to start checking out your options. As you are touring apartments and learning about what each community entails, make notes so that you can begin calculating your living expenses. What else will you have to pay each month in addition to your rent? Are utilities included in your rent? How much will cable and internet cost? How much is renter’s insurance? Are there any additional fees for things such as pets, parking, storage, garbage pickup, etc.?
3. Evaluate Your Living Situation
Once you have determined costs for everything, now you can really start to hone in on all the details for your first apartment. Maybe you will have to compromise on location in order to afford the rent. Maybe you will need to get a roommate to live in your ideal apartment community. Maybe you will need to make some other sacrifices to get an apartment that you are happy with. Just remember – you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you are apartment poor. It’s fine to spend a little more on rent if that’s what you really want, but you want to have some funds available to still enjoy your life.