If you’re moving into your first apartment, congratulations! Getting your own place is a big deal, a true life milestone. Whether you’re moving out of your childhood home and away from your parents or you’re moving out of the college residence halls, the heady rush of freedom might seem intoxicating. But moving out is a lot, and it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Here are a few tips to set you up for success with your apartment finances.
7 tips for apartment finances.
1. Be prepared for apartment expenses you’ll face as you move in.
There are a lot of apartment-related expenses you’ll have to cover as you move into your own place. First of all, you’ll probably have to pay an application fee. Then you’ll have to contend with what sort of deposit you’ll have to face. You’ll likely have to pay a safety deposit (which could be one month’s rent) and you will likely have to pay the first month’s rent. You may even have to pay last month’s rent (which would be unfortunate). We say this not to burst your bubble, but to prepare you for that reality. You might not expect the price tag of getting into your dream apartment.
2. Understand that you’ll need to budget for a shopping spree.
Another expense you’ll have to plan for is getting any “extras” you want to turn your apartment into a home. For example, you might need some furniture. Towels. Linens. Cooking supplies. Clearing stuff. A lamp or two. Garbage cans. Decorative throw pillows. These things are apartment essentials, and they’ll also require, well, money. You’ll have to give yourself a budget for furnishing your apartment and turning it into your living space. Make a plan for buying the things you’ll need – being organized can help you avoid overspending. You don’t want to be caught off-guard when all of a sudden you have to spend a bunch of money on necessities.
3. Have a budget for your apartment finances.
So, the first tips (and some of the following) relate to budgeting and knowing where your money is going to go. Your budget should incorporate the monthly expenses you’ll have. You have to consider your income; a Forbes article explains that in general, about 1/3 of your income will go to rent, 1/3 to food and other living expenses (including having fun!), and 1/3 will go to savings. Anyways, you have to crunch some numbers, including rent, utilities, and even parking and gas…oh, and car insurance, speaking of cars. (And don’t forget things like your streaming services and Internet service, plus your phone bill.) Sorry – we’re probably not helping.
4. Research pet-friendly apartments.
Whether you already have a fluffy buddy you’ll be taking with you (cat, dog, rabbit, what have you) or you’re looking forward to adopting one as soon as you’ve settled into your new place, you’ll need to make sure your apartment building is pet-friendly. A lot of places will have an additional fee for pets, so that’s another cost you’ll have to add to your rent.
Pro tip: Don’t overlook the other expenses associated with pets. Food, treats, kitty litter or doggie mess bags, toys, leashes, a carrier, a pet bed, and those adorable little pet clothes that you won’t be able to resist all cost money. As do vet bills…
5. Know how much movers are going to cost.
You’re probably going to need some movers to help you get your stuff to your new place. The thing is that movers also charge money – you do have to pay them. However you’re going to be transporting your furniture and belongings, you need to factor those expenses into the whole moving endeavor and your apartment finances.
6. Save up ahead of time for your apartment finances.
Before you move out, you need to set yourself up for success by saving up some money. It’s not a bad idea to have a comfortable little cushion before you strike out on your own and move into your own place. (That’s essentially what all of these tips have been building up to.) Think about all of the initial fees you’ll have to cover, and consider how much your rent is. Make sure that you’ll comfortably be able to afford a few months’ rent so you don’t end up getting stressed if funds are tight. Being able to build up savings is a great life skill to have, anyways.
(Also, you have to be conscious of your move-out date if you’re leaving one apartment complex for another. If your move-in date for the new place is before the move-out date of the old place, you may end up juggling two rents for a little bit before everything sorts itself out.)
7. Consider renters’ insurance.
If you’ve got your own place and you’re responsible for your own belongings, you probably want to protect them. That’s where renters’ insurance comes in – it can help protect your belongings against things like fire and theft. Your landlord’s insurance doesn’t really protect your belongings, so that’s why you may want to consider renters’ insurance. Don’t fret – you may be able to bundle it with your car insurance.
And it’s a lot to handle insurance on your own, which is why our team of agents makes insurance easy, We can assist you with your insurance needs – all you have to do is fill out our online form, give us a call, or message us on LiveChat.