Congratulations on getting your first full-time job. It’s time to say goodbye to the comforts of mom’s home and find your first apartment. Your buddies and your family have given you all kinds of furniture, cooking utensils, and dishes. So there’s no spending to fill your empty rooms. But you still need to budget for living expenses that you may not be familiar with.
It starts with the initial payment. To secure your place, you may need to pay the first and last month’s rent plus a security deposit. (The deposit is refunded to you if you leave the apartment in the condition you found it in.) The easiest way to find the actual amounts is to call your prospective apartment community and ask. Since the initial payment can cost a large chunk of change, stay at home until you’ve saved up enough money for it.
Next come the fixed monthly expenses. This includes rent, which is due on the same day every month, and services such as electricity. Your utilities can cost less than the average homeowner’s because some are typically included in the rent. Consider getting renter’s insurance as well to cover your possessions for damage or theft, and to shield you from liability. Your landlord’s insurance covers the building and grounds, but not anything you own. You typically want to spend no more than a quarter to a third of your income on your housing expenses.
Finally, there are variable expenses for food, clothing, healthcare, transportation, and entertainment. You can adjust these costs to fit your budget. Save as much as you can so you have a cushion for unexpected expenses or for larger purchases, such as a new car or a home.
For more information about renting your first apartment, or if you want to find a community that fits you, please contact us.