Renting your first apartment? This is an exciting time! Moving away from home to an apartment includes many fun experiences, like moving in with roommates, decorating, and finding a location you love. This time can also be overwhelming. There are many things to think about and prepare for, even if it isn’t your first time renting an apartment. These range fromup-front expenses and buying essentials to your landlord being able to collect rent online. A few budget-planning steps can make this process less stressful, and more fun.
Budget Prep 101:
- What are the upfront expenses?
Anytime you can plan ahead with upcoming expenses, it can reduce stress. So, what can you expect? Typically, there are fees associated with applying for an apartment, such as an application fee covering the landlord’s cost to process your application. Once you’re approved to rent, there are other expenses to plan for. Nearly all landlords ask for a security deposit prior to move in. The deposit covers any damages incurred during your lease. Security deposits are often a full month’s rent. Ask your future landlord about all required fees and expenses upfront.
- Rent and that’s it, right?
Many first time renters plan ahead for their monthly rent payment, but underestimate the cost of other monthly expenses. Like what? Well, gas and electric bills for one. Ask your landlord for an estimate of the cost of monthly bills. Though utility bills are use-dependent, you may get a feel for a baseline amount.
Don’t forget renter’s insurance! Many landlords require renter’s insurance which protects the tenant in the case of loss, theft, etc. Though the usual cost is low, why not factor it in if you are estimating additional monthly costs? Find out the details and decide what coverage you might need.
Moving into a new place is exciting! As you think about all the ways you can decorate, or improve you space, plan for the essentials first in your budget. What do you need? Unless mom and dad are providing your basics, you’ll need: a bed, dishes, sitting furniture, linens and towels, etc. Take a trip to your nearest home store to get an estimate of what you can afford. While eating off plastic crates is fun for a night or two, eventually, you’ll want the comfort of a table!
- Fun Stuff.
What about the non-essentials – things that make your apartment into a home? Wall décor, plants, tablecloths, decorative pillows, etc. See what makes sense with your budget and plan ahead for special items to make your home feel more like you.
Fun stuff from home might make your apartment more livable, but think before you move everything from home into your new apartment. Moving is an opportunity to purge items you no longer need, or even sell, to add money back into budget.
- Your furry friends.
Pets are the best. But, most landlords require a pet fee or deposit. Pet fees range from a monthly fee, in the neighborhood of $15-25/month. Alternatively, some landlords require a pet deposit upfront, to cover any damages related to pets.
Wait, more expenses? Maybe. If you have a friend with a truck you can borrow to move your personal items, you may be able to get away with just the expense of buying your friend a pizza – instead of incurring the expense of a moving truck rental. If you don’t have that friend with a truck, renting a moving truck or trailer, is something to add into your moving budget.
Aaaah. You’re all moved in! Now that you have all the basics, and your apartment is homey – the expenses will stabilize, right? We have a few additional tips to make your rental experience better, by saving time and expense.
One way is working with your landlord to Pay Rent Online. Landlord software, like Schedule My Rent, enables you to quickly and easily pay your rent, with no trips to the bank, no paper checks, andno uncertainty that your rent payment made it to your landlord.
Schedule My Rent will automatically pay your rent every month, on the date of your choice. Once the payment is made, you will receive a receipt for payment. Easy! Check with your landlord about using Schedule My Rent to save you time and expense: https://www.schedulemyrent.com
Automating the payment of your bills for phone and utilities will also save you time and effort. Keep an eye on your utility usage the first few months, as you learn about the expenses for gas and electric use. Once you have a feel for the typical expense, you can accurately budget.
Well, good luck in your new apartment! With these simple expense planning steps, you won’t be surprised or overwhelmed. Simple tools like Schedule My Rent make your life easier, once you are settled into your home as well. Ask about using Schedule My Rent with your landlord today.