TradeTravelJournal.com | How Much Rent Can I Afford? (+ Free Printables) | The idea of getting your own place can be an exciting milestone to hit. Whether you’re still in college, or ready to take on a new city, budgeting for this next step is crucial. Not only will you want to get a place you love, but you most likely will want to make purchases to make your new place feel like home. From new hiring movers to purchasing new furniture, moving can rack up a hefty bill. Before you know it you may be adding throw blankets, new coffee machines, and random decorations to your basket costing you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
Not to mention, most apartments require a down deposit, first and seconds month rent, without the additional expenses of setting up your new wifi and getting machinery to make your place feel more at home. Before you sign a lease for upcoming months to come, calculate your rent budget. Are you spending too much on your rent? What areas of your budget would you need to work on to get to your ideal budget?
If your budget and apartment expectations align, congratulations! If not, you may want to go back to the drawing board to see what changes could be made. Should you stay in a less expensive apartment to save up, or should you cut out your love for takeout coffee that costs you an additional $300 a month? Even starting up a side hustle or passive income project could boost your income and contribute more towards your savings goals. Get down to the basics and ask yourself the hard questions.
Ask Your Realtor the Hard Questions
When you’re looking at different apartments, get serious about what amenities you’d like to have. Does the apartment have a dog park that you’ve been wanting for years now? Is this apartment location a perfect commute to your work location? Do they have a gym in the complex, or an additional one near the area? See which amenities and perks bring joy to you and stick your ground when touring places in your budget. If you’re saying “yes” more than you are “no,” add it to a “yes” pile and come back to compare your choices once your search has been complete.
Compare Your Favorites
Now it’s time to compare your top picks. Sit down with your realtor, or a close friend, to estimate which apartments offer more than others don’t. Keep an eye out for additional costs that could rack up your overall rent expenses. For instance, utilities, water, wifi, and other necessities can heavily impact your living expenses. Once you’ve double-checked each apartment’s costs and added expenses, search each to see which pulls at your heartstrings the most. Once you’ve picked your final, and best, apartment, contact your realtor or apartment complex to start the application process. This process shouldn’t take you more than a few hours to complete, and a few hours to hear your response.
Decorate, But On a Budget
After saying yes to the perfect apartment for you, start decorating! If you’re investing in new furniture, you may not want to spend more than a few dollars for miscellaneous decorations. Print out our home sweet home apartment wall art to hang in your new place. Place it in your living room, bathroom, or any other room in your living. Every time you see it, it may remind you of the time you signed your new lease and celebrated this next big chapter of life!