Have you been scouring apartment listings left and right, looking to find a new place? Don’t forget to budget for living expenses. Your monthly salary will need to cover a lot more than just paying rent. Read on to find out why you need to save up before getting an apartment. If that gets you feeling all worried and overwhelmed — breathe. We’ve covered more about how to save up for your dream home setup as well!
Is It Necessary to Save Up Before Getting an Apartment?
Yes, of course. Whether you’re ready to move out of your parents’ home or looking to relocate, it’s a good idea to have savings for a few bills so you can settle in easily. Here are a few expenses you should ideally be saving up for:
Registration Fees — Your First Payment
Depending upon the legal requirements, some landlords may charge a small down payment or booking fees to consider your application for the apartment. This may also be charged for a background check, to draw up the required paperwork, or register for utilities when the application is approved. Although this isn’t refundable, some nice landlords put this payment down for the security deposit.
Security Deposit — Your Refundable Rent
Another one of the upfront costs, the security deposit is usually a month or two’s rent. It’s kept by the landlord as a liability check and refunded at the end of your lease. If you or your co-signer have a good credit score, you’re more likely to get a discount on the amount or at least get some leverage on the deadline to pay.
Rent — The Monthly Must
You might have already accounted for this. At least one-third of your income will go towards the monthly rent. So, it’s best to save up at least three months’ worth of rent before moving — one for the security deposit, another for the first month, and the third installment to be on the safe side of matters.
Utilities — The Survival Stuff
Besides rent, you’ll be given a stack of bills every month for electricity, water, and natural gas as well. Now, you may be responsible for paying all of them separately or the amount may be added up with your rent so you only pay once for everything. This depends on how your landlord chooses to deal with these matters. If you’re not comfortable at any point, feel free to communicate and negotiate with the landlord.
Furnishings — The Comfort Club
No matter how much you prepare beforehand, there will always be an appliance you didn’t account for or a piece of furniture that doesn’t quite fit in the new space. For instance, you may be used to cooking with a microwave oven, but the new apartment doesn’t have one. You’ll need cash to get your own. These expenses can go up into hundreds, so it’s best to set aside a budget for them.
Insurance — Theft Coverage
In addition to your mandatory monthly expenses, you’ll either be required by the landlord or advised to purchase a renter’s insurance policy. This protects you and your belongings in case of a break-in, natural disasters, water damage, etc.
Mover’s — The Essential Cogs
Of course, you’ll want someone to haul your belongings to the new place. Depending upon the distance and the size of your stuff, moving costs can go well over a thousand. Even if you call up your friends or hire a mover’s truck, you’ll still have to pay for the fuel.
Miscellaneous — The Nice-to-Have
This folder includes payments you can opt out of if you are tight on cash. These include getting internet wired and buying cable or streaming services for the apartment. Besides the monthly bill for these services, you may also be required to pay installation fees.
In other words, Netflix can wait.
How to Save Up Before Moving Into a New Apartment?
Here are some key methods you can implement to save money on your living expenses and move into a new apartment — better to do them sooner rather than later:
Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
When searching for an apartment, keep your monthly income in mind. Ideally, your rent must be less than or equal to 30 percent of your income. The rest will go towards utility bills, moving expenses, and miscellaneous services.
Work Smart, Not Hard
While shifting into a new apartment, you’ll most likely have to stock up on groceries and cleaning supplies. Check out thrift stores for good deals or stop at a yard sale and get what you need. Try couponing and score BOGO deals.
Start a Savings Account
Best of all, apply for a targeted savings account at your bank. This way your cash will be set aside by the bank and even if you’re tempted to use it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much money do I need to save before getting an apartment?
Well, that entirely depends upon your potential rent, utility management, and insurance application. If you have your eye set on a particular location, find out the average rent there and start saving for that. As a general rule of thumb, you should have at least three months’ pay saved up before zeroing in on a space.
How do I pack smart before moving into an apartment?
The easiest way to pack smart is by getting your boxes from grocery stores. Chances are, they’ll give them away for free which you can recycle later. When packing, declutter what you don’t need, sell what you don’t want, and only keep what brings you joy.
Keeping it short and sweet, it is incredibly important to have some cash backed up in your bank account before setting foot in a new space. With that in mind, it’s time to stop splurging and start saving! Regulate your expenses, choose your favorite saving method and you’re already halfway to calling your dream space … home.