The boxes are packed, the keys are in hand, and a little voice from within seems to be whispering, “YOU’RE AN ADULT NOW!” While getting out of mom and dad’s place or even your college dorm is the first step to really being out on your own, one small factor could stop you straight in your tracks: those dolla’ dolla’ bills. Budgeting for your first apartment can be, to put it lightly, a learning experience. Because if you like to move it, move it, you’ve gotta pay it, pay it. Did you know that according to Gallup, only 32% of Americans create a monthly budget? Somehow, budgeting has taken a back burner in the lives of young people, especially. But don’t worry – we can help. Here are some expenses that you may have forgotten about, along with some smart solutions to keep them in check. Read the rest of this entry »
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As the seasons turn, you may look around at your apartment’s decor and decide it’s time for a change. While you may have wanted your apartment to feel sunny and light during the summer months, you might want a cozier, more intimate setting during the fall. Let’s tackle the top five ways to change your apartment’s decor while still staying on budget.
1. DIY some new decor
New decor doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Adding some catch-alls or crafting some new pieces for your home can make your apartment feel more personalized. Bringing some character into any space is a great way to have your apartment’s aesthetic feel brand new.
Slow down! Ideally, that list sounds great on paper, but for a college student, moving apartments can get expensive pretty quickly. Here are some tips for moving apartments that will keep your college bank account intact! Read the rest of this entry »
With Tax Day fast approaching, we know that you’ve got budgeting on the brain. Tuesday, April 15th is the 2014 IRS tax filing deadline, and as D-Day draws near, you’re figuring out how much of your hard-earned money will be gone come filing day. You might even be reevaluating the ways you spend your money during the rest of the year.
Conveniently for you, dear renter, we’ve been squirreling away our apartment budgeting tips in anticipation of this very occasion. For your perusal, here are our best Apartment Living blog posts to help you budget your money more wisely. Heed them and, who knows? Next year you might have a little more moolah left over after April comes and goes.
You might have heard that living in an apartment can be a great way to save money. But why? This guide covers the perks of choosing apartment living in order to save money, an overview of how to make an apartment budget, and ways to find an apartment for less in the area of your choice.
We could all be a little more conscious of the way we spend our money on utilities. Water, heating, phone, TV, gas, and electricity bills are just a few of the necessities taking a chunk of change out of apartment renters’ pockets each month. Read this post for some helpful tips for saving money on each kind of utility bill.
Two of the most important keys to finding an apartment and keeping your financial sanity are knowing how to organize and budget. Read this guide to understand how to budget your money and find an apartment efficiently.
Want to save money getting to and from your apartment? There’s an app for that. An important part of managing apartment living expenses is keeping an eye on your budget for transportation. These mobile apps will help you save money on parking, gas, and public transport.
You might have heard that it’s not easy being green… but we think that, for renters, it can be! Apartment recycling can save you cash and let you be kind to the environment at the same time. In this post we look at how to reexamine your monthly garbage bill, how to maximize your recycling when you move, and how to deal with an apartment that doesn’t recycle.
It’s very easy to get excited when looking to find an apartment. Sometimes that seemingly perfect apartment catches our eye with an open floorplan, great ambiance and an easily-accessible location, making us want to sign on the dotted line right away. Yet, our excitement can later turn into a pocketbook that is emptier than our refrigerator. Here are just a few guidelines to help prepare minds and bank accounts for finding the right apartment.
One of the best ways to budget for your perfect apartment is to transition the numbers floating around in your head onto a computer, or at least a piece of paper. Documenting what you’re able to afford can help limit the mind’s justification for what may be unrealistic. Excel is a great tool to use because you can easily add up your expenses and perform other functions with your monetary responsibilities.
Consider researching the costs of utilities upfront. If all you can find is ballpark figures, it’s better to overestimate these costs than to later discover you have trouble covering water, gas and garbage. Documenting estimated utility costs will help you visualize the sometimes hidden costs of apartment living.
Should you need to upgrade items such as furniture, decor and other amenities, it is good to itemize, estimate and document these as well. This is a great way to know if wanted items can wait or if bargain shopping might be in order.
For those who are tech savvy, smartphone applications, desktop and online personal finance software such as Mint.com offer easy-to-use functionality that can compare nearly every aspect of a budget. Of course, many people find spreadsheets a great way to analyze and compare a budget.
There are no hard and fast rules to budgeting. Whether with pen and paper, spreadsheet or software, the best budgets are documented and calculated. Then, you can effectively compare factors such as income, spending habits and unforeseen costs.
Therefore, by being fiscally prepared, searching for that perfect apartment just might be easier than you think.
For individuals and families seeking flexibility in a living situation, apartment living is a smart choice. A major perk is that renting can help simplify your finances, and make creating a budget easier. When you know you’ll have to spend a chunk of income on rent each month, it’s useful for all walks of renters to keep tabs on their money and establish parameters for spending and saving.
It doesn’t take expertise or major math skills to draft a budget that will put you in control of your finances as a renter. Start by getting motivated by the idea of organizing your money, which will help scale back stress in many areas of life. Put in a little effort and follow through with plans, and you’ll enjoy apartment living with financial peace of mind.
You’ve probably heard the rule about spending no more than a third of your net income on rent. When searching to find an apartment, compare rent prices and make calculations to ensure you stay within that magic number. Remember that upon signing a lease, there will be major upfront expenses including security deposits, pet fees and your first month’s rent all at once. You may also anticipate shopping for furniture and other household goods during this time. Be prepared for that onslaught of spending, which will of course settle down after the first month.
One of the many benefits of apartment living is the general predictability of monthly expenses. Use budgeting software or a simple spreadsheet to list these expenses (and due dates), and you’ll avoid getting caught by surprise when a bill pops up again. Establish your baseline income and continue to list out all other expenses, including those unrelated to apartments, such as car insurance and cell phone bills.
Establish your discretionary income— what’s left over each month after handling apartment living costs and other expenses. Hopefully you aren’t let down by this figure! If so, consider shuffling your expenses and adjusting spending habits as needed. Come up with a plan and stand by it. Perform a monthly review of your budgeting documentation and update as things change.
If you’re still looking for the perfect home, try our excellent search tool. We boast a huge, easily searchable database of apartments in your city, including Dallas apartments, Phoenix apartments, Austin apartments, and Seattle apartments.
There are over 2.3 million people in Houston, reports the U.S. Census Bureau. On top of that, the HTX metro area spans more than 599 miles! So, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about your move to H-Town — we don’t blame you! But, before you say “screw it” and move into whichever decent place you can find, read our insider’s guide on how to find an apartment in Houston. Read the rest of this entry »
Beige carpet. White walls. White doors. Your new apartment is a blank slate. Too blank. You want to give your new place some personality, but painting the walls may not be an option if you’re a renter. Don’t let the beige wall blues get to you though. Check out these 6 easy decor ideas that won’t damage your apartment walls. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s September, which means fall is upon us. The air is getting cooler, pumpkins are getting spicier, and the trees are getting orange-ier? But changing leaves aren’t the only things you’re watching. That’s right; it’s football season! And if you’re planning on throwing a watch party, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure your party is a touchdown. Read the rest of this entry »
A grill. A comfy hammock. A string of lights. All of the above!
When you moved in, you had big plans for your little apartment balcony, but in the hustle and bustle of life, those plans got shoved to the bottom of your to-do list. But hey—there’s no better time than the present! Use this step-by-step guide to turn your apartment balcony ideas into a cozy hangout for reading, writing, socializing, and maybe even a candlelit dinner. Read the rest of this entry »