Budgeting for an apartment can be a major endeavor. It requires that you know as much as possible about the apartments you are looking at as well as knowing, and admitting, as much as possible about your own finances.
How to budget for an apartment that is nicer than your current one can be tricky, mainly because you can find yourself believing you can afford an apartment you really cannot.
While looking for a new apartment, make sure to consistently ask yourself, “What apartment can I afford on my salary?” That should help you stay away from apartments you cannot afford.
Part of creating a budget for apartment living involves understanding all that apartment living entails and requires. This is where you’re going to have to do some research. Ask your friends, neighbors and relatives as much as possible. Consider these questions below as a starting point.
- What habits increase typical apartment expenses?
- What habits decrease typical apartment expenses?
- What are the atypical/unexpected expenses?
- What strategies/tips worked when it came to reducing expenses? Which didn’t?
- What’s one thing someone had told you about budgeting for your new apartment? During your first year in the apartment?
The result of all the questions should hopefully be a mound of wisdom that will make budgeting for apartment living much easier and less scary. There will be apartments that you can afford if you make some changes in your apartment search and life, mainly financial life.
Here are a few recommended changes to consider.
- Find a location with typically low rent.
- Wait before making an offer.
- Landlords often reduce rent prices if an apartment is not rented out in a week or two.
- Sign a longer lease.
- A longer lease typically means a reduced rent. It also protects you from future price increases.
- Trade work for rent or a rent reduction.
- Smaller properties allow for renters to provide work, ranging from property to website maintenance, in exchange for a reduced rent.
- Look for promotions.
- Use an app.
- Using an app can take a good chunk of math out of the equation but make sure you adjust accordingly to your needs.
- Use net, not gross, income
- This is very important! Only take into consideration the money that is coming into the household.
- Reduce as many expenses as possible.
- Determine your rent from the budget, not vice versa.
- Don’t start off with what you want to pay for rent and plan to reduce expenses because you could end up lying yourself regarding what you actually spend.
- Look at your expenses and then determine how much of your income is actually available for rent to get a better picture of what you can afford and what expenses you can reduce.
- Get rid of cable service.
- Switch to no-fee checking.
- Look for deals on fixed services.
- Live on half of your paycheck.
- This is a temporary but extreme measure that, although it may drive some people crazy, has proven effective.
- Automate your savings.
- By having part of your paycheck go directly into your savings account, you avoid the temptation of spending it.
- Save the money from your tax return.
Budgeting & Your Habits
It’s one thing to budget so you can afford to get the apartment of your dreams but it’s another to budget to maintain said apartment. Though similar, budgeting once you have settled down in your new home requires more consistent measures.
Here are a few tips for staying on budget once you’ve signed the lease.
- Start out small: It may be tempting to splurge on your new place but keep in mind that you still have to pay rent and utilities, among other living expenses. Buy your essentials first and continue to buy what you want slowly.
- Compare as many service companies as possible: If you have the option of using the Internet and cable provider of your choice, shop around as much as possible. Also, let the companies know you are aware of the competitor’s prices. Some companies will offer special deals if they think they are about to lose a potential customer.
Once you have your budget figured out, come take a look at Heers Management apartments in Phoenix, Arizona. When you ask yourself, “What apartment can I afford?” Heers Management will provide you with a variety of great apartment choices that are both beautiful and budget-friendly.