Moving out on your own can be an exciting time. If you’ve never rented an apartment before, you can be so overwhelmed with your newfound freedom that you forget a few basic financial principles. You could even get in over your head and end up having to move back in with your parents. These financial tips are designed to prevent that so that you can continue to enjoy your new independence.
- Keep Your Rent Low – Financial experts recommend keeping your rent and utilities to no more than 30% of your income. That means, if you are earning minimum wage, your rent should be no more than $500 per month. Even then, you may be stretching it. Bottom line, you need to leave enough in your monthly budget for food, clothing, entertainment, transportation’s, savings, and other expenses. If necessary, find a roommate to share the expenses.
- Estimate Your Bills & Expenses – Ask your neighbors what you should expect to pay for utilities. If it’s out of your budget range, move on to another apartment. Also, one way new renters may get into trouble is by not anticipating multiple units on one meter. Ensure you have your own meters and that you can afford the utility bills.
- Set Aside One Month’s Rent – Before you move in, set aside at least one month’s rent in your savings account and keep it there. You might need it if you fall short.
- Perform an Inspection – On your move-in date, walk through your apartment and make a note of everything that is wrong. Anything broken or damaged should be reported. Otherwise, you may get stuck with the bill when you move out.
- Buy Renter’s Insurance – A good renter’s policy covers replacement costs for your personal items in the event of a fire, water damage, or theft.
- Understand Your Parking Rules – Do you have a designated parking space? Is there designated parking for visitors? Do you have to pay extra? Make sure you budget for any extra expenses, and be sure your visitors follow the rules.
- Be Sure You Understand the Contract – Always get your agreement in writing. Your landlord may be a friendly person, but if things don’t go as expected, you’ll need your agreement in writing. Having a written contract will ensure that disagreements are handled fairly and appropriately. Ask questions about anything you don’t understand, and make sure you read the small print.
Before you move, establish a monthly budget. Make sure you can afford to rent an apartment before you sign on the dotted line. Rents vary from city to city. So if an apartment in Wayzata is over your budget, you might want to search for apartments in Orono, Minnetonka or Maple Grove to find an apartment you can afford.
Don’t forget to book a professional Minneapolis mover to help you get moved into your first apartment quickly and efficiently. RJ Moving is fully insured and licensed and we have a professional team with all the right equipment to ensure your move is smooth and stress-free.