3 Tips To Save Money for an Apartment

How To Save Money for an Apartment (Image Source: Shutterstock)

1. Make a Detailed Budget

Firstly, always make a detailed budget of your current expenses and how much you’ll need to save to get into the new apartment of your dreams. There are a few ancillary steps to take to do this.

Calculate All Bills

Start by calculating all of the bills you currently have to pay regularly. These bills include:

  • Utility bills such as your electricity bill
  • The cost of groceries
  • Student loans
  • Renter’s insurance (if you pay it)
  • Your car payment, car insurance, and gas payments
  • Any other living expenses you can think of

Determine How Much You Spend Each Month

But that number isn’t the same as how much you actually spend every month. Most of us like to spend some extra cash on luxuries and fun experiences, like going out to eat, going to the movies, taking trips with our friends, and more.

Figure Out How Much Money You Have Left

Once you do that, simply calculate how much money you make every month from your job, your student stipend, and/or other income sources. Subtract your monthly expenditures and voila: you now know exactly how much spare cash you have to start saving up for an apartment.

Add Up Future Apartment Expenses

Adding up the future expenses for your new apartment is another crucial step when saving up. As noted above, you can’t just save up enough money for a new or first apartment’s standard monthly rate, nor can you rely on a credit card. You also need:

  • First and last month’s rent. Most renters require this lump sum so that they don’t have to rely on you remembering to pay your last month’s rent right before you move.
  • The security deposit, essentially serves as financial insurance for the renter. You’ll get this money back if you don’t damage your apartment during your tenancy, but until then, it’s an unfortunate expense that makes moving into a new apartment financially trickier.
  • Pet fees/pet deposits and other expenses, depending on whether you have a pet, whether you need to pay for extra parking space, etc.

2. Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses

That leads us to our second tip: save money more aggressively by cutting out unnecessary expenses. Odds are you can do this in several areas of your life if you take a critical eye to your spending habits. Here are a couple of ways you can save up extra cash by spending a little less.

Stop Streaming Subscriptions

Hulu, Netflix, and other streaming services are convenient and a lot of fun, but they aren’t always necessary. Let’s be honest; how many of us stay subscribed to these streaming services out of laziness or convenience even if there’s nothing we want to watch on them for months at a time?

Take Public Transportation

Gas prices are pretty expensive, and that likely won’t change in the future. If you can manage it, consider swapping to public transportation for going to and from work or whatever else you are able. Public transportation is usually cheaper than driving your own car since you don’t have to pay for gas. On top of that, you don’t run the risk of getting into a car accident, which would certainly take a bite out of your wallet!

Shop Online Less Often

Amazon, Etsy, and other online stores are pretty tempting thanks to their low or free shipping policies and sheer wealth of varied, valuable items. But online shopping is dangerous precisely because of its convenience. Clicking a mouse a few times doesn’t feel very expensive, but little online purchases made consistently over a month can eat into your budget more than you may think.

3. Funnel Extra Money to a Savings Account

That’s right — the third big tip to save money for an apartment is to open a savings account and start funneling extra cash into it ASAP. Whenever you have a few extra bucks, put that money in your savings account so it’s out of reach and out of mind.

  • They display a big, growing number, making it easier to maintain motivation and discipline as you save up for the target amount you calculated earlier
  • They earn interest over time. Just having money in a savings account at a bank or credit union can help you make a bit of extra cash and work toward your apartment goal.
  • They require an extra step to take money out of savings and spend it frivolously. It’s harder to break your promise to yourself to save up money for a new apartment if you have to take it out of a bank account.

Financial Wellness Matters, Too

As you can see, there are lots of ways you can save money for an apartment. Planning a budget, determining how much you need to save, then prioritizing saving rather than spending can go a long way toward letting you move into the apartment of your dreams by yourself or with a roommate.

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