Budgeting For The Move to First Apartment

Our guest blogger Dedreanna has taken out her calculator and figured out what her first apartment move will cost.

“Budgeting For The Big Move  by Dedreanna

We have started to budget for our big move.  As I mentioned in an earlier post after graduation my fiance and I are getting our first apartment with another couple. Because of this, most of our costs will be divided by 4.

These are the main things we’ve been budgeting for
Damage (Security) Deposit- usually first month’s rent- $725
First month’s rent- $725
Cable $60.49
Internet $46.99
Home Phone- $36.50
Heat and Lights- around $100
Groceries- no amount set yet
Cleaning supplies- no amount set yet

How are we dividing the costs
For the damage deposit, rent and cable/phone/internet we’re dividing everything equally by 4.

For groceries, my fiance and I will buy our own, and Ashley and Keith will buy what they want. We’re dividing the fridge in half (our food on one side, theirs on the other) and we each have our own cupboard space in the kitchen.

Cost of cleaning supplies will be divided per couple and we will all be using them.

Besides the main things to budget for, each one also needs to plan for personal expenses such as cell phone, gas, car insurance, public transportation money, entertainment, odds and ends, and emergency funds.

Kitchen/apartment equipment and “stuff”
I’m currently in my 3rd and final year of college, and when I graduated from high school, my parents started buying me “apartment stuff” for Christmas (thanks mom!). Now that I’m ready to move out, I have every kitchen appliance you could ever need (and then some), towels, new bedding, a vacuum, all the dishes we could need, and lots more. Because of this, there weren’t a lot of other things we needed.

We are not splitting furniture costs
We had our bedroom furniture, so our main concern now is furniture for the rest of the apartment. When I found our apartment, Ashley, Keith, Mitch (my fiance) and I started talking about how we’re going to furnish it, and how the costs of furniture would be divided. We decided that the best way to do this was for all of us to buy different pieces, and not split the costs of anything, so there won’t be any confusion over who bought what when we eventually move out.

Tax refund, our families and internet
With some of his tax refund, Mitch decided to buy us an awesome new TV for the living room- and while that isn’t a necessity, he bought it because it’s money that we normally wouldn’t have to splurge with. Also, it’s a TV we can use for years, and have for our own place once we’re married.

Next we asked our families what they might be able to contribute. Whatever items we got, we agreed we would show the other roommates, and decide together whether or not to use it. Luckily our families were very generous- but we still needed a couch.

I began searching Kijiji online(sort of Canadian “Craigslist”) almost every day, but everything was either out of our price range, or too far away to pick up. Then Facebook came through. A girl I went to high school with was GIVING AWAY a click clack couch (it clicks back into a bed) and said she could deliver it to me, and didn’t want any money for it. (Such a sweetheart!)  I also scored 72 pieces of new and used silverware for $6 on Kijiji.

We are almost set for the move now and here what we learned in the process
1- Lists, lists, lists
. Get yourself a notebook just for apartment stuff. Have a budget page outlining everything you’ll have to pay, and the dates you need to pay it by.
2- Open a savings account. If you won’t be moving for a while, why not start saving early? Some banks have savings accounts that round up every purchase from your debit transactions and put the change into savings for you. If you use your debit card frequently, the change adds up fast.
3- Sell items you don’t want or use anymore on Kijiji or Facebook to get some money. People will pay for used designer (or good quality) clothes, shoes, purses and jewelry. Also, any books, university text books, or furniture. You’ll be surprised what people will give you for items you might have otherwise thrown out. This way you won’t have to take items you don’t want into the new apartment. I made $70 selling old clothes online. (I’m also making money for the move by tutoring and babysitting.)
4- Don’t buy unnecessary items until you have the necessities. Make sure you have everything you need, and everything paid for before you buy that awesome painting you saw last week.
5- And last but not least – do not get an apartment you can’t afford. I’ve seen it many times. People get an awesome apartment because they have the money at the time, without realizing they run short once their student loan payments start.”

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