Moving into your first apartment is EXPENSIVE. From paying moving costs, deposits, and the first few months of rent, it can be a major financial challenge. But, there are ways to make smart decisions to save you a little money throughout the process! Here are a few ways you can safely cut corners in your new apartment while you adjust to paying rent.
Your first apartment is not the Taj Mahal, and does not need to be designer glamorous in your first few months there. Limit the decor you purchase and hang up at first. Instead, let your decor evolve over time as your own style and needs evolve! Adding a few items at a time will ensure you stay within your monthly budget and don’t break the bank at once.
Here’s the deal. As you adjust to paying 30% of your income to rent, your furniture does not need to be brand-spanking-new. Plus, in your very first place, you’ll likely have rowdy friends over, late nights, and lazy days on the sofa. Keep in mind that some of your furniture is likely to get banged up or ruined pretty quickly, and don’t splurge on new items until you are settled in, financially stable, and mature enough to take care of nice furniture. Check Craigslist, local thrift stores, or garage sale sites for gently used furniture at a major discount from retail stores.
Hand-me-downs are crucial when it comes to kitchen items because they are EXPENSIVE! From old pots and pans to plates, silverware, and cups… accept hand-me-downs from family and friends or hit your local thrift store to pick up items you need. These are items that work perfectly well, are easily sanitized and don’t go “bad.” Sure, they may not be the perfect fit for your personality or style, but it’s worth it to save some cash in your first few weeks. Once you’re comfortable, you can start to replace old items with new items, but you won’t ever be “without” kitchen essentials!
I know this one hurts, but try to cook at home as much as possible. Whether that’s buying a healthy frozen dinner a couple times a week or whipping up chicken, veggies, and salads, limit the amount of time you go out to eat in the first few months. Not only will this save you money, but you’ll also get into a good habit of making delicious and nutritious meals at home.
Great news! You now have your own apartment! Celebrate by having friends over to your place instead of meeting at the movie theater or local restaurant! Everyone will be glad to save a little money on outing expenses, and you can show off your new place to the people you love.
See? It’s not hard to cut corners in your very first apartment. The savings will be well worth it, and you can always slowly add in new expenses once you’re comfortable paying rent.