Amid COVID-19 rental market fluctuations, it’s almost as if the housing market benefits the buyer one day and the seller the next. As such, finding an apartment that you can afford can be quite an arduous task.
Are you looking for a new place and having no luck? Here’s how to find the perfect apartment for your budget.
Solidify your budget
Begin planning a budget by staying aware of how much you make per pay period. After looking through your electronic pay stubs, track how much your earnings fluctuate between pay periods and try to budget for the lowest point on this sliding scale.
Think of budgeting as an emotional way to reduce overspending rather than a purely financial one. There are repercussions to being unable to meet your monetary responsibilities promptly, and these consequences can be incredibly dire. Gracefully avoid them by adhering sternly to your budget. Allot half of your income for needs, then divide the other half in two, one each for luxuries and savings.
Determine your wants and needs
The economy is based on the provision of wants and needs, and to stay safe as a consumer, you must prioritize these both carefully. Whether electronically or the old-fashioned way, write out what you know you buy with every paycheck, whether it’s a necessary purchase or not. After you have your list of expenses in front of you, be critical of them all.
Are you buying things you don’t need but are nice to have for practical reasons? Are you spending money superfluously on things that are pure luxuries? Be honest about what you’re buying so that you can spend more on things that are crucial and less on things that aren’t.
Separate the entries on your list into three groups; need, nice-to-have, and want. Needs are bill payments, food, and indispensable in-home utilities. Wants are things you don’t need but enjoy. Things that are nice to have lie somewhere in between. They may have a practical use but aren’t quite 100% necessary. Take care of your absolute necessities first, then save the rest for later.
Search for an apartment
It may be time to refine your search. Stop looking at every listing on apartment search websites and, instead, apply filters that ensure only apartments in your budget pop up in searches. Try to find a place where rent is only one-third or one-fourth of your monthly wages. Use these parameters to find a place that shows every attribute you want in an apartment space.
On the other hand, sometimes, the internet doesn’t cut it. You may have to search on foot or by bus around town hunting down “for rent” signs. Additionally, if your friends are open about their financial matters and have recently moved, ask if they pay rent similar to yours. If so, ask about some runner-ups they left behind to find more options for yourself.
What are your tips for creating a perfect budget and finding the apartment that matches? Share them in the comments!