Leasing-Planning for First-time Apartment Rental Expenses

Either you are downsizing, relocating to another city or just ready to move out of your parent’s home and you’ve realized that saving solely for the apartment deposit and credit check fee isn’t going to allow you to rent that trendy apartment you have been eyeing online. That’s usually because first time renters have concentrated solely on the apartment rental expense and do not realize that there are many first-time costs they haven’t calculated in their apartment search budget. While some items may vary, depending on the city and regional area you have chosen, the following worksheet lists some of the most common up-front costs.

Up-Front Expenses

    Credit Check fee for apartment application $_____

    Deposit for apartment $_____

    Deposit for pets (if any) $_____

    Deposit for electric service $_____

    Deposit for gas service $_____

    Deposit for telephone service $_____

    Installation fee for cable TV or internet service $_____

    First month’s rent on apartment $_____

    Moving Costs $_____

    Total Up-front Expenses $_____

While these up-front costs will cover getting you into the apartment, you will need to also come up with some money to equip your apartment with the furniture, household items and food staples that will make living in your new place possible–especially if the apartment is unfurnished. Sleeping on the floor, eating fast food on paper plates and having no place to sit will get old very fast!

To reduce your expenses, you might want to consider buying used furniture at thrift stores or yard sales or maybe getting a few furniture donations from relatives. If you have the financial resources, then estimate what you will be spending on furniture for each room.

The following worksheet, will help calculate your furnishing costs.

Move-In Expenses

    Furniture for 1 or 2 bedroom apartment $______

    Small kitchen appliances (blender,microwave, etc.) $______

    Dishes, pots and pans, flatware $______

    Household items (bedspread, towels, rugs) $______

    Kitchen paper goods and toiletries $______

    Cleaning supplies (mop, broom, household cleaners) $______

    Food (including first-time staples & condiments) $______

    Total Move-in Expenses $______

You will need to add both totals to get a clear picture of what your expenses will be. Some of those expenses can be spread out over a few months; however, you should be aware of what to expect. If you spend the time planning ahead, it will pay off with a much more realistic picture of what your budget can handle, no “sticker shock” worries and enjoying your new place.