You’ve decided to make the move—now what? Whether it’s your first or fifteenth apartment, it’s good to make sure that you have a firm grip on any and all costs associated with renting a unit. So here’s a refresher on the most important expenses you’ll likely be exposed to.
*Rent* This is your primary monthly expense and easily the largest.
Because most people get paid bi-weekly, it’s a good idea to use part of each paycheck towards your rent. This way you’re not overwhelmed with a costly lump sum at the end of the month, leaving you with little or no money to work with until your next pay period.
*Gas* If heat isn’t included in the monthly rent and your stovetop isn’t electric, you’ll likely have a monthly gas bill. Depending on where you live, this cost will typically ebb and flow based on the time of year. In general, expect it to be higher in the Winter and lower in the Summer.
*Electric* Similar to gas, your electric bill will also fluctuate.
Luckily, it’s not in conjunction with gas so instead you’ll pay more in the Summer and less in the Winter. This helps to offset the cost of heating and cooling throughout the year.
*Cable & Internet* This expense, unlike the others, is optional. However, most people choose to have one or the other in their home, if not both. To help budget for this expense, do a little research and shop around for the best cable and Internet provider. Often times they’ll offer specials and other incentives to new customers, which can help keep costs down. Bundling the two under one provider can also be cost effective.
*Renter’s Insurance* This is also an optional expense, but good to have in case of any apartment damage as a result of fire, flood or theft. Renter’s insurance is relatively inexpensive and the cost is nominal in comparison to what you could end up paying should anything ever go wrong.