Growing up is sometimes hard to do. As we get older, we have more responsibilities. One of our responsibilities as adults is to move out on our own. When I decided to move out of my parents’ house, I knew I needed a plan that would help me find my dream apartment.
I had a full-time job that paid for the important things that I needed such as food and clothing, but I needed to cut back. I knew in order to move out of my parent’s house I needed to save my money. I learned some practical tips that helped me save money for my first apartment.
If you are in the process of moving out of your parent’s house or if you are thinking about moving out, you should consider these 5 practical tips:
1. Know Your Budget
When I first started looking for apartments, I looked online at apartment websites. Knowing your budget can help you make a decision on what type of apartment you are looking for. There are some questions you should ask yourself:
- What is your gross income?
- Do you have money for food and other necessities after you pay your rent?
- Do you have enough money for emergencies?
There are a lot of different ways to get an estimate on how much rent you can pay monthly. It is hard to get an estimate because some apartments include utilities and some do not.
If you want the best estimate, %30 percent of your income is what you should shoot for. If you have student loans or if you are in debt, you have to take that into consideration when choosing an affordable apartment.
2. You Need Furniture
One of the things that I panicked the most about was where to buy furniture. I put aside $50 every month for furniture on top of what I was saving for other essentials.
It may seem overwhelming when it comes to furnishing your apartment. You may think you have to go to Ikea or other expensive furniture stores, but there are cheaper options.
I realized that I needed the basic furniture first such as my living room furniture and bedroom items. I waited on the other items that I needed, and I started out with the most important furniture.
You don’t have to move into your apartment with everything you need. There are some shortcuts you can take such as eating dinner in your room instead of buying a dining table.
When you are ready to shop for your furniture, you should look at different stores such as American Freight, your local thrift store, or even a mass merchandise store.
Thinking creatively and buying the important things you need first can help you save money on furniture.
3. You Need Food
Everyone needs food to survive. In this day and time, the price of groceries is going up. You might think that eating some pizza, tacos, and other fast food is an easy meal, but the cost adds up.
Food can take up a lot of your money if you fall into the trap of buying fast food. There are some easy techniques that I used to save money on food.
The first thing I did was look up cheap recipes online. Then I created a grocery list for things that I needed. Creating a grocery list can help you stay on your budget because you already know what you need.
I made sure I clipped a lot of coupons and looked for deals in the store. I tried to Get offers from Dealslands and other deal sites and apps.
Buying ingredients and cooking your meals will make your food last longer, so it is best to cook meals that you can use for left overs.
4. What is Not Necessary
Cutting cable is the best way to save money for your first apartment. With so many different avenues of watching TV, you really don’t need that extra expense.
Go for cheaper options such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon. I have managed to enjoy my TV shows without paying for cable.
5. Lower Your Monthly Bills
Utility bills can take up a lot of your monthly paycheck, but there are some ways to cut back on utilities. The electric bill is one of the utilities I pay. I have learned to cut all of the lights out when I go to bed and unplug things that I am not using.
The air conditioning can add to your monthly bills, so it is best to use a fan during the day. I personally use a fan unless the temperature is unbearable. You will save a lot of money if you do little things to cut back on your expenses.
(Related – Saving money on electricity in the winter)
Moving out for the first time is an exciting process! I know that it can be a little scary, but if you utilize these 5 practical tips, you will enjoy living on your own.
The most important thing is to be financially stable before you move out. You don’t want to have any reason to move back into your parent’s house. If you budget your money and plan wisely, you will have no financial worries.
About the author: Jacqueline Mayfield is a freelance writer based in Virginia. She is passionate about teaching people how to save money and she enjoys sharing her experiences. Her goal is to give practical tips to people that struggle with their finances.