How to Budget for your First Apartment

Posted by Lindsey Austin on May 1, 2018 10:34:24 AM

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When considering becoming a first-time renter, there's a lot to think about! And while finances may not be the most fun, knowing where your budget stands and what you can afford is a necessity. Let's take a look at some factors that can affect your flow of cash.

Location Location Location

The vast majority of Alden Short apartment complexes lie within two Dallas areas: Oak Cliff and Old East Dallas. These areas already are affordable for most, and some of the cheapest neighborhoods in which to rent in Dallas. But, depending on the property's location, amenities, and nearby attractions, rent can vary. It's a good idea to visit the properties you're interested in so you can get a feel for what's around, and more importantly, if you feel you'd be getting your bang for your buck.

Don't Forget About Utilities

Prior to signing your lease, be sure you have a clear understand of what utilities you are responsible for. Many of our properties are all bills paid, but not all of them. Feel free to triple check with your leasing agent, and don't be shy about asking the property manager. They could even give you a rough estimate of how much your utilities will cost you each month. Typical utilities include electric, gas, water, trash, TV, phone and internet.

Prepare To Pay More Upfront

Aside from needing to have rent money ready, in some cases renters are responsible for pet fees, security deposits, administrative fees, parking space fees, renters insurance and some (if not all) utilities. Of course, if you're renting with Alden Short, we don't have parking fees or deposits. Also know that some properties will ask for a monthly pet rent, whereas some expect it in full prior to move in. Just check with your agent and review your lease to see.

Don't Forget About Furnishing Your Place

While the items previously mentioned are just for securing your unit, there's a number of other things you have to consider... things that, of course, cost money. If you don't already have them, you'll need a bed, furniture, table and chairs, kitchen supplies, bathroom supplies, cleaning supplies, decor, etc. There's no shame in checking second-hand stores and thrift shops for these items!

You Still Gotta Live

After a month or two, you should have the kinks worked out of your budget and can plan for the other things, like food, gas and entertainment. Try to keep a close eye on these items and ask yourself if you really need to go out to eat again, or if you can save some money by eating the food already in your pantry! Do you absolutely need to spend $30 at the movie theatre, or can you watch a free movie on Netflix?

Write your bills down, talk to your agent, and get ready for the exciting adventure of moving into your first apartment! And don't forget, Alden Short works with a number of local charities to help you get assistance with food, rent, clothing, and medication. Contact us when you're ready to start the journey!

Topics: How To

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