Budgeting

Renting an Apartment: How to Plan Your Budget

Even though you may have created a budget for your new apartment, it can be difficult to actually stick to it. One of the best ways to stay within your budget when renting an apartment is to do all of the budgeting before you sign those papers that puts the apartment in your name. Below are some of the best ways to stick to a budget when renting an apartment so you don’t have to stress about being in debt once all of the apartment hunting is over and done with. We’ll take a look at apartment renter apps, extra apartment costs, and the security deposit to help you budget for your apartment.

Use an App

Have you ever wandered your home city looking for places to rent? This could have taken hours, days, or even weeks. Luckily for us, we live in an age of modern technology that makes daily tasks – apartment hunting included – that much easier. We’ve listed several of the best mobile apps for renters. You can now multitask and search for apartments during your lunch break, on your commute to work, or just before you head to bed at night. Searching for apartments has never been easier!

You can also get a credit check online, so you’ll have an idea if you’ll get approval for your apartment. Loaners will take a look at your credit score beforehand so they know that you’ll make your monthly apartment rental payments on time. In general, knowing your credit score is always a good idea so you can always stay on top of your finances and keep track of your spending, budget, and income.

Rentberry

One of the most widely used renter apps out there, Rentberry lets you speak to tenants and landlords from the comfort of your home. It has a price negotiation platform so you can haggle down to a price you feel comfortable paying, which is why it’s a great app to use to stick to your budget. You’ll also see the highest offer for the apartment and a suggested offer price, which can help guarantee your approval. No more hidden bids – you can watch what’s happening right before your eyes.  If you’re a visual person, you’ll love Rentberry. It makes it easy to know your competition and figure out a game plan to win that apartment. You can easily request tours online so you can view apartments around your schedule. They’ve also partnered with HelloSign so you can complete documents online without ever having to meet anyone in person.

Padmapper

Padmapper is easy to use and makes apartment hunting fun and exciting! They offer an anti-scam algorithm so you don’t have to worry about getting scammed and will only see legitimate postings. You can sort your search by price. That way, you’ll know that you’re sticking to your budget and are only viewing apartments within that price range. You can connect with landlords in one click. It’s very easy to view apartments in a specific area that you choose. Instead of driving around looking at apartments, you can now view them on your phone and visit the top ones that stick out to you!

Zumper

For one of the largest inventories for renting an apartment, check out Zumper. There’s an on-demand apartment search service. They only list quality apartments and keep you safe from duplicate listings and scams. You can filter the app for location, bedroom count, price range, and amenities offered, which is a great way to know if what you’re paying is worth the price. Renters accept digital applications with the Zumper app, and you can apply to as many apartment listings as you please.

Estimated Apartment Costs

Estimating your apartment costs beforehand will help you stick to your budget. This includes rent, the water and electric bill, the cable and internet bill, and your monthly grocery bill. Take a percentage of your income per month and set it aside for these extra apartment costs so you can afford to pay these monthly bills.

Rent

If you used an app when apartment hunting, then you’ll have a good indication of how much you’re going to be spending in rent per month. Unfortunately, this isn’t the final housing price, as other things also factor into renting an apartment.

Water/Electric Bill

Electric bills tend to fluctuate during the months depending on how much you use. You should always turn the lights off when you’re not using them to try and reduce costs. You should also set a budget for the water bill every month.

Cable/Internet

If you only use Wi-Fi, this will save you a ton of money. Adding cable TV to your monthly utilities bill will increase your monthly budget. Try and get a small package to start with and see how you do. If you constantly wish you had better Wi-Fi, change it for the next month – but make sure you have the budget to pay for the extra costs.

Groceries

This one is a bit easier since you’ve probably been paying for your own groceries for a while. If not, you should budget around six percent of your income for groceries every single month and even less on dining out.

Security Deposit

Another expense that comes with renting an apartment is a security deposit. This is typically equivalent to one or two month’s worth of rent. You’ll get this money at the end of your rental contract if your apartment is left in great condition. If you’re a relatively clean and organized person, then you won’t have to worry about this too much!

Renting an apartment is one of the most exciting times in anyone’s life! Once you create a budget plan, there are certain tools like renter apps you can take advantage of to help you search for apartments within your budget range. Some of these apps will even let you haggle down the rental price. By figuring out any extra costs beforehand, like water, electric, cable, and internet bills, you’ll be able to stick to your budget so you’re not left overspending. Make sure you have enough saved to cover the security deposit before you sign up for your apartment.

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