Living on your own for the first time can prove challenging for multiple reasons. Managing work, paying rent on time, grocery shopping, general cleaning and apartment maintenance can be quite the reality check since living at home. Whether you live with roommates or by yourself, budgeting these new expenses can become overwhelming without a plan. To help manage the hassle of budgeting with or without roommates, we’ve put together 6 ways to make budgeting an apartment easier.
Rent and Utilities
Before moving in, making sure you can afford rent and utilities is a must. Other expenses will pile up, but these are the most important to keep track of when managing money. Understand that while your rent won’t change with the seasons, your utilities may. Depending on whether or not you have control over the heat and air condition, you will be able to manage how much you use. If you choose to live with a roommate, splitting these costs will make expensing them much easier. Every penny counts when it comes to saving!
Make Use of File Sharing
File sharing applications such as Excel spreadsheets or Google docs can be an easy and accessible way to view money flows over time. Inputting when and how much you paid towards a bill into the file is a great way to see how much is still owed. This system can also prove helpful before moving in as well. This can help establish who is bringing what to avoid doubling up on furniture or supplies. Discuss with your roommates the possibility of money sending apps such as Venmo or Cash App to avoid the painful limbo period of waiting for cash payments or reimbursements. These apps make it easy to instantly send your roommate your portion of the rent or be compensated for ordering food from the night before.
More often than not, when moving into a new apartment people tend to eat out. It makes sense, exploring the new area comes with trying what it has to offer. While we understand the urge to try every restaurant hotspot, this experimentation can take a hit on your wallet. Save some bucks and make use of the new kitchen you’re paying for and cook yourself a delicious meal. Grocery shopping on your own can prove a bit pricey but is much cheaper than eating out. If you have roommates, buy in bulk from wholesalers and meal plan around a produce item to make the most of it while it’s still fresh. Bringing lunch from home can also reduce the unnecessary spending at work.
If you’ve already moved in, hopefully, your apartment is furnished the way you want. If you’re still in the market for additional pieces such as wall decor, venturing to stores like Ikea or other furniture stores will seem tempting but there are cheaper options to be aware of. Furniture usually lasts longer than the interest in it – and often perfectly good home sets get thrown away in the future. Ask around to family and friends for anyone getting rid of usable pieces. Yard sales, garage sales and Craigslist are also great resources when trying to budget.
It’s tempting when in a new area to get out and explore. Seeing all the sights and meeting new people are just two of the many reasons you’ll find yourself venturing around town. While this is essential to living in any new place, budgeting your spending at this time is also important. It’s almost too easy to lose track of your spending at first, so try to make the most of being at your apartment. Having guests over opposed to meeting out will help you set the precedent for saving in the long run. Hosting dinner parties instead of eating out will save you and your friends big on food and drink expenses.
Memberships can be tempting when renting a new space. Maintaining old gym habits or beginning new routines can be hard to manage when relocating. Instead of signing a contract and dishing out monthly payments for a year, make use of the amenities around you. When choosing to live in an apartment, many complexes host a long list of membership substitutes that are already included in rent. Make use of courtyard swimming pool for some cardio or visit a fitness studio stocked with the most up-to-date equipment.
Affordable Apartments in Metuchen, NJ
Don’t let budgeting hold you back from enjoying your new apartment. Make the most of your new place and establish good spending habits from the get-go. If you are in the market for an affordable apartment in Metuchen, NJ, consider renting with Woodmont Metro. You can schedule a visit to learn more about our apartment features and the local Metuchen area. For more information about Woodmont Metro at Metuchen Station, feel free to contact us or view our floor plans to find an apartment that fits your budget!