Making Rent: How to Manage Paying for Your First Apartment

Making Rent: How to Manage Paying for Your First Apartment
  • Opening Intro -

    Getting your first apartment and being on your own for the first time is exciting.

    It can also seem intimidating when considering the expenses of getting into one.


Before jumping into apartment hunting, consider these things first.

Extra Fees

The hardest and most expensive part of finding your own place are the fees you pay upon moving in. Most landlords require a first and last month deposit. If the utilities are not included in the rent of the apartment, and most aren’t, then you may have to pay a fee to get those set up too. Also, not all apartment complexes have these fees, but it’s imperative to read the fine print of the lease to see if they are charged: pet fees (if you have a cat or dog), garbage fees, pest control, parking, storage, or any miscellaneous administration fees.

One-Time Fees

The expenses to initially move out may seem daunting at first, but with a little careful planning, you should be prepared for those one-time expenses. Once they are taken care of, renting becomes much more affordable. This goes for fixing up any fixtures that need a facelift, or investing in new appliances. It can definitely be pricey up front, but if you are ready for the long-haul, these one-time fees will be a lot easier to manage.

Monthly Budget

After taking into account all your extra expenses, figure out what your month-to-month living expenses will be. It’s essential to factor in an estimate of what the monthly costs of electricity, gas, water, internet, cable, and renter’s insurance will be. Remember to factor in the money for groceries (toilet paper doesn’t restock itself) and going out.

Above all, you need to decide how much you will be paying for rent. The general rule is that your rent should fall within one-third of your net salary. If you make $3,000 a month then your rent should be $1,000. The rent will probably vary according to the part of a city the apartment is located in. Research your favorite areas and see how much they cost. If they cost more than what your budget allows for, consider taking on a roommate.


If you do decide to have a roommate, be sure to include that they also sign the lease. This makes each of you equally responsible for the terms and no one gets left with all the responsibilities. If you aren’t sure your rent is fair, make sure you know what rights and responsibilities while living in an apartment are yours and what is the landlords. Brookfield Real Estate Attorneys say just having the right information can help you get back on track.

Run the numbers, read the fine print, and ask questions. You’ll be ready to rent in no time.

Financing reference:

guide: establishing credit

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