5 Budgeting Tips You'll Wish You Knew Before Moving Into Your First Apartment

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Pointe at South Florida has a package that includes modern furniture in their prices. No need to separate that line item out on your budget here.

You're in college. You want be independent, not calling mom and dad for money two days into being on your own right? Then read these tips. Breath these tips. Live out these tips and you won't be strapped for cash at the end of the month.

1) Expect and budget a lot up front
Sure, your rent is a set amount each month, but before you move in, find out "the extras," says Joe Wynn, Off-Campus Housing Coordinator, University of Tampa. And this means:

  • Application Fees
  • Deposits
  • First and last months rent
  • Parking (if it's not free or not offered on-site)
"Students forget about these things, and the extras can really add up," explains Wynn.

2) Don't forget about utilities.

Many apartment in Tampa include water, but what about electricity, cable and internet? And just like your apartment, many of the above will also require a deposit to get started.

3) Determine if you want or need a roommate

The idea of living alone may seem nice, but is it really feasible? Splitting costs with a friend or two may be the best route for you if you're on a tight budget. 

4) Figure out your furniture  situation

You just need a couch right? Oh, and a bed. Probably a TV. No definitely a TV. And what about…

The list will continue, I assure you. And it will probably run you somewhere in the thousands of dollars even if you are thrifty. You may decide it's better to find a furnished apartment or use a business such as CORT furniture to rent your furniture instead of making that investment all at once.  Whatever your choice, don't forget to include it in the budget.

5) Don't forget to LIVE!

College is such a fun experience, but it won't be if you are perpetually broke and can't enjoy it. Remember to budget for everyday life including:

  • Food
  • Toiletries
  • Gas
  • Going out!

Now that you are a budgeting god (or goddess!) get out there and find your apartment near USF or UT. If you are feeling extra nice, share it with a friend who may also find it helpful.



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