When you move into your first apartment, many things are new to you. Whether it is your first apartment away from your parent’s house or your old college dorm, or simply your first apartment all to yourself, there are some financial restrictions that you might want to plan for. As a provider of apartments for rent in Denver, NC, we understand the impact that living in your first apartment might make on your bank account — and because we understand, we thought that we might provide you with a couple budgeting tips and tricks that we have learned over the years.
Continue reading to learn more about budgeting!
Recognize How Your Financial Situation Has Changed
Sure, you might still have the same job, the same routine, and the same friends, but once you move into your new apartment things might change. In fact, things will change — because living in an apartment creates some added expenses that you might not have accounted for in your current budget.
Whether you lived in the dorms, at your parents, or with a number of roommates, you likely had fewer expenses — or at the very least, fewer bills that were charged separately. Now that your living situation has changed, it is more than likely that so has your billing situation. Taking the time to sit down and sort out what bills you have to pay on what date can help you to plan your monthly budget.
Establish An Income Baseline
Once you know how much money that you have to spend on basic expenses like rent and utilities, it is important that you establish how much income that you have coming in on a monthly basis. Some people have a salaried position and have a pretty good idea of how much income that they will take in during an average month. For others, however, it is not quite as simple as their paychecks are hourly and depend on the amount of time that they might have worked during a particular pay period.
If you are an hourly employee, consider making yourself an income chart that can allow you to plan your budget more efficiently. One month you might work 40-hour weeks while others you might work 30-hour weeks. When you do so, make note of how much income your grossed, as well as the length of the month — then in the future you can refer back and have a better idea of how much income you will receive in a month based off of the month’s length and the number of hours that you have been scheduled.
Keep An Eye On Rent & Utilities
One of the most important considerations that you should make when looking at apartments for rent in Denver, NC, is how much rent and utilities will be — as well as if there is some flexibility in the costs.
Once you have a better idea of the costs associated with each of the below utilities, you will be able to create an efficient budget.
Of all utilities, the shelter may be the most important. When you are touring an apartment in Denver, NC, the odds are that your final decision will be contingent on the cost of the apartment in relation to the quality of the apartment. Being that rent is the primary expense that you will have each month, it is important to consider how much the rent will cost AFTER all of the utilities are factored in.
Why is this important? Well, to put it simply, if you find a place with rent that you can barely justify affording, the reality is that you will not be able to afford it after utilities are factored in. Factoring in the utilities, even if it is simply a rough estimate, you will have a better idea of what you can sustainably afford.
Heat & Gas
If you look at apartments for rent in Denver, or even apartments near Lake Norman, you should expect to pay for utilities like heating and gas. When you are touring the apartment, it is important that you ask the complex employee if they have a general idea of the cost associated with heating and gas and if heating is even charged to residents at all.
Much like heat and gas, electricity is a utility that is worth considering in your apartment. Luckily, electricity bill cost is something that you can manage as a tenant of a Denver, NC apartment. Most high electricity bills result in lights being left on and useless cords being plugged in.
If you already live here in Denver, you probably already have a good idea of how necessary air conditioning can be. In Denver it is incredibly hot and humid, meaning that air conditioning is a wonderful asset for making your home comfortable. That being said, air conditioning can become quite costly when it is overused. So turn it down when you aren’t home!
Cable & Internet
Last but not least, internet and cable are important to consider when planning your budget. In some Denver apartment complexes, there is already an established cable and internet provider, while others allow for you to shop around. Regardless of what kind of complex that you end up living in, it is important that you have an idea of what the cable and internet might cost when you plan your budget.
Building The Budget
So now that you have done your research, you likely have a pretty good idea of how much money you make, how much money that you will have to spend, and what you will be spending that money on. Does it look like a sustainable budget? Great! If not, it might be time to consider shopping around more or picking up more hours at work.
What Is The Purpose Of A Budget?
The Purpose of a budget is quite simple — to give you a visual reference of your income and expenses so that you don’t find yourself spending too much money. When people move into a new apartment or move into their own apartment for the first time, it can be easy for them to overspend — being that they now have financial obligations that they didn’t have before and are not yet used to.
If You Are Planning A Budget, Plan To Live At The Riverwalk Apartment Homes!
At the Riverwalk Apartment Homes, we know that budgeting isn’t fun, but we also know that it has incredible benefits — benefits like financial stability. If you are looking at apartments for rent in Denver, NC, we urge you to come to visit ours. We would love for you to factor rent to our amazing apartment community into your budget!
If you have any questions about our apartments in Denver, North Carolina, or even if you want to schedule a tour, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!