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Budget Your First Apartment

written by: chesanekc•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 3/20/2009

So you are finally out of college and into the “real world.” Now what? You have been so use to the comfort of college life, that actually landing a job and a place of your own may sound challenging and scary. That’s okay; most of us go through the same thing.

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    Things Needed for Your First Apartment

    Getting your first apartment is very exciting, yet also extremely terrifying. You are finally out on your own and you do not know the first thing about supporting yourself. While, all that will come in time (as you start living on your own and learning what you can afford and what you can't) right now you need to find out what is needed for you to live on your own. What does every apartment need when you first move in? And how can you get these things while you are trying to stay within your budget?

    Congratulations, you graduated college and are now renting your first apartment. Now that you have your first home, what do you need to put in it? There are many things a person collects in their place over the years, but there are objects everyone really needs once they move in. Here are a few things to consider having once you get your first apartment:

    • A bed, as well as sheets, comforter and pillows. You may have regular size sheets from your dorm room that can be used if you have the same size bed in your apartment. If not, buy at least one set.
    • Bathroom essentials-towels, toilet paper, shower curtain, Kleenex, etc. A good thing is that you most likely have a lot of these objects already from when you were living at the dorm, so you will hopefully not have to buy too much more and you can toss that shower caddy away!
    • 20-piece dinner set-this will be able to serve 4, which will include all your basic plates, cups and silverware. Since you will not be getting your meals at the cafeteria anymore, you will need to start making your own, and will need plates to eat it on.
    • Vacuum-unfortunately now that you have your own place, you need to clean it yourself so get some cleaning supplies such as cleaning spray, paper towels, garbage can (and bags) and laundry detergent.
    • Small appliances- depending on what you like to make (or what you know how to make) you can determine which appliances you will need. Some examples are a coffee maker, mixer, microwave, and a food processor. Some of these appliances you can buy as time goes by and as you learn more about cooking (unless you already cook now).
    • Storage-most apartments seem like they have a lot of storage, but when you move in you realize you don't have as much as you first thought. It may be a good idea to get a separate storage closet or drawers to put in your apartment to save some space.
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    Budget Your Apartment

    Now that you bought the things you need for your apartment, you may be wondering how you are going to be able to budget yourself. Since you have your own place, you must have started thinking about budgeting because you would of had a roommate if you needed it financially. So now here comes the hard part: budgeting yourself and your apartment.

    When you have a lease to pay for along with the electricity bill, cable bill and so on, you may get very overwhelmed with how much money you are putting into your new apartment. Luckily, as time passes you will most likely get a better handle on things. You just need to know where to start and then follow your routine.

    A large issue that many people fall into is buying things that they cannot afford. So many people get caught up with spending their money on new clothes or new, fancy objects for their place, and then do not have enough money for their bills. You do not want to get caught up in problems like that, so the best way to stay away from that is to budget yourself. Every month make a list or spreadsheet of all the bills that you will need to pay for the month. Once you have completed it and added the total, then you can figure out whether or not you have extra cash for that new cashmere sweater or a fancy night out with your friends.

    Being on your own can be scary, but it is also a very exciting time because for the fact that you are on your own! You have your place, your own things and your own life. Have fun with it, but be smart. Remember you have bills to pay now and you cannot spend all your money you made on drinks at the bar like in college. Now, you have to be responsible, but it is worth it to be able to call your place your own.