Moving into your first apartment is a really exciting time and new adventure! It’s a major first step into adulthood and it requires, planning, time, and budgeting. You want to have your first independent living space to be everything you dreamed of but failure to create a budget can result in some major money mistakes that will cause problems down the line. If you are a millennial looking to rent for the first time, check out these 5 common money mistakes made when you sign your first apartment lease.
1. Don’t Make Your Apartment Look Like a Pinterest Board
Pinterest is great for getting ideas and inspiration for your new space, however homes found on Pinterest are often expensive. They are full of high-end furniture and finishes that will quickly add to your credit card bill. Pick a few style ideas to draw inspiration from and then head to good will, garage sales and shop sales to make your dreams a reality. You can even get a little crafty with some fun DIY home projects!
2. Don’t Forget Renter’s Insurance
Many apartment complexes require renter’s insurance, however some still don’t. Either way, it is a smart investment to make. Searching for and purchasing insurance takes no longer than an hour and can save you thousands of dollars should something happen. Protect your valuables that you have worked so hard to have, get renters insurance.
3. Realize You Can’t Have It All
Your first apartment will not be your forever home, so realize that it’s okay (and necessary) to give up a few things on your wish list. Hardwood floors, a walk-in closet, stainless steel appliances, in-unit laundry and garage parking may be hard to come by. Pick 2 or 3 must haves and look at anything else as a bonus. At Stonegate we are proud to offer a lot of amenities to our residents including a washer/dryer, private balcony, granite countertops, and access to the seasonal swimming pool and fitness center. Find out more about our properties here.
4. Don’t Buy All New Furniture
Once you find your apartment, ask around to see who has furniture you may be able to use. Chances are your parents, aunts, uncles or older siblings have pieces they’re itching to get rid of. If it’s not your style you can always paint, re-stain or add new handles to freshen it up the piece. If you’re crafty a little DIY upcycle can make every piece your own.
5. Don’t Eat Out All the Time
Now that you have an apartment, it’s time to learn how to cook. It can be easy to slip into the routine of buying take out or going to restaurants for every meal, but that can quickly add up! There are plenty of recipes online that are affordable and only take a half hour to make. Save eating out as a treat to enjoy a few times a month. If you miss your friends, invite them over for a game night so you can show off your new space and cooking skills!