How to Budget for Your First Apartment in 2020

a jar of pennies may help you save up for your first apartment
Learn how to budget and save for your first apartment.

Moving into your first apartment is a common goal for many young people. However, when you haven’t been through the experience before, it can be challenging to know how to budget your expenses so you can enjoy your apartment without financial stress. You want to be prepared, so you don’t break a lease or develop bad credit. If you follow the tips below for managing your living expenses, you could potentially make 2020 the year you finally move into your first apartment. 

How to Plan the Budget for Your First Apartment

The basic steps to starting your budget are as follows: 

  • Determine your monthly income
  • Determine your necessary monthly expenses
  • Subtract expenses from income to see the remainder
  • Give yourself a small buffer, and that’s how much you have left to spend on your living expenses

Budgets can be modified once you start paying expenses and know more precisely the monthly costs. 

How to Account for Living Expenses

If your apartment includes other expenses bundled with the rent, that can simplify your budget. If utilities such as gas, electric, water, and Internet are not included in the rent, you will need to factor them into your budget. Consider these factors:

Rent Costs

This should stay the same each month. Most rental agreements require a one or two-month security deposit, so account for that as well. 


Tenants often pay electric bills apart from their rent, but your bill should not be much each month. However, if you miss a bill, you can have your electricity turned off. 

Natural Gas and Water

These utilities are often paid for by the landlord and are included in your rental cost. 


You will need an Internet connection in your apartment. Some landlords will offer bundled Internet from a specific provider, but you can shop around for the package you want.

Be Aware of Common Apartment Fees 

Your first apartment may also require additional fees, depending on your landlord or your needs. These may include: 

  • Pet fees
  • Garbage pickup
  • Parking
  • Administration fees for credit or background checks

Some of these fees may be one-time costs, or monthly. Ask the landlord before signing the lease. It is essential to include these fees in your budget so you are not surprised by any that should occur. 

How to Keep Costs Down

If you find that your apartment goals are not achievable as soon as you thought, you can adjust to match what you can afford. Consider the location of your first apartment to potentially lower costs.

  • A studio or basement apartment are often cheaper
  • Living near a city center will cost more than living on the outskirts
  • But living “in the middle of nowhere” may raise transportation costs
  • Consider a roommate or two to split the rent with and make your dream location more affordable

With careful saving and preparation, 2020 may be the year you move into your first apartment!

Let Us Be Your Apartment Home!

Whether you need your very first apartment home or are relocating to the area, Apartments of Harborside Village would love to be your dream apartment home. Are you looking for beautiful waterfront apartments in Joppa, Maryland? Let us show you one of our spacious and affordable apartments at the Apartments of Harborside Village. To learn more about our apartment options, visit us online, give us a call at 410-679-1130, or email us. For a peek into what it’s like to live in our community, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 at 3:39 pm . Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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