5 Ways to Save for Your First Solo Apartment
Saving for anything can seem overwhelming, but few things are as daunting as trying to save for renting your first solo apartment. It may seem out of reach, or like you're scrimping with no end in sight. But with discipline and a few tips approved by finance experts, you'll be searching for your new roommate-free place in no time.
Know What You Want
Part of what makes saving overwhelming is lack of a clear goal. It can be difficult to save money if you don't know what you're saving for, or how much it will cost. Envision yourself in a few months, living in your own apartment. Where is your ideal neighborhood? Would you rather have a large kitchen or in-unit laundry? Are you willing to walk up five flights of stairs, or do you want an elevator? Maybe these seem like things to consider later on, but knowing what you want and how much you'll need to rent it is an important step. Do your research on units similar to your ideal, and figure out what you'll need for a broker fee, security deposit, and any associated moving costs like a truck rental. Once you have a specific amount in mind, your goal will seem much more achievable.
Know Your Income
It's easy to find out how much you make each month by looking at pay stubs, but it's a lot harder to determine how much you spend. Part of saving is knowing how much income you can actually count on after taking care of necessities like phone bills and student loan payments. Figure that out, and then whatever's left over is the source for your moving-out fund!
To stay organized, U.S. Bank customers can easily track their spending each month with the U.S. Bank Mobile App.
Make a Budget
Once you know how much you're spending on necessities, you'll be ready to budget the rest of your money accordingly. Split your income into three parts: money for necessities, savings for moving, and leisure. After you put your savings and necessities money aside, forget it exists and use only your leisure money on anything else. Then you won't have to worry about mistakenly overspending, because your bills are already paid and you contributed to your moving fund.
Track Your Spending
The less you aimlessly spend, the more you'll be able to save and the faster you'll be furniture shopping for your new place. Study your bank statements and take your spending patterns into account. Are you paying for subscriptions that you don't even use? Are you still paying for cable even though you only watch movies on streaming services? Can you save money and time by bringing your own lunch to work? These are all small changes, but can add up to give you even more money to add to your apartment fund.
Be Willing to Sacrifice
It's important to remember that sometimes you'll have to sacrifice if you want to achieve your saving goals. Maybe there's an expensive concert that's outside your budget for leisure activities. You might be sad to miss it now, but you won't think about it at all once you’re settled in your new apartment. Skipping a couple of social outings or buying fewer drinks on a night out is not the end of the world. Teach yourself your new recipes, watch your favorite movies at home, read the books you already have, and get comfortable with staying home more often. Maybe you can even get ahead on packing!