There are few rites of passage more exciting than moving into your first apartment.
We were interviewed by Kimberly Lankford, in an article for GoBankingRates and Yahoo Finance, to discuss how much that newfound freedom can cost you, and smart ways to budget for the full range of first apartment expenses.
“Keep in mind the difference between your pretax and take-home pay when assessing how much you can afford,” Mari told Kimberly.
“Make sure you understand what your take-home pay will be before you commit to an apartment or rental. There are several deductions from your pay – payroll taxes, federal and state taxes, health insurance, for example – and what you actually net after all those deductions may be less than you think. So don’t sign a lease until you make sure you can fit the payment into your budget.”
And don’t forget about car-related moving costs: “You may also need to re-register your car in a new state and adjust your insurance to reflect your new surroundings,” Mari advised. That can add up to more than you might think if you’re moving to a high-cost insurance state like Florida.
Kimberly’s article is full of helpful tips on budgeting for furniture, entertainment, and commuting costs as you move into that first apartment. It’s insightful reading for college students or recent grads headed off for their first job. You can read the entire article here.