How to Save Money for an Apartment
Know Your Budget
First one is kind of a given. You need to really take into account what you make and what you can afford. Of course we all want to live in a luxury apartment in the middle of a city, but can we really afford it? Probably not because that lifestyle is for people who make bank. That doesn't mean you should settle though.
There are a lot of online tools, calculators and apps that will help you know what your budget is and what you can comfortable afford. You are trying to live there, not go broke. It can be easy to swept up in all the places you are looking at, but you really have to account for your total income. It is the most important part. Take the time to use those applications and figure it out.
Count For Additional Expenses
So you know your income and maybe figured out what is a good price range for you. Now you should really start considering what your other expenses are as of right now. For me, car insurance, doctor visits, and food are some of the top expenses. Those are a part of your budget. Rent is due once a month, just like many other expenses and bills. You'll realize soon enough how quickly a month goes by. Especially when you are paying for rent because that will become your biggest expense.
Try following the 50, 30, 20 rule. 50% of your budget is for fixed expenses like rent, car, etc. 20% of your budget is for expenses like taxes, doctors, etc. The last 30% is for food, entertainment, gas, and other like things. Get a good snapshot of what a previous month was like for you.
Saving for an apartment isn't necessarily all about saving money. Saving for an apartment can be about material objects too. That is one huge factor to an apartment. You can't really just be living in an empty space.
When we say borrow, we don't really mean money. It could, but we don't want to get into the topic of loans and other things. That is a topic for another day.
What we mean is borrow items that furnish an apartment. Someone is throwing out a decent but used couch? Take it off their hands. Someone has old dishware they don't want any more? Perfect to get you started. Someone has a bed frame they don't use and want to sell? Bargain with them to get it off their hands. Saving for an apartment is just saving for the deposit, rent and other expenses. It also means saving for the furnishings. Chances are you probably won't have everything at first. And to pay for everything completely brand new or all at one is even worse. Borrowing and getting things second hand is a great way to save.
Don't Spend Like Crazy
Don't spend like crazy. Don't spend like crazy. Don't spend like crazy. I could say this till you are out of breath. I think my number downfall when I start saving is thinking I need to spend, spend, spend. You DON'T and you SHOULDN'T. I think part of it comes from having to wait to make it to your goal. You can't make it there if you keep spending it all. Seriously. Watch what you spend. If you really are trying to save up is worth buying a whole new wardrobe just yet? Do you really need to order a pizza or could you make one at home for cheaper? I know it is tough, believe me. But you do what you gotta do.
Set A Goal
Saving up can be a challenge. It can be easier if you set a goal for yourself. Think SMART. Set a goal that is specific. In this case, saving up for an apartment. Set a goal that is measurable. You can clearly measure how much you saved up each week, month, or year. Set a goal that is attainable. Meaning you aren't setting your goal to save for an apartment you can't afford, you are saving for an apartment in a budget you established. Set a goal that is realistic. You can't save up for an apartment in a week and maybe not a month. You need to think about what you can save up for in a realistic amount of time. Set a goal that is time-based. So again, be real about how long it might take you. Factor in that things might come up that will take away from your savings.
I think this is really important part of saving. It helps to keep you on track and make sure that you are doing something. It holds you accountable. I would say too that having the goal in minds puts the big picture into perspective.
Last, but certainly not least: be patient. It takes time. We are all so different and on our own time clocks. It might take you just three months or it might take you a full year. And that is okay. It is all about working hard and being patient. You will feel so much better when it is all said and done. Make sure to monitor your progress because it will make you realize how far you have come.
If you can, stay with people who will welcome you and let you save up money. Move back home if you can. Don't be ashamed by it either, in this day in age most people have to move back home to get their official start in life. I often envy people who are able to or do live at home until they fly the nest.
No worries, your time will come and it will be worth it. How do you think you will save for your apartment? Did you find something you can afford just need more time? What tips or tricks do you have if you already have saved up? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.