Renting a new apartment is exciting—the thrill of a fresh start, a new community, and opportunities. But signing a lease is a financial move, one that should align with your other fiscal goals. By being intentional about financial planning, you lay a solid foundation to reach the larger financial goals you may have. Don’t stress out! The following insights are only suggestions, and it’s essential to understand that your goals are unique to you. That said, here are four money moves to consider making when renting an apartment.
Research the lease terms
One of the most important financial considerations is to understand the lease terms when searching for an apartment. Starting with the security deposit, you will want to grasp the terms of the agreement and the actual cost. In other words, read the lease and ask questions if anything doesn’t make sense to you. The apartment leasing agents will be more than happy to help explain.
Remember to document with your landlord any damage or repairs before you move in so that you aren’t held responsible for them. Additionally, you may need to save some money beforehand, as some lease agreements ask for both the first and last month of rent plus a security deposit. Moreover, this is why it is helpful to do ample research ahead of time to guarantee that you are well aware of the terms associated with your lease so that you’re picking the best apartment for your particular situation.
Consider insurance policies
While it may seem counterintuitive to add monthly obligations to your budget when trying to cut down on expenditures, some expenses can promote future financial stability. By having adequate insurance coverage, you pay a monthly premium to protect you from a high cost in an accident or unexpected event. Here are a few types of insurance policies to consider acquiring when renting an apartment:
When renting an apartment, one way to protect your belongings is to secure an adequate insurance policy. Some landlords will require tenants to carry a policy, but even if your complex does not, it is still wise to have some coverage. Renters’ insurance offers similar benefits to homeowners’ insurance in the sense that it protects your financial possessions from an event such as theft or fire. Additionally, your renters’ policy covers any injuries that may occur in your apartment. However, your policy won’t include the actual structure of your apartment.
Something else to consider when determining the amount of coverage to obtain is the type of possessions you are looking to insure. In the event of loss, renters’ insurance usually covers items valued up to a certain amount, such as $1500. If you have jewelry, art, or sports that you are involved in and the items are higher-priced, you might consider securing a scheduled policy in addition to your renter’s policy. A scheduled policy extends the amount of coverage for specific items past what your renter’s policy pays, so it is worth looking into if you have higher ticket possessions.
When you are financially responsible for yourself and other individuals, securing a life insurance policy is essential. Life insurance is a contractual agreement between yourself and the carrier to pay out a lump sum, called a “death benefit,” to your chosen beneficiaries if you were to pass away unexpectedly. Term life insurance provides coverage for a set amount of time, making this a less expensive option than other life insurance types. If you are trying to budget and save money each month but still are looking for financial protection for dependents that may depend on your income, term life insurance is a good option.
If you own a car, automotive insurance is a necessary coverage to have. With auto insurance, you can customize the policy’s components to help you save on your monthly premiums. When determining the amount of coverage you need, consider your day-to-day driving habits. If you are on the road a lot or have an older vehicle, it might be worth the additional premium cost to add roadside assistance to your plan to save you from an unexpected tow bill. Additionally, check and see if there is an option to take a safe driving course to cut down on costs. Further, ask your agent if there is a discount by bundling your renters’ insurance coverage.
Look into ways to save on your rent
Rent is most likely one of your most significant monthly expenditures, so finding ways to save on this overhead cost can help you reach longer-term financial goals you may have.
Check to see if this is a rent-controlled agreement, meaning that there would be a maximum amount that your landlord could charge you for rent. Your friendly leasing agent will be more than happy to discuss this with you. Also, take advantage of sign-up promotions to save money. For example, many apartment buildings offer promos such as “first month free” or “utilities included” based on current demand and vacancies.
Another way to cut down on costs is to consider finding a roommate. Check with the terms of your actual contract to make sure that this is a possibility, but if you have the option, having a roommate is one of the most significant ways to cut down on rent costs. Sometimes it can be challenging to find a roommate, so looking through an online database can help you find someone who would be a good fit to share housing costs.
Set financial goals
Remember that each situation is unique, resulting in varying financial goals from one person to the next. Setting goals is essential in becoming financially secure. By setting short-term, mid-term, and long-term financial goals, you lay a foundation for success. For example, if you have a sizeable financial goal, such as purchasing a house, don’t get overwhelmed! Start small, start where you can, but most importantly, start now.
Look, thinking about financials, budgeting, planning is stressful; we get that. But starting where you can, even if it’s sitting down and drafting a plan, is a win. We hope these four money moves to make when renting an apartment help you on your way.
Speaking of renting an apartment, check out our available McKinley properties.