Renting On A Budget 

You’ve dreamed of it for months – a new apartment free from previous living constraints or unsatisfactory living situations. You think of all the things you would value in a new home, from sparkling swimming pools to dog parks – until you start scrolling through listings and find that renting an apartment can be a taxing cost. Finding a Lubbock apartment on a budget can be a very stressful situation, but there are plenty of things you can do to make the process much less anxiety ridden. With proper planning and consideration, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect apartment for both your needs and your budget.

Advice for How to Budget for Your Next Apartment

Figure out your budget ahead of time

renting on a budget lubbock

The easiest way to figure out how much you can afford to spend on your new place is to subtract your typical non-housing related expenses from your normal income. A practical way to do this is to create a spreadsheet or use a finance app to log every expense you makeduring the month, then subtract this from what money you bring in. A good rule that many people follow to determine how much of their monthly income should be spent on rent is the 50 – 30 – 20 rule, recommended by many economists. This rule dictates that 50% of your monthly budget should be spent on necessities like housing and food, 30% should be spent on “wants”, and 20% should be contributed to paying off debts.

Minimize monthly expenditures.

A tip to maximize your budget efficiency is to examine the spreadsheet you made of your monthly expenses and eliminate expenses that can be replaced with a cost-effective alternative. For example, if you are the kind of person who spends $5 on a Starbucks coffee each morning, consider making coffee at home to save money. Meal planning is a great way to save money if you get fast food often, as preparing food in advance will provide you the same convenience at a lesser cost. Try looking for an apartment with a kitchen island to make meal prepping easy. You can also replace this daily cost with a once-a-week trip to a sit-down restaurant to treat yourself, likely for less total cost than the daily trip. Often overlooked, recurring payments such as monthly subscriptions should also be evaluated based on use to determine if they can be restricted, as they can constitute a high portion of monthly spending.

Debate all-inclusive rent or having control over your bill.

All-inclusive rent includes a renting situation where your rental fee also covers monthly bills, usually your main utilities. This can be perfect for those who want to minimize stress and save money on utilities, but it can also be detrimental if you believe you will spend less on utilities than the additional fee included in your rent. For example, if your rent is $150 more per month to be all-inclusive, but you would only spend $75/month on utilities on your own. This must be judged on a case-by-case basis, however, because if you find yourself with a sky-high utility bill each month, all-inclusive rent might be a lifesaver for you.

Account for non-rent housing expenses.

Many people often only use rent as a consideration for the cost of their new Lubbock apartment, and neglect to consider other variable expenses such as your security deposit, utilities, furniture, and renter’s insurance. Apartments will often require a few months’ rent prior to move-in, so be sure you have this saved up prior to the start of your lease. Your security deposit, although you will hopefully retrieve it at the end of your lease, also needs to be ready on your move-in day. A good tip to reduce furniture and home décor costs is to DIY décor items and buy furniture secondhand.

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