I am officially four months into my new apartment and I’ll be the first to say it has not been easy. From landlord disagreements, financial surprises, and bouts of loneliness, every month has been filled with new lessons. I’m still learning and navigating my new space, but I felt compelled to share some things I’ve learned so far and give a 90 day review of some sort. Here are some things I’ve learned in my first month.
Save Before You Move
Have money stored away and designated to your new apartment before you actually move. Many apartments will require a security deposit, which can be 2 months of rent in addition to your rent for the month.
Savings is also important because you’re just getting adjusted to managing your money differently. There are so many unexpected expenses and bills, from utilities and credit card bills to paying a handy man to help you put up an AC. It may be hard to initially cut back from your lifestyle or rearrange things, and having savings can help for those rainy days where your account balance is low.
You Will Be Broke
Period. Between buying a mattress and new bed set, living room furniture and rent and utilities, the first two months are hard. But the reality is, it isn’t just you – it’s everyone.
Budgeting is extremely crucial. Create a weekly budget based around your paycheck. What bills are due during each pay period? What do your transportation fees look like? What’s left for spending on fun? Did you take out money for your savings account? Once you nail down a realistic spend budget you’ll be better equipped to handle those super broke days.
You Will Be Lonely At Times
You never had a moment of silence at your mom’s house. Now, all you have is silence and the background noise of TV. You’re going to love it, and then you’ll slightly resent it. That’s why it’s important to do things like explore your neighborhood and go on selfie dates, or ring up a friend when your feeling alone.
Just don’t sulk in regret of feeling alone. Remember, this is largely in part why you wanted to move anyway. Use your solo time wisely. Journal. Read. Go to a café. Create a goal list. There’s always something to build on or grow in. Idle time is never really idle time if you’re truly taking advantage of it.
You Will Sacrifice
I faithfully got my nails and hair done every two weeks when I lived at home, but it did not take me long to realize this luxury wasn’t something I could keep up with in my new apartment. In budgeting my money, I realized that I’d have to cut back on something to avoid extreme penny pinching. Hair and nails was the easiest, so I traded in my tips for DIY manicures and simplified my hair to more cost-effective styles.
I also cut back on eating out for lunch at work and my weekly brunches (now this was really painful). You simply cannot live the same lifestyle when you move – you will need to sacrifice something to manage your funds and bills. It will be tough at first, but after a while you’ll get the hang of your new normal.
Set Company Boundaries
Of course you will want to have family, friends and boos over. But when the jitters and initial celebratory feeling of moving into your own place ends, if you don’t want a fluctuation of guests then let your loved ones know that. Part of why you moved is for piece of mind, so it’s ok to let people know when a weekend or day for company isn’t good and you’d prefer solo time. It’s your space so preserve it and your energy as needed.
Give Yourself Time To Decorate
Your dream apartment décor setup will not happen overnight, so don’t drain your pockets thinking it will.
And I know you heard Ikea is the key to all your problems. For some of the stuff, yes, it is. But how cool would it be to take the time to make your home uniquely fit for you? Allow yourself time to fully assess your place and the vibe you’re going for. If you’re new to decorating or simply need inspiration, check out Pinterest.
Instead, focus on one room at a time. For each paycheck, buy one or two things that fit within your budget. I am still working on decking out my home with couch covers and the perfect living room rug. I’ve bought and returned things several times, and I will continue to until I find home décor that truly speaks to me. Just think, you’re already in your place, so there’s no need to rush.
Apartment holders, what have you learned about moving? Share below!