Everybody has financial goals in life. One of the most beneficial things you can do to help meet your goals is to make and stick to a proper budget. While managing money is always important, there are certain steps in your life where having the skills to properly manage your finances are important. One of those times is when you move out on your own into your first apartment.
The freedom of having your own life away from anyone else’s considerations can be rewarding and other times it can be risky. Without parents or mentors helping you with financial decisions, it can be easy to let things get away from you. That’s why a proper budget is so important when living on your own, especially for the first time.
However, budgeting is easier said than done. It requires you to be honest with yourself when it comes to your needs, wants and current financial standing. It is also a great way to find out what you really can and can’t live with. The following tips will help you create a budget that achieves your financial goals while still having fun in your new place.
Factors to Consider When Creating a Budget
- Don’t Strive for Perfection – One of the biggest mistakes people make is making a perfect, conservative budget. This isn’t realistic. You have to plan for human needs and wants like that Uber home after the bar or a cheeseburger after midnight.
- Consider the Little Things Too – People are surprised to see what Starbucks, cab rides and a smoothie after the gym add up to in the budget. When you look at those incidentals as combined items, their impact on your budget becomes clear.
- Make Intelligent Substitutions – There are many small things you can change to save money instead of difficult, huge changes. Buying off brand things like cereal, food or toiletries can save a couple dollars here and there. Stay realistic and keep in mind that giving up coffee or never taking a cab ride again are difficult goals.
- Clip Coupons Electronically – It’s time-consuming to cut coupons. Try apps like PriceBlink or Mobile Coupons to help find deals and savings right from your phone, while still using them at the grocery store.
- Reexamine the Monthlies – Looking at the monthly expenses you already have at home and reexamining what you do and don’t need can save a lot of money. Can you find a cheaper gym? Do you need as many cable channels? Can you downgrade to a cheaper package, or cut it out entirely? You’ll find that what you thought you could and couldn’t live without are a lot more flexible.
How Can I Get Started?
Budgeting in the modern age is easy thanks to technology that helps track your spending, analyses your habits and helps create engaging, useful budgets. You don’t have to balance your checkbook anymore like your parents used to, because now you can use helpful apps like Mint, You Need A Budget or even your bank’s website to help keep track.
These tools allow you to categorize and track your spending, as well as budget for what you have, what you need and what you want all at the same time. These tools help reduce stress and improve the quality of your life.
Using modern technology, a bit of good sense, and the experience of others who have been in the same position, you can develop a smart budget that will help keep your finances under control. We know how important it is to balance living well with being smart with your money, especially when you’re first out on your own, which is why we are committed to helping you get control of your finances. Contact us today to find out about our affordable apartments.