5 Steps to Save Money as a First-Time Apartment Renter

5 Steps to Save Money as a First-Time Apartment Renter

Young woman relaxing amidst moving boxes in her new apartment.

It can be thrilling to become a first-time apartment renter. If this is the first time you've had the opportunity to set up your own household, create your own living space, and make all the decisions, you're no doubt excited about the possibilities. Before you get too far in your planning, however, consider a few simple steps to save you money.

While each of these steps may not be possible in your situation, be sure to investigate each one thoroughly and apply these principles wherever possible.

Think Location

It's been said that the three most important factors to consider in real estate are as follows: location, location, location. Simply put, this means that when it comes to evaluating a property, location is the most important factor.

As a first-time apartment renter, this is especially true for you. Certain parts of the city are more affordable than others, and living close to your place of employment will help you save on costs like gas, tolls, and/or public transportation.

Key: Always consider where you want to live before you start to visit apartments.

This will not only save you lots of time and energy, but it will also keep you from falling in love with a space that wouldn't suit your needs in the long run.

Plan Energy Consumption

If your new apartment marks your first time living on your own, this could be the first time you've had direct control over your own energy consumption. Indeed, using less electricity will lead to lower monthly bills.

Key: Turn off passive energy consumers.

While it's important to remember to turn off lights when you leave the room and not leave the TV on while you're at work all day, it's also vital to consider appliances that consume energy passively; that is, items that use energy even when they're not in use. If your coffee maker has a little digital clock embedded, for example, unplugging the machine when you're not brewing coffee can help you save money over time.

Consider a Roommate as a First-Time Apartment Renter

While it's true that a two-bedroom apartment is more expensive to rent than a one-bedroom, it's still cheaper to live with a roommate in a larger space than to live in a smaller space by yourself.

[The] average one-bedroom apartment in Miami, Florida is less than $2,000 a month. According to our data, the average one-bedroom apartment costs $1,894 per month while the average two-bedroom apartment costs $2,476 per month. Thus, sharing an apartment translates to a savings of $656 per month per person. (Smart Asset)

Key: Roommates help offset basic living costs.

While finding a suitable roommate may take some time, you would do well to consider it an investment.

Eat In

According to Forbes, it is almost five times more expensive to eat out or enjoy delivery services than it is to cook for yourself and eat at home. While meal kits cost less than eating out, they still generally cost three times more than home-cooked meals.

Key: Eating in and cooking from scratch can save you large amounts over time.

Eating out is fine as long as you make it the occasional splurge rather than the norm.

Shop Smart

When it comes to furnishing a new apartment (especially if you're starting from scratch), you'll want to shop smart.

Rather than buying brand-new items from a showroom, consider the following alternatives for acquiring furniture and appliances:

  • Check out offerings on sites like Craigslist or Facebook marketplace
  • Shop at Salvation Army, Goodwill, and other local thrift stores
  • Look for stores that bundle appliance packages at discounted rates

Key: Buying appliances and furniture is expensive, but buying used or discounted items helps you save money.

Save More Money as a First-Time Apartment Renter

Moving into your own apartment as a first-time renter can be an exciting but nerve-wracking experience; however, careful consideration beforehand can help you keep your costs down and ease the transition.


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