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How to affordably transition into your own home or apartment

So you’ve decided to move out! Purchasing or renting your own place can be a very liberating experience. Whether you’re fresh out of high school or have just graduated college, you’re finally at a point in your life where you’re ready for your own pad. Although many graduating students have debt that they’ve accumulated, there are ways to make an affordable transition from mom and dad’s house or college apartment to real-life living. When you’re getting your own place there are many things to consider. From establishing a budget, to purchasing affordable fixtures such as refurbished kitchen appliances, there’s a solution for you.

Budget:

The first thing you have to do is evaluate your situation. Are you moving into your own place right from high school? Or, have you just finished college and find yourself drowning in school loans?  Are your parents or someone else willing to help you out with rent or mortgage payments? All of these things come into play when establishing a budget. The main thing is to be sure that you’re choosing a place where you’ll be able to have enough money each month to not only pay for rent, but also start paying back any debt you may have. Other things to consider when creating a budget are groceries, travel, gas money, clothing, and entertainment.

Realtor:

Be sure to find a realtor that understands your budget. And though you may be strapped for cash, your real estate agent needs to know that you want to live in a place that is safe and clean. Be wary of things like mold and asbestos in old apartments or houses and don’t let an agent take advantage of you.

Appliances:

If you have weekends off, save a Saturday morning to shop local rummage sales. If your place isn’t already decked out with appliances, you may strike gold at a rummage sale. Most of the time you can find various appliances such as microwaves or air conditioners and, if needed, take them in to get repaired. This is significantly cheaper than purchasing new. Owning refurbished kitchen appliances will give you the opportunity to spend your money elsewhere. Also, ask around and see if any family members or friends want to get rid of any of their home appliances, such as a refurbished washer. It’s a win-win situation, as they’ll probably appreciate the fact that you’re willing to remove the bulky item and you’ll be receiving an affordable, useful appliance.

Décor:

If you’re strapped for cash, but don’t want to be living in a place with only white walls, once again, peruse rummage sales for great, one-of-a-kind finds. For more intimate things such as bed sheets and towels, ask friends or family if they have any extras they’d be willing to give away. If you feel uncomfortable asking your loved ones, large retail stores such as Costco or Target generally have good deals on home furnishings. Keep your eyes peeled for coupons!

With money-saving tips and a strict budget, the next chapter in your life is just around the corner!