To live successfully on your own you must budget. Even before you begin your housing search, the first and most important step is to determine how much rent you can afford. There is no point in applying for housing if you can’t afford to pay the rent.
- Calculate Income: You will need to determine your monthly income amount. Income can come from many different sources. For example, you may have a job or you may be receiving housing assistance through the Extended Foster Care Program, or you may have received financial aid that helps with the cost of housing.
- Calculate Non-Housing Expenses: Non-Housing expenses can include food, transportation, laundry, clothing, entertainment, toiletries, and other expenses. If you have children this would also include diapers, childcare, clothes, food and medicines.
- Calculate Housing Costs: The housing budge is the amount that will be available to pay rent as well as utilities. When starting a housing search, it is important to know how much the typical monthly utilities will cost in your area so this can be factored in when determining if the housing is affordable.
- Calculate One-Time Expenses: There are several costs that must be paid when first moving into an apartment. When looking for housing it is a good idea to start saving money so that the funds will be there to cover these costs when you find housing. Below are some of the one-time costs that need to be planned for:
- Application Fees
- Security Deposit
- Utilities, Phone, Internet, Cable
- Moving Costs
- Furniture and Household Items (see chart below)
Pots & Pans
Toilet Bowl Brush
|First Aid Kit
Candles & Matches
Gallon of water
Battery Powered Radio
Mop & Bucket