Budgeting Your Move

Why Budget?

You can’t find the right place to live until you know just how much you are able to spend. The budget spreadsheet is a good reference. Keep in mind all of the extra expenses that go along with paying rent like utilities, transportation, and insurance.

When you tour an apartment or house, consider these budget questions:

  1. What is the monthly rent?
  2. What’s included in the rent...utilities, cable, internet?
  3. What’s not included and what is the average monthly cost for utilities, cable, internet?
  4. Want to have a pet? Factor in the deposit and monthly cost for food, medical and grooming care.
  5. Don’t forget Renter’s Insurance. Before you sign your lease, help protect your belongings.
  6. Don’t forget you need fuel for that car or scooter to get to and from class. Or are you going to use the bus?
  7. Don’t forget you need fuel too. How much do you spend monthly on groceries or a meal plan?
  8. Have some fun! Don’t spend so much on rent that you can’t go to dinner with your friends or maybe see a movie.
  9. How much do you spend monthly or yearly on clothing, shoes and accessories?
  10. It’s really good to save some money every month to cover those unexpected emergencies. How much money can you save every month? Even $20 a month is a great amount to save...every little bit counts.

Live Within Your Means!

Using a credit card monthly to pay your electric bill is not debt management; it is simply building debt. Spend only the money you earn each month on the expenses you need. Use the budget sheet before moving in, while you live there, and after you find the right place to live. Make copies of the budget sheet and use it every month when you pay your bills to keep track of your spending.

Plan Ahead...

When you plan to live off-campus, depending on where you want to live, plan to save at least $35–$65 for an application fee, $200–$1,200 for a security deposit, check the stipulations for it being refundable or not, $50 to get the cable turned on/hooked up, $50 to get the lights turned on and at least $300 to move your things (U-Haul truck rental and packing supplies). You may spend as much as $1000, or less, if friends help you move. Of course, many of these expenses can be waived depending on where you live. And, depending on how many roommates you have, if any, these expenses can be divided up.

Monthly Budget Considerations...


Job $_____________
Scholarships/Loans $_____________
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME: $_____________
Tuition $_____________
Books/Supplies $_____________
Rent $_____________
Electric $_____________
Gas $_____________
Water $_____________
Waste Management/Recycling $_____________
Telephone $_____________
Cable/Internet $_____________
Food $_____________
Car Payment $_____________
Gas $_____________
Car Maintenance $_____________
Car $_____________
Renter's $_____________
Health/Life $_____________
Personal Maintenance
Clothing $_____________
Laundry/Dry Cleaning $_____________
Haircut/Manicure, etc. $_____________
Credit Card Payments $_____________
Loans $_____________
Savings $_____________
Vacations $_____________
Pets/Pet Care $_____________
Books, Magazines, Music, DVDs, Games $_____________
Gym Membership $_____________
_____________________ $_____________
_____________________ $_____________
_____________________ $_____________
_____________________ $_____________

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