7 Costs to Keep in Mind Before You Move into Your First Apartment

A kitchen in an apartment with an island and pantry

When it comes to getting your first apartment, there’s so much to think about. From the price to the location, you have a lot to keep track of. Sometimes, even basic expenses are forgotten. Here is a list of expenses you will have to think about when it comes to landing your first apartment.

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Depending on where you’re moving to, this can get pricey. Every time you have to go check out apartments, how do you get there? In my case, it was by car. Overall, my sister and I toured 8 different apartments before we made our decision. Our costs were very low when it came to transportation because we weren’t traveling too far.

On the other hand, the cost starts to go up if you plan to move to a different state or country. You might have to pay for a temporary place to stay while viewing different apartments.


You finally got the apartment, but do you have anything in your fridge? It’s time to brainstorm! What types of food and spices do you normally use? From there, you need to really think about your budget and how much you plan to cook. If you plan to cook a lot and potentially meal prep, getting food in bulk would definitely save you money. Most importantly, you don’t want to get too much food that’s perishable if you know that you only cook every once and a while.

Cleaning Supplies

We don’t want to live in a messy place, but buying cleaning supplies is not on top of most people’s minds during the apartment buying process. You’ll want to get your cleaning supplies before you get your apartment. Even though someone should have cleaned the apartment before you moved in, it doesn’t hurt to do another run through.

Start small at first. To get started, I recommend bleach, Windex, a mop, broom, and sponges.


Thinking about how you’ll design your apartment is so much fun. Unsurprisingly, your designs probably include furniture. Of course, this can become very expensive if you don’t try to limit yourself. It’s recommended to find out how much you really can afford to spend on furniture before you start shopping.

Another strategy is to look for second-hand furniture from friends, family, or websites online. Also, pick and choose your battles. My sister and I wanted a roomy sectional, so it became the piece of furniture we spent the most money on.

Moving Costs

How much will it cost you to move? If you need to take an unpaid day off of work, then that goes into your moving cost. You might also need help moving all your belongings into the apartment. Many people think there isn’t a cost since they aren’t using a moving company. Even so, paying your friends to help you move by giving them pizza and drinks still cost money.


This one is easy to remember! Before you move in, you have to give your landlord the money upfront. This money will be returned to you after your lease ends as long as no damage is done to the property besides the average wear and tear. Most people know they have to come up with it, but how much will it be? Normally, it will be equal to one month’s rent. Even though that is the average, the amount you need to pay might end up being more or less. In my case, apartments owned by management companies tend to want a very small deposit in Las Vegas. I ended up paying way less than a month’s worth of rent, and I even had the option to pay a smaller deposit.

I suggest you search for apartments in your area with a website like apartments.com. Then, when you start to find apartments, you like don’t just rely on the prices on apartments.com. Go to the websites for those specific apartment complexes. From there, you should be able to find information about how much the deposit will be. You might find good deals, depending on how long you plan to stay. My sister and I got a discount on rent during our first lease because we decided to rent for 15 months instead of 12 months. Usually, you get a better price on rent if you have a longer lease term, but that isn’t always the case.

First Month’s Rent

This is a given. Since you pay on the first, you need to have this money before you move in. What happens if you move to your new apartment after the 1st? No need to worry! They will just prorate your rent amount. The part that threw me for a loop when my sister and I decided to renew our lease was dealing with two different rent rates in the same month. When that happened, our apartment complex had to prorate the last week or so of the month with our new rent amount.

Final Thoughts

Moving into your first apartment is exciting and a little scary! It will be worth it in the long run, but make sure you take all of the costs in mind. That will allow you to spend less time worrying and more time enjoying your new apartment.

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