Renting your first apartment is an exciting step into adulthood, but the challenges can be daunting. Whether you’re moving out of your parent’s house or making the transition from dorm life into your own apartment, read these tips to help you make the first move:

Expenses to Consider
The cost of living in an apartment includes much more than just rent. It’s important to think about the upfront costs that may occur when moving into an apartment such as security deposit, application fee, holding fee, and maybe a pet deposit. You should also find out if utilities are included in your rent or if you will have other additional fees such as parking. One of the most important pieces of advice for moving into your first apartment would be to save money each month by creating a budget.

Choosing a Roommate
Having a roommate will significantly decrease your monthly spend and put a few dollars back into your budget. But before you agree to live with a stranger, think through your personal preferences. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Are they in school? Will you have similar schedules? Do you have the same level of cleanliness? And if you’re moving in with a friend, remember being friends with someone is completely different from living with them and can require compromise. Learn more about finding a roommate.

Comparing Amenities
Once you have planned out your budget and thought of potential roommates, take some time to compare the offerings of several communities and consider the potential savings. Perhaps leasing at an apartment complex or building with an on-site gym means you can remove the monthly gym membership from your budget.

If your apartment does not come furnished you may want to put some thought into how much space you will have. Start with the necessities: your bed is the most important piece of furniture. Take measurements of the new space and possible furniture options, so you can assess whether your current furniture will suit the space.

Arranging the Move and Meeting the Neighbors
You’ve found the community where you want to live and officially have move-in fever. Now all that’s left is to reserve a moving truck and call some friends to help. Remember to develop a great relationship with your neighbors from the start. Your neighbors already know the best spots to eat and can contact you first instead of the police if there is ever a noise dispute.

We’ll all make the first move at some point. If you’ve recently moved into your first apartment, what are some tips that you have for other first time movers?