Tips & Advice

The 7 most common monthly expenses for renters

From pets to taxes – keep an eye on these seven expenses to stay within your monthly budget
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Renting an apartment, especially your first apartment, is a lesson in responsibility — financially and otherwise. Learning to manage your finances and get better with budgeting your monthly expenses is crucial as you take your first steps into adulthood. This includes understanding common monthly expenses for renters. 

Keeping track of your income and expenses can seem stressful at first, but there are some everyday monthly expenses you’ll have as a renter. Knowing about and preparing for these bills will help you better manage your money. Here are seven of the most common monthly expenses for renters to help you keep track. 

#1. Housing

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Rent is going to take the most significant chunk of your income. Consider your budget, and be critical of your desires when choosing where you want to live. Another monthly expense that you can’t avoid is the cost of your utilities. These include electricity, gas, water and sewage, garbage, internet and cable, and any other administrative fees for the building. 

The unexpected can happen and, sometimes, you may have to pay for certain repairs and maintenance if your landlord doesn’t cover them. Discuss these issues before signing the rental agreement so you won’t be surprised in the future. 

#2. Transportation

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This area is more dependent on your lifestyle. If you decide to rent an apartment near your workplace or school, you probably won’t need to spend that much on transportation. However, there are pros and cons, so be sure to consider your options. 

For example, owning a car is more expensive. Fuel and maintenance will be proportionate to how often you use it, and parking may be another fee you’ll have to pay. Either way, transportation typically ranks among the most common monthly expenses for renters and homeowners. 

#3. Entertainment

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If you want to save money, this is the category where you can make some cuts. Going out often results in a considerable bill at the end of the night, and doing so frequently will eat up your income. We don’t mean you shouldn’t have fun, but try to be financially responsible when you do. 

Subscription-based services — such as Netflix, HBO Go, and others —can be a good investment, but they can also pile up. You may end up wasting your money on services you don’t use. Review your subscriptions and cut or reduce those expenses to save some money

Additionally, going to the gym is healthy but also costly. If you can find alternatives — such as exercising outside, especially during the warm season — it will be healthier for your budget, as well. 

#4. Insurance

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Invest in insurance to protect yourself and your property in the event of an emergency, accident or otherwise. There are multiple types you can choose from, but as a renter, renter’s insurance is essential. Health insurance is also necessary; if you have a car, you’ll need to add auto insurance to the list, as well. 

#5. Food

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Another critical monthly expense is food. Shopping for groceries is more budget-friendly than going out, especially if you buy in bulk and cook at home. Ordering food and eating out is convenient — especially for those with a tight schedule. But, in time, those costs will add up. Plan your meals according to how much money you allocate to your food budget.

#6. Pets

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If you decide to have a pet, expect some additional costs for it, as well. You may have to pay a pet deposit alongside your security or damage deposit. Don’t forget the other, smaller expenses of owning an animal, too. For instance, the pet’s food, toys, and vet appointments will need to factor into your budget.

#7. Loans and taxes

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If you have any loans to repay, pay these bills first to make sure you have enough to cover the payment.

Taxes are not negligible, either, although as a renter you can benefit from tax deductions. Deductions are not the case everywhere, but if you do your research, you’ll probably find a way to save some money here. 

As a renter, these are just some of the common expenses that you can expect to pay every month. Although it may seem like a lot, careful planning can help you save a lot of money as a tenant. 

Plus, today, there are easy ways to keep track of your finances — from financial apps to online budget templates or even the classic paper journal. Don’t worry; if you take it step by step, you’ll find it very easy to manage your money.

Mihaela Buzec
Mihaela Buzec

Mihaela is a passionate reader and writer, with an affinity for language and linguistics, as well as the latest technological developments. She discovered her passion for real estate at RENTCafé, and you can read more of her articles on their blog.