Moving Off Campus Soon? Here are 5 Costs You Need to Plan For:

Are you planning on moving off campus this summer or next fall? As exciting as it might be to get your own place, there are many expenses students fail to consider before moving. Besides the obvious cost of rent, here are five common costs to consider before moving into a new house or apartment.

1. Security Deposit
If you’re renting, chances are high that your landlord will require you to put down a deposit in case any damages occur while you’re living there. A deposit is typically a month’s worth of rent, and you don’t get it back until you move out. Make sure to schedule a walk-through with your landlord before you move in so you don’t get charged with any damages you didn’t cause.

2. Moving Costs/Renter’s Insurance
Depending on how much stuff you have, you may need help moving furniture to your new place. Try to avoid having to rent a U-haul truck by finding friends and family to help you move. You also may need lots of boxes for your stuff. Try to borrow suitcases and plastic tubs from people you know so that you don’t spend money on boxes you’ll just throw away. Once you’re all moved in, you’ll want to protect your items from the potential threat of a fire, flood, or break-in. Ask you parents if you’re covered under their home insurance plan-if not, you’ll need to get your own renter’s insurance to cover your possessions. Most plans are cheap (average is $144/year).

3. Furniture
One perk of living on campus is that everything is fully furnished. However, many apartments and houses don’t come with any furniture, so you’ll have to provide your own. Communicate with your roommates before moving in to see if anyone already has furniture. If not, it’s time to hit up as many garage sales and thrift stores as possible! Ask family and friends if they have any old furniture they don’t need anymore.

4. Utilities
The cost of utilities depends greatly on where you choose to live. Many apartments cover the water and trash bills, but not gas, electricity, cable, or internet. If you rent in a house, many landlords don’t cover any of these costs. Utilities average about $50-$100 per person for a three-bedroom home. You can call Black Hills Energy (gas) and Lincoln Electric System (electricity) to ask for the average cost for that apartment’s bills so your can plan ahead.

5. Groceries/Kitchen Supplies
This one might seem obvious, but many students fail to realize just how expensive groceries can be if they don’t properly budget for it. It’s important to meal plan before heading to the store to avoid impulse buying and wasting food. Don’t forget to budget for buying kitchen supplies and basic food staples when you move, otherwise you’ll be limited in what you can cook. And remember- eating out everyday will catch up with your budget!

Moving off campus and need help comparing living spaces, budgeting, or saving money? Schedule an appointment with us today at:

Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant