If you are moving away from home for the first time, the whole economics of renting an apartment and living on your own may seem overwhelming at first. Consider the following elements when budgeting for your first apartment:

Rent

Unless you are leasing a Ferrari, rent will probably be your biggest single expense. Rent rates for Ottawa apartments vary based on factors like size and location. Always keep your budget in mind when searching for an apartment. You may find an amazing three-bedroom rental in the Market, but if it costs as much as your monthly salary, it’s time to cross it off the list.

Utilities

Some Ottawa apartments come with utilities included, while other tenants may have to pay utility fees on top of rent. Your lease agreement will determine which utilities are included in or excluded from the rent amount. Make sure to budget for gas, electric, water, cable, internet, and home phone bills.

Parking

Especially if you live in a high-density neighbourhood, parking may be extra. Even if one parking spot is included, you may have to pay extra if you and your partner or roommate have two cars.

Needs & Supplies

Having an apartment is great, but you still need to put things in it, and that costs money! There will be some pretty big upfront costs (like buying a bed, couch, and storage). You will also have routine purchases of everything from food and hygiene products to clothes and cleaning supplies.

Transportation

If you have a car, you will need to budget for car payments, insurance, gas, and miscellaneous expenses associated with a car. If not, you will need to budget for a bus pass or alternate transportation options.

Entertainment

Even if you try to be very frugal, you’re still going to want to have some fun. Make sure you account for dinners out, movie nights, sports tickets, and date nights in your budget.

Miscellaneous Expenses

The spending isn’t done yet. If your parents aren’t still paying for your cell phone, that’s another expense. Do you have a gym membership? Netflix account? Charity donations? It all adds up.

Savings

Don’t forget, putting money into savings each month is hugely important. If you get a hole in your favourite pair of shoes or your car breaks down, you’ll need some funds to dip into. Even $50 a month can make a tidy nest egg soon enough.

Now you’ll have a clearer picture of the expenses involved with living on your own. Choose the right apartment that makes sense for your budget.