So you’ve just graduated college and you’re looking to move out into your first very own grown-up apartment. Congrats! That’s a huge step and I’m super excited for you. I do want to warn you though: it’s no piece of cake. Take it from someone who did it trial-by-fire style: between setting up your utilities, figuring out your rental agreement, and trying to furnish the place on a student budget, you can find yourself stretched pretty thin. But fear not! I compiled a list of all the things that totally saved me when I first moved out so you don’t have to figure it out alone!
Tips for moving out:
1. Call your utility companies and ask if you can set up automatic payments to avoid their deposit fee. I kid you not, this saved me easily over $100 when I first moved in.
2. Depending on your income, apply for discounted gas and electric rates through a program like the CARE program. Saves 30% on your utility bills!
3. Goodwill gets all of Target’s salvage furniture: floor models, products with damaged boxes, and collections that get discontinued. You can get brand new Threshold stuff for 70-80% off! Just make sure you cross-reference the Target website to see if you’re actually getting the best deal.
4. Also sign up for targets emails. They often have 30% off a certain category (furniture, cleaning supplies, etc.) and sometimes you can even get an extra 10% off with code. Your debit redcard is your best friend. 5% off and free shipping on their website and it’s free and easy to set up.
5. Make sure you set up mail forwarding through USPS. It’s usually $0.99 for the year and it’s totally worth it. It’ll save you so much hassle when you don’t miss important documents that get mailed to your old address.
6. The Splitwise app is great for monitoring and splitting expenses if you’re living with a roommate!
7. You don’t have to eat Top Ramen everyday; just shop strategically to get the best deals. Albertson’s Fab Five is probably the best deal you can get on frozen and dry/pantry food. Ralph’s and Smart and Final usully have the best deals on meat/protein. Always buy meat on sale. A good guide for cheap grocery shopping is to make sure the number on your receipt for “How Much You Saved Today” is equal or greater to how much you actually spent on groceries.
7. Craigslist has really amazing deals on furniture. Target families in suburban areas for the best condition/ least possibility of a sketchy encounter and always take a buddy!
8. IKEA also has fantastic basics and you can find amazing DIY instructions on Pinterest. I love this one and this one and this one!
9. The H&M home section sale is surprisingly awesome for decorating things inexpensively! Their pieces are cute and trendy and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
Good luck on starting this very exciting journey! I hope this post helps save you some money/ stress as you take this next step forward! Let me know if you used any of these tips or if you have some tips of your own to pass along!