A is for apartment

Before moving into an apartment, you should know the cost of apartment living and determine your search criteria.

Moving into an apartment

Before moving into an apartment, it's important to:

  • estimate the cost of living in an apartment
  • determine your financial capacity
  • draw up a detailed budget
  • make choices according to your wants and budget (and potentially those of your roommate)
  • become more independent

Search criteria for finding the perfect apartment

  • Keep your financial capacity in mind
  • Identify a desirable neighbourhood:
    • Proximity to school or work
    • Accessibility of public transportation
    • Etc.
  • Know what you're looking for:
    • Unit size (desired number of bedrooms)
    • Furnished, semi-furnished or unfurnished
    • Washer and dryer availability
    • Private or shared entrance (building with multiple units)
    • Floor (basement, third floor, etc.)
    • Ability to have a roommate
    • Parking availability
    • Whether utilities are included
    • Whether painting is paid for by the owner
    • Whether pets are allowed
    • Etc.

Apartment expenses

  • Rent
  • Fixed monthly expenses (e.g., heat, electricity, water, Internet, cellphone or landline, cable, insurance)
  • Variable monthly expenses (groceries, school supplies, gas, entertainment, clothing, unexpected expenses)
  • Moving expenses (e.g., buying furniture and other necessary items, moving truck, stocking the pantry for the first time, installing and turning on utilities and services, painting and decoration)

Keep in mind:

  • Plan to set aside between 25% and 35% of net monthly revenue for rent each month.
  • Ask utility and service providers for estimates of monthly expenses.
  • Minimize moving expenses by asking family and friends for hand-me-down furniture or by buying used furniture and appliances.
  • There are many different rental arrangements, including dorm rooms, apartments, houses, with or without a roommate, etc.