How to prepare your budget when renting an apartment?

Written by Maé Sénécal| september 22 2020 in Tips

The Ultimate apartment budget checklist

Going to an apartment is not easy. Especially when taking that big step from home to complete freedom.

To make sure you're on the right track in your rental process, you need to prepare in advance. There are several steps to take when it comes time to prepare your budget for the next year. And various additional expenses are also to be expected when you decide to move into an apartment.

Here are 6 advices from Appartogo when you take the plunge:

1. Create a monthly budget

Do you need an OPUS card? Do you want to save money to socialize at a restaurant each month? It all rhymes with the word B.U.D.G.E.T. Develop a detailed monthly budget including your employment income, scholarships or loans, your rent, your cell phone, your additional expenses (restaurant, clothes, etc.).

Appartogo suggests that you use the Desjardins budget grid, which you can find right HERE. This is extremely detailed (probably even a little too much) and will help you determine if you are on the right track for the rest of the year.

Determine as many costs as possible in advance. Hydro-Québec allows you to predict the amount that your electricity and heating will cost you. You can estimate the costs right HERE.

If you want to be as far-sighted as possible and want to make sure that you don't have any bad surprises when winter arrives, you can also use the MVE (Equal Payment Method) offered by Hydro-Quebec. This allows you to pay the same amount during the 12 months of your lease and therefore greatly facilitates the creation of your budget. To use this option, just click HERE.

2. Shop carefully for your apartment

You shouldn’t rush when choosing an apartment. Your new home should suit your needs. If you are a student, it would be a wise choice to choose an apartment that minimizes your transportation to your school. Which metro lines best suit your needs? Which sectors? To learn more, check out our latest blog on the subject.

According to several statistics verified and approved by Desjardins and the SSQ, the rent for your apartment should never exceed 30-35% of your net income. If so, think about other alternatives such as roommates, studios, reducing the number of rooms or changing neighborhoods.

Thanks to our search module, you can find your perfect appartement using the following criterias:

  • The neighborhood
  • Proximity to services (shops and metro lines, etc.)
  • The number of rooms
  • The type of residence and floors
  • The services included in the lease (electricity, heating, etc.)

3. Asking the owner questions

Be sure of what is in your lease. If the landlord promises you that he will carry out work during your stay, make sure this is indicated on the lease.

Also, don’t forget to verify the services to which you are entitled. The length of the lease, the type of heating, lighting, apartment options (rooms, balcony, services), additions to which you are entitled (is there parking? right to pets?).

Don't be afraid to ask questions before the signing, because it will be too late afterwards.

4. Understand your entire lease

Read the clauses carefully, do not hesitate to ask the owner for adjustments if you are not satisfied. And of course, sign it as soon as you're ready to move into your apartment. If you are under 18, take into consideration that there is a good chance that the landlord will ask your parents to endorse the lease.

5. The move

Get ready for your moving day ahead of time! Choose as quickly as possible the company you will hire for your move. (A minute of silence for all movers working on July 1).

Ask your friends and family for help! Make sure you have all your furniture. Quick tip: If you're missing some, search used furniture websites such as Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace. You could also ask your family members if they have any furniture they would like to get rid of. This will make a huge difference in your budget.

6. Oversights that should not be forgotten

Here is a list of tips that we often forget to include in our budget when preparing for a move:

  • Additional connection costs related to Internet, cable, air conditioning, etc. (labor, repair).
  • The first grocery store. We want to help you. Whether you are 20 or 32 years old, here is what you should remember:
    • Flour, sugar
    • Pepper, salt, spices
    • Rice, cereals
    • Oil and vinegar
    • Condiments (butter, ketchup, mayonnaise, etc.)
  • Moving expenses (truck rentals and movers services)
  • Insurance (if you want to make sure that nothing happens to your belongings and furniture in the event of fire or theft, you'd better buy insurance)

Here you are, you are all set to get looking for your future home. We hope that our valuable advice will help you in your process. If you have any further questions, please feel free to write to us privately on our social networks, whether on Facebook or Instagram.

Good research !