We’ve all had to ask ourselves at some point, “What do I need for a first apartment?”It’s a bit of a loaded question, but in this article I’ll start you off getting the financial end sorted. Because while people’s brains turn off when they hear code words for math it’s actually not that challenging of a topic. In fact most of this stuff is common sense, and really shouldn’t pose much of problem for you.

1Credit-score – Have you seen the commercials with that annoying guy singing the songs that were clever like half a decade ago? Well, having a good credit score is going to help you land the places where you want to live. Because this isn’t like buying a sandwich from McDonald’s landlords want renters that can pay. Here’s the thing though, you don’t need something like free credit score report dot whatever to maintain your credit, and we’ll be going over that in another installment of our series.

2Your roommate(s) – If you don’t know the people you’re going to living with personally it’s a good idea to conduct interviews. Because while you can’t know everything about a person before hand it is a good idea to know what you are working with. If you’re financially conscious, like I am, you don’t want someone who make erratic comments about quitting their job. Having a roommate not being able to pay their share is one of the biggest reasons people get evicted from their first apartment, and you don’t want to have to go through the small claims process if you can avoid it. There’s a lot of ways of approaching this problem but this is our favorite: Roommate Agreement Checklist

3Can you afford it? – Here is another biggie you want to look into. When a lot of people calculate how much rent they can afford they forget to factor in taxes and the cost of getting to work. I built this great rent calculator to help you out. All it require to work is your average paycheck amount AFTER taxes, but if you want to make it even more accurate you can subtract your expense from that amount.

4Make a budget – A lot of my friends fail to account for how much food costs, and as a result a lot of them wound up eating Ramen and horrible heartburn-giving food for their first few months on their own. Sounds awesome when you’re like 18 or 19, right? No, it’s seriously the worst thing you can do to yourself. Crappy foods make you more prone to illness, and you just feel like shit by eating them day in and day out.

5Does the complex accept low-income tax credits? – What you wouldn’t expect about low-income housing is that the complexes that offer it rent to every income bracket, so they have three bedroom rentals going for typical market rates. Except that a lot of the time low-income apartments attract a lot riff-raff no one wants to deal with. Even people who grew up lower class like myself hate those jerks. Because they think nothing of their neighbors, have thee most annoying cars, and generally just need a good ole fashion ass beating from time-to-time.