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Financial Literacy WashU

A guide on understanding finances and becoming fiscally responsible

This section will be focusing on living off-campus, and things you should probably consider before you sign the lease to your new apartment.  I have included links on how to know if you can afford a place, and miscellaneous expenses I wish someone had told me about before I moved. My decision to live off-campus never focused on the financial side. I had a problem, and the solution was to get an apartment. However, the financial side is one, if not the, most important thing I should have considered.

Getting an apartment costs money. Not just any money, but money that you have to budget or set aside just for the apartment. Not only are you paying for rent, but also other expenses such as electricity, water, gas, internet, furniture and so much more. I never really knew how much groceries cost until I had to start cooking. Living in an apartment was a cultural shock. I found myself asking: What do you mean those 10 items in my cart cost $120?? And why is my utility bill at $150? You're telling me homes don't automatically come with beds? (Okay, well, I knew this one, but I hadn't really thought mattresses needing to be bought). Anyways, the point of this is that, when you live off-campus, there are many more things you should consider financially in addition to the rent. Being able to pay $700 a month, does not translate to $700/month rent. It's 700 - utilities - groceries - other expenses = Rent.