Words by Bryonna Manes

Moving is scary. Packing up all of your belongings, leaving a place of familiarity and making a new place one of your own isn’t a piece of cake. Sure, it’s exciting, but so is starting a TV series on Netflix; trust me, one is much easier than the other. Moving not only requires time, effort and planning: it requires money. I know, I know, it’s an uncomfortable topic. No one likes to talk about money, but we need to. Moving out of your parents’ and into the dorm is usually a breeze. Some of you have kick-ass parents that pick up the bill. Others worked their butts off to score scholarships to take care of dorm costs. Then there are the rare ones who work three jobs and take out student loans to live on campus. Either way, something’s got your back. You get assigned your dorm, all utilities and fees packaged up into one nice, enormous bill. It’s when you move into your first apartment that you need to be aware of the money potholes that jump out in front of you and your wallet. Here’s a few reminders, so you don’t fall in and drown.

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NBC/via jd puddle.

When you first apply to an apartment, there is usually an application process fee and a down payment. These pointless little pests can range anywhere from $40 to $60 in addition to a down payment that falls somewhere between $100 to $300, but after you’ve successfully passed inspection and been awarded approval for your first apartment, the real fun begins.

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via tinypic.com.

You’ll sign the lease and feel like you’re on top of the world, and you are, except the world you’re standing on top of is a planet made of money that you’re about to lose. Before you move in, there are a few things to get in place before you’re handed those shiny new keys. Renters insurance, transferring the electric and utilities into your name and contacting the Internet company (priorities obviously) are all potential surprises just waiting to scare your bank account.

Renters insurance isn’t too costly over a year’s time. Paying $10 a month in order to insure your crap will be protected if someone tries to steal it isn’t asking a lot; however, some insurance companies ask that you provide a down payment toward your first month’s payment up front when you sign up for a new lease. In my experience, this has been about $25. That might not sound like much, but after you finish moving all of your things, you’re going to want bad takeout and a cold one. That $25 could’ve bought you a feast of Chinese food and a six pack of your favorite brew.

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via policygenius.com.

Electric companies aren’t the devil, procrastination is. Make sure to transfer the electric bill to your name as soon as you get notice that you can pick up your keys in a few days. If you put this off, you will either, worst case scenario, be without electric until the company can turn it on, or pay for it day by day to your leasing office and be fined a chunk of a money. That 50 bucks may only sound a little inconvenient now, but trust me, it’ll sting later. That money could’ve paid a month or two of electric bills. Instead, it’s sitting in your leasing office’s pocket for the problems your procrastination caused. Even if you don’t procrastinate, there will be money to pay. There’s usually a fee for having to turn the electric back on specifically in your apartment. In my experience, it was 95 buckaroos. Everyone says money is power…

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Hasbro Inc. via monopoly.wikia.com.

Internet is free, isn’t it? Sometimes we seem to take precious Wi-Fi for granted because it’s in every restaurant, Starbucks and campus classroom. Be warned, it is not free. Not only are you going to have to pay a monthly payment to the cable company (which you were probably expecting), but you will have to purchase a modem and a router. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it would be if modems didn’t cost between $40 to $90 and routers weren’t 60 bucks a pop. Good thing Netflix, YouTube, your Tumblr addiction and, oh yeah, school work is worth it, right?

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via pinterest.com.

While dealing with these lovely surprise costs that may have escaped your mind, don’t forget you have to have the necessities like trash cans and bags, soap, toilet paper and a myriad of other things. Don’t forget to feed yourself too. Just when you think you’ve thought of everything, something else comes to mind and costs you more money.

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FX via imgur.com.

Living somewhere new is exciting. It’s a happy time where you get to create a new space to call your own and add some change to your life. Moving, however, is a lil’ bitch. Don’t let the money leeches suck all the positivity out of your experience. Start saving six months before you need to move, ask family members to chip-in or donate some of their old crap they don’t use anymore, and make the actual move an opportunity to get all of your friends together to help you carry box after box in and out of your car (and theirs). Just don’t forget to buy them pizza and some booze after the hard work is done.

If all else fails, the fees pile up and your roommate doesn’t come through or have your back, take all your boxes and crawl back to good ol’ mom and dad. They’ll be bitter, but their door is always open (hopefully).

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NBC via domain.com.au.