Furnishing a First Apartment

Open a checking account to budget for first-apartment essentials and more

After you graduate and accept your first job, take time to compare checking accounts to find the one that will best suit your budgeting and purchasing needs. Some accounts offer low fees or easy ways to waive the fees based on the transactions you make. Others have easy access to statements and bill pay through online and mobile banking. Or, you can even find a checking account that lets you earn interest on your balance. It's important to find the account that works best for your current situation, particularly if you're furnishing an apartment or managing new expenses for the first time. Once you open a checking account, create a budget to pay for these first-apartment essentials and more.

Expenses to consider when furnishing an apartment

When you start a new job after college, you'll have new expenses to budget for and purchase; including furnishing an apartment for the first time. After you find your new place and are ready to move in, it's important to create a list of the items you need to make it your own. Take inventory of what you already have, like appliances that come with the apartment or items your parents are no longer using, as well as any spatial limitations you need to work within. Then, create a list of what you need now or will need to accumulate in the near future, making sure to consider the following first-apartment essentials:

  • Kitchen appliances - A dishwasher, oven and fridge are essential and usually included in your apartment, but you may also wish to include a coffee maker, mixer, slow-cooker or other small countertop appliances in your budget.
  • Bedroom set - Your parents may be willing to let you take your old mattress, box spring and frame with you to your first apartment, as well as a matching dresser and end table, but if they don't or if you want to update your set, add this to your budget.
  • Living room furniture - Depending on the size of your first apartment, this may or may not be something you need. If you have a studio, everything will be in one room and you won't have space for additional furniture. However, if you have a more spacious place, you may want to include a couch, chairs, entertainment center, bookshelves and end tables in the budget. These can be added slowly over time, and you can often find great deals at discount or second-hand stores. Don't worry about not loving the pattern on the couch; you can always use a slipcover to make it match your d'cor, but be sure to have second-hand couches or arm chairs professionally cleaned to avoid bedbugs.
  • Dining set - Consider how much seating you want at the dining table - just enough for you and your roommate, or room for guests? Like the couch, you can always find a discounted or second-hand table and cover it with a patterned tablecloth you love while saving up for something more your style down the road. You can also have second-hand chairs refinished or reupholstered if you're unable to find what you want when you need it. If your first apartment is set up with a breakfast bar, some bar stools will also be essential.
  • Lighting and accessories - Don't forget the little things when furnishing an apartment. Pots, pans and cookware, table and floor lamps, a TV, shower curtain, plates, glasses and silverware, and even throw pillows are just a few of the important items you may need. To save money, ask friends and family for anything they no longer use, but be aware that some things, particularly small appliances, are best bought new.
  • Open a One Deposit checking account to budget for your first apartment's essential furnishings

    The One Deposit checking account from Citizens Bank is a great option for young professionals just getting their start. The simple account structure allows you to waive monthly maintenance fees with as little as one deposit a month ' something easy to accomplish when you set up direct deposit for your paycheck. The total cost of furnishing an apartment will largely depend on what you already have and what you can find second hand. After you've created a budget, open a checking account and use your debit card to purchase the first-apartment essentials you need to help you stay within what you can afford and avoid increasing credit card debt.


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