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Current Location: Skip Navigation LinksHome | Get Set for Life | Living Skills & Resources | Initial Start-Up Costs

Initial Start-up Costs

(Information obtained from Preparing Adolescents for Young Adulthood (PAYA), Handbook for Skill Development, Massachusetts Department of Social Services – click here to visit website)

Rent and Security Deposit

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Landlords usually require the first and last month's rent before allowing a new tenant to move into an apartment. A security deposit is up to the landlord. It is usually the price of one month's rent and occasionally you'll find the security deposit is ½ of one month's rent. Check with the apartment complex that you are interested in to see what is required.

Utility Deposits and Initial Service Fees

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Some utility companies require security deposits or charge initial service fees. The telephone company and cable company, for example, will charge you to initially connect your service. Check with your utility companies (electric, water, gas, cable, etc) to see what is required.

Food, Cleaning Supplies, and Personal Care Items

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When you start to live independently, your initial costs for food, cleaning supplies, and personal care items will be somewhat higher for the first few weeks than you estimated in your ongoing personal budget. With that in mind, establish how much you would have to spend for food and household items for the first two weeks when living independently.

Furniture, Appliances, and Household Items

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Before you move into your own apartment, you will need at least basic furniture, household items, and appliances. Some things you might be able to get from relatives, friends, or parents while it will be necessary to purchase others. You might choose to buy some items used, although some might only be found in department stores. Make a list of the basic items that you will need and note whether you already have it or if you need it and what it will cost. Determine what your budget will be for these items.

Miscellaneous and Emergency Costs

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It would be a good idea to budget for some unexpected or miscellaneous costs when first moving out. For example, you should consider the cost of a moving van or rented truck if you are planning to use one.

To estimate your initial start up costs, add up the costs from each category.