Thomas Jefferson University

Budgeting Advice

Moving is Expensive

For the most comprehensive financial guidance check out the Thomas Jefferson University Office of Financial Aid.

At any given time, you should have a realistic understanding of your expenses. This is crucial to help you prepare for large expenses, like moving.

  1. Take time to add all your monetary resources: This includes your paycheck, loans, grants, work-study compensation.
  2. Subtract fixed expenses. Fixed expenses include household bills, tuition, insurance, dept repayment, and the like. Anticipate variable expenses like doctor's appointments, home good purchases, clothing, personal care, and leisure.
  3. Ideally, the balance will be able to cover unexpected costs.

Understanding fixed expenses in advance of taking on a new lease is crucial. Talk to your landlord before signing a lease so you understand what will be expected from you financially.


Use the following list as a guideline when speaking with your landlord:


  • How much money is expected to secure your new apartment? Typically first and last months rent, as well as a security deposit is required.
  • What utilities (if any) are included in your monthly housing fees? If they are not included, are you responsible for setting up these services? It is important to know that some services require additional start up fees.
  • What amenities (if any) are included in your monthly housing fees?
  • Is there sufficient storage on site for all your personal items?
  • How many months/years is the leasing contract?
  • When planning to terminate, how much written notice is necessary to ensure that you receive your security deposit?
  • What is the penalty for late rent?
  • Is there a clause in the lease regulating subleasing?


Note: Any agreements must be written into the contract, before you sign it. Rely only on the written lease. Verbal promises, made either prior to lease signing or after lease signing, are difficult to enforce.