Moving into your first apartment is an exciting process. However, when first starting out, money can be hard to come by and even harder to save. Use this tips to save a little cash and start your next phase in life with limited financial stress:
- Cut Back Utility Costs
If this is your first apartment, chances are, it’s also your first time paying for utilities like water, heat, electricity and trash removal. Some tenants find apartments that include utilities in the rent, but others aren’t so lucky and end up with utilities in their own name. Save money on utilities by being smart about usage. Don’t leave lights on in empty rooms, and get smart power strips that shut off “vampire” appliances overnight. Drafty windows can increase your energy bill by ten to 25%, so consider investing in thermal curtains. Finally, take short showers and run only full loads of laundry to lower your water bills (some U.S. households spend up to $500 per month on water expenses!).
- Eat Smart
Even though you may have a tiny kitchen and a crappy stove, avoid the temptation to eat out multiple times a week. Rent.com . writes that cooking at home is often much cheaper, and you can save even more if you make meals in bulk to enjoy leftovers throughout the week. A slow cooker can be a great way to save time and money, since you can prep meals in the morning and come home to a finished dinner after work or class!
- Choose Used
The global art market was valued at almost $64 billion in 2017. Just because it’s a lucrative industry, however, doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on single art pieces to decorate your apartment. You can find plenty of amazing pieces at an affordable cost. According to Scott Alan Turner, financial adviser and early-in-life millionaire, first-apartment furniture is rarely a long-term investment. Turner sold all of his major first-apartment furniture pieces within five years of buying them. After all, first apartments are places for many to grow their career and save money, so in a few years, you might be ready to buy matching new bedroom sets or a big family-sized table. For now, shop for used and cheap items on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Hit up friends and family for furniture they no longer need. Save money on furniture now, and sell them when you next move for a little extra cash and a quicker relocation.
- Forget Cable
Finally, really think about which expenses you need, and which you don’t. Listen Money Matters.com says to try swapping cable for cheaper, month-to-month streaming services. Ditch the gym you only hit once a week and instead go for runs around your new neighborhood. Try using public transportation. You might be surprised how much fun you have while saving a bit of cash.
By following these tips, you can help yourself afford your new apartment, have a little fun, and save a little money for your next place, too. Happy housewarming!
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