The lack of a budget makes apartment living expensive and the expense of college living can lead to stress.
If only someone had told you how expensive it’s to have your own apartment or maybe you should have listened when they did, perhaps you would have been more prepared for this moment.
Once you’re all moved into your new apartment, the utility bills will start rolling in, buying groceries and cleaning products can become surprisingly daunting, and decorating your new home is simply not affordable.
However, you can overcome the lack of income. Living on your own doesn’t have to be stressful — it just has to be on a budget. A budget that works within the guidelines of a little well-known word called “survival.” If you think of this journey as such, you will find that your instinct to “survive” will kick in. With a little apartment living advice, you will quickly learn how to manage and organize your finances to work in your favor.
So let’s get you started on learning how to enjoy apartment living on a budget, while working your way through college.
Prioritize … Prioritize … and did I mention, Prioritize! Create a spreadsheet listing all the items for which you’re financially responsible … highest costs first, as these are the most crucial to your survival. Obviously, your rent will be number one on the list. Food would probably be No.2, since eating is important for survival.
Getting food to eat shouldn’t be too difficult a task since there are plenty of Food-banks and food programs available just for that purpose. Of course if you’re attending college close to home, then eating with family and friends will solve that problem. You might also try preparing your meals for the week in advance and taking your lunch each day. This will save you both time and money.
Once you’ve prioritized your list, the next thing to do, is to start paying attention to unnecessary utility usage around the apartment such as:
- leaving your computer on after you finish studying
- leaving the lights on non-stop
- having the air conditioner running and the windows open at the same time
- washing clothes multiple times a week
- drippy or leaky faucets
All of these things will increase the cost of your monthly bill, so remember to check them regularly, and turn them off as needed — especially when going on vacation. Also, instead of using the air conditioner, try using fans to help lower your costs. If possible, try washing your close once a week to save even more. Furthermore, be sure to report any drippy or leaky faucets to your landlord immediately.
Another way to save money is to use your cell phone for all communication. As for watching your favorite television shows, as long as you have an internet connection, you can watch them on your computer.
Finally, if none of this works, and you’re still having trouble managing your costs, perhaps you’ll want to consider getting a roommate to help share the load.
These are just a few elements that can help you enjoy apartment living on a budget.
Do you have any favorite tips on how to enjoy apartment living on a budget? Have you ever had to do it? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Please share your comments below.