There comes a time in every young adult’s life where they have to move out of Mom and Dad’s and move into an apartment of their own — scary, but exciting!
No parent wants to see their child struggle to make ends meet, and every young adult wants to be successful and prove to their parents that they can make it on their own.
When you are choosing a place to live, make sure you invest in something that is within your budget. After all, you don’t want to be apartment poor. This is where you can save the most. And depending on how close you live to the city, you may want to consider moving a little further away from the downtown area. The downtown and center city areas are always more expensive, but it could be necessary for you to live there for your job. If you relocated to surrounding areas, try relocating close to public transportation, so it makes your commute easier. While it could cost you a decent amount in travel fees, this alternative can save you hundreds of dollars in rent per month.
If you are absolutely in love with your current apartment, try renegotiating your lease. It’s as simple as having a conversation with your landlord and could end up saving you $100 dollars a month. Find out if it is cheaper to sign on for 18 months rather than the 12. This can be a win-win for both you and your landlord; increasing the amount of time you sign your lease guarantees the landlord has a tenant and another six months’ rent. That being said, see if he/she is willing to knock off $50 to $100 dollars per month in exchange. It may or may not be this simple. However, you may need to offer a little something extra in exchange for some cash back each month. If you are handy, offer to help your landlord shovel snow, mow lawns, or even help with repairs. If your landlord is outsourcing for work, he or she may take you up on this offer as it would save them money as well.
It may be difficult to negotiate your rent, but electricity, water, and gas are all on you. And unless they are included in your rent, they can be very expensive. Cutting back on those luxuries here and there can help save you $50 a month. While that doesn’t seem like much, it definitely adds up! If your winters aren’t that brutal, try using less heat and bundling up more often. You can replace your thermostat with a programmable thermostat, so you don’t end up using more energy than you need to when you’re away (don’t do this without checking with your landlord first!)
Before you invest in the more expensive changes, try sealing cracks and gaps that let cool air escape in the summer and warm air escape in the winter. You can do this by applying weather stripping to windows and doors or even putting a draft blocker under your door.
The last few suggestions are ones you can do on your own. However, if you are making improvements to the home by changing or repairing items, see if the landlord is willing to make the upgrade for you!
Adding a roommate is a great way to not only make your rent cheaper but also utilities, cable and other luxuries! Before you bring another person into your apartment, make sure to check the lease and with your landlord to see if it is allowed. You may just need to update some paperwork, so always ask!
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