How To Cut Expenses When Moving Out
Moving out of your parents’ house and into your first apartment can be really exciting. This means independence, freedom, and the pride that comes from having your very own place. You can do what you want, when you want, and there’s no mom or dad around to tell you to clean your room, take your feet off the coffee table, or eat more veggies.
However, moving out for the first time can mean lots of new expenses: rent, of course, but also utility bills, food, home furnishings, entertainment, and more. How can you live on your own without going broke? Here are five ways to save some money on your first place.
1. Choose your neighborhood wisely. Before you settle on a place, get a feel for how much monthly rent will run you from one neighborhood to another. The swankiest neighborhood will of course seem like the nicest place to live, but you’ll pay more in rent to live there. Figure out where you can afford to live, and don’t rent in a more expensive part of town that you’ll have a hard time affording.
2. Live with a roommate. Or two. While you’ll have to sacrifice a bit of privacy and independence, splitting the rent and bills two or three ways will save you a lot of money. Before choosing someone to live with, though, make sure that your living styles and cleanliness tolerances are similar; this will help avoid conflicts and headaches later on.
3. Don’t buy new furniture. Ask friends and family members if they have older furniture hanging out in their basements or attics that you might be able to take off their hands. Or, check garage sales, thrift stores, and Craigslist for inexpensive, gently used furniture. It’s also wise to look at your local Freecycle group for free items. A lot of used furniture just needs a quick clean-up, but if you’re concerned about making your place look stylish, there are loads of online tutorials for upcycling home furnishings.
4. Use energy and water wisely. Remember all those times your mom or dad told you to turn off lights, lower the air conditioning, or quit taking long showers? They were trying not to be wasteful, but they were also trying to save money. When you move out for the first time, keep their voices in the back of your head! Turn off lights that aren’t being used, don’t blast the heat or AC, lower the heat or AC when no one is home, and so on. Doing these things can make a big difference in your monthly bills.
5. Be frugal about home entertainment options. It’s tempting to get a full cable or satellite package, but you may not need it. In fact, you may not need cable or satellite at all, especially with all the new streaming options available. For example, you can get a Netflix streaming subscription for under $10 per month. If you want content on your TV, a $30 Google Chromecast will do it. Compared to a cable or satellite bill of $50 per month or more, you can save a bundle.