It’s an exciting time when you decide to live on your own, but it’s easy to find yourself overspending while trying to balance all of those living expenses by your lonesome self. While it’s exciting, cool and feels so grown up to finally get to call the shots on how to decorate, what to keep in the fridge and who can and can’t come over, this new found life of “adulting” comes with pitfalls of overspending on your new pad.
Since we’re all about keeping those living expenses down and making your place feel comfortable without breaking the bank, take these dos and don’ts of being head of household to save you money!
Do Turn Off Lights And Other Appliances
This is kind of a no-brainer, but don’t let your utility bill get out of control because you forgot to turn off lights, unplug small appliances or let the TV run for hours without watching a minute of it. When it comes to cutting simple living expenses down, this should be the first thing on your mind, with utility bills capable of sky-rocketing over laziness.
If you find yourself falling asleep on the couch while watching Netflix and keeping the TV and lights on, do yourself a favor and get a timer that will automatically turn those things off. Be smart and don’t just flush your money down the toilet.
Don’t Spend A Ton Of Money On Furniture
Sure, we’d all love our homes to look like a page out of Restoration Hardware’s latest catalog, but for the majority of us, it’s just not in budget.
When it comes to your first pad, check out local thrift stores and clearance areas of furniture and department stores to see what they’re selling at a deep discount. Don’t be shy to also hit up garage sales and flea markets for other unique finds to furnish your home on the cheap, too! IKEA can be great, but it can also be really expensive.
With so many places out there like OfferUp and, yep, even Craigslist for some small things, keeping living expenses down while on your own should be easy.
Don’t Fall For Bundles
Getting TV and phone services connected can be really confusing and annoying, especially when the representative is trying to upsell you on everything. It can put you in a position where, suddenly, you’re paying for multiple movie channels, a billion TV channels and a satellite in space because it lowers your phone bill by five dollars. Avoid all of this by going to your carrier’s website to research and order the best plan for your budget.
Much like you’d do while ordering food at a restaurant, go in with an understanding of exactly what services you’re looking for, stick to your guns and avoid the overselling. By simply telling someone “no” can save you a ton in living expenses.
Do Keep It Clean
With every apartment you rent, you’ll have to put down a deposit to cover any damages that may occur during your rental. Of course, moving is a dismal task and the dirt left behind is a clear indicator on how you treated the property. That’s why it’s a habit to do a deep clean a few times a year to keep things looking fresh and better your chances of getting your full deposit back. Hey, it can also be a pretty soothing task, too!
Sure, there are easy cleaning services like Handy out there which can be hired to keep your place spotless every couple of weeks, but, remember, the key is to keep living expenses low when having your own place.
Do Report Maintenance Problems ASAP
A huge mistake that many first time renters make is not reporting problems to management. Leaky faucets, lights not working, cracks, and weird sounds or smells, among other things, should all be reported as soon as you notice them. If ignored, the problem can only get worse, and no apartment manager is excited about a tenant who lets things get to a total state of disrepair.
We know it might feel like you’re hassling another person for a problem with your place, but it’s what management is for, so don’t just let things linger when something comes up.
Do Make Friends With Your Neighbors
You don’t need to be BFF with everyone in your building, but having friendly relationships can help you down the line when you need a last-minute pet sitter, an extra egg or some other minor favor that would otherwise cost you money.
Some of the most arbitrary things may sound silly, but, when trying to keep living expenses down, having someone in your building to lean on can be a lifesaver. Plus, being nice can help eliminate any potential complaints like loud noise by already having a relationship with someone in your building.
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