Apartment living can be expensive, especially when you find yourself facing a rent increase. When money gets tight, it can be a very anxious time. Moving is not a cheap option, even moving to an apartment with lower rent will end up costing first and last month’s rent plus the cost of moving. However, there are many things that you can do to help you save money if you are renting an apartment. It is fairly easy to save money while renting, easier than you might think.
Tip #1 – Buy Renter’s Insurance
Many renters skip buying insurance because they think that if there is a loss that the landlord will pay. That is a common misconception. If there is a loss, you will have to replace all of your belongings at your own expensive if you do not have insurance. Add up your clothing, your furniture, your kitchen appliances and cookware, your knickknacks and collectibles, your electronics and your other belongings. It adds up, quickly.
Because navigating the world of insurance is not easy, you can find a quick overview of things to consider and to discuss with your insurance agent at the usa.gov site, at this link http://www.usa.gov/topics/family-homes/insurance.shtml. It is important to have everything covered while getting the lowest premium. If you rent an apartment and need insurance, please visit http://us.protectyourbubble.com/renters-insurance. Protect yourself by ensuring that your belongings are properly insured and ProtectyourBubble.com can help with all of your insurance needs as a renter.
Tip #2 – Set a Budget and Stick to It
If you actually tracked how you spent your money monthly, you might be surprised. Most of us pay our bills and buy the things we need throughout the month but have very little idea about what portion of our money went to what. When you track your spending, you can get a very good idea about where your money goes and whether or not it is going to the right things.
Based on your actual spending, determine what money is left after the bills are paid and then allocate a set amount for the rest of the month to use on entertainment, gas, eating out, groceries, and shopping. Sticking to a budget will help you manage your finances better and with less stress and anxiety.
Tip #3 – Help Your Air Conditioner be more Efficient
Even energy efficient air conditioners are expensive to run, so when you are running it, make sure that you are getting the full benefit of using it. You can save a lot of money in the long run by simply altering your apartment’s environment slightly, helping you stay cool but with a smaller bill.
If you are using an air conditioner in the living room, during the day, stay in that room and keep the other doors in the apartment closed, helping to keep the cool air in that room. At night, open just your bedroom door, to help the cool air reach your room better. If you have a bedroom air conditioner and want to keep just that room cool, keep your door closed. By limiting the space, you will be cooling more efficiently.
Never leave windows open when you are running the air conditioner, this just makes the unit work harder and it will stay on longer, costing you more. In the evenings, consider turning your unit off and opening the windows to let the breeze in and use fans to circulate the air. Save you air conditioner for the hottest times out of the day.
Tip #4 – Using your Drapes and Blinds
You can rely less upon your heater in the winter by keeping your blinds and drapes open, letting in the sun. When you keep your apartment closed up, you end up needing to use the heater more. Allow the sun to help keep your apartment warm.
In the summer, do the reverse. Keep your blinds and drapes closed to keep out the summer sun and your apartment will stay cooler.
Tip #5 – Turning off Lights
It sounds easy, but it is true. If you leave a room, turn the light off. You will be surprised at the difference in your electric bill when you begin turning lights off behind you as you leave the room. It can add up a lot.
Tip #5 – Unplug it if you aren’t using it
Even though you are not using them, appliances that are plugged in still use energy, especially your cell phone chargers. A good rule of thumb is that if you are not using it right now, unplug it, or turn the power strip that it is plugged into off.
Tip #6 – Switch to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Stop using incandescent light bulbs and use compact fluorescent light bulbs instead. Not only do they last longer, but also, they use as much as 75% less energy than other light bulbs. Make the switch and see how your energy bill goes down.
Tip #7 – Watch your Thermostat
Keep your thermostat set low in the winter when you are not home and when you go to bed. You can save money by throwing an extra blanket on the bed and by not heating an empty apartment. Dress a little warmer and stop relying on your heater as heavily in the winter.
Tip #8 – Cancel your Landline
If you have a cell phone with unlimited service, and most people do these days with the abundance of unlimited, affordable pre-paid plans, then you do not need to also have a landline. You are paying for something that you probably rarely use, unless you are using a dial-up modem.
Tip #9 – Limit your Showers
If you limit showers to a length of ten minutes and under, you will end up saving money. Additionally, by taking a shower instead of a bath, you will be saving money as well. Consider taking shorter showers instead of a long, steamy bath.
Tip #10 – Use a Dishwasher
You will actually save money by using an energy efficient dishwasher over washing dishes
by hand. Scrap off food scraps into the trash, load the dishwasher, and then run only when full. This will help save money, and by scraping, there is no need to rinse dishes first, that just wastes water.
Saving money when you are renting an apartment is easier than you think. Some of these tips, like buying insurance, will cost you a little bit of money but when compared to the cost of having an uninsured loss, the cost is minimal. Those little things like turning off lights and unplugging a cell phone charger when not in use can really add up in the long run. You will see a big difference in your utility bills after implementing these changes.