Tips for apartment living when on a budget

Three weeks into living with my boyfriend I quit my job. Now, I was able to do so because I have saved very responsibly but let me tell you it is still scary not having that paycheck when living expenses pile up. I was fortunate to get another job instantly. However, even before getting this new job (and a real nice bump in pay) I wasn’t making as much as I wanted. My boyfriend and I are both determined to save money as much as possible and therefore I wanted to share the tips that we came up with for apartment living on a budget.

Budget Apps:

Right off the bat lets talk about things that can help you if you are not good at financial planning. There are plenty of apps out there that you can link your bank account to, you can input your monthly income and expenses, that track your spending, etc that can help you. If you are not good at making a budget yourself then rely on an app to help you. Perhaps the top two apps my boyfriend and I use are:

  1. Mint: You can link your bank account to this app and it will categorize and monitor your spending
  2. Daily Savings: This you plug-in your reoccurring expenses, your salary, and it will basically tell you what your daily spendings can be and let you log it

This really helps you keep up with what you are spending each day and hopefully cut back on unnecessary expenses.

The big bad “monthly rent” 

Clearly the BIGGEST expense when living in an apartment is RENT especially if you are not splitting the costs with someone else. However, rent does not have to be so scary if you do it right. The biggest thing I do and make my boyfriend do is put a portion of the rent away with each paycheck. Rent can certainly wipe you clean if you don’t save any of your previous paycheck and use a whole paycheck to pay it. Putting some of it aside allows it to not be such a financial burden. This can also go for utilities as well!

Need random things for around the house?

To some extent you should utilize stores like “Family Dollar”, “Dollar General”, or “Five and below”. You can get some very basic essentials from these stores such as: pens, decorations, candy, books, DVDs, cards, toys, even makeup! The reason I said use it to an extent is that in life you do need to realize that cheaper is not always better and a lot of times you get what you pay for! However, things like decorations are nice to get from the dollar store and where me and Elliot got a few of our Christmas decorations! Also, these stores do manage to sell some brand name stuff for a lower price and you can get well known names from them for a low price and save a major amount of money.

For times you want to be a little classier then the dollar tree: 

Lets face it none of us really want to get EVERYTHING from the dollar tree but we still want to shop somewhere reasonable. Stores like Tj Maxx, Marshalls, and Bed Bath & Beyond are amazing for the essentials in your apartment. My boyfriend and I got all of our glassware, kitchen knifes, silver wear, towels, utensils, etc. from these stores and we didn’t pay more than a few hundred dollars for a LOT of items when it was all said and done. They have such cute stuff at affordable prices (which I am pretty sure is their motto) it makes filling your apartment with the things you need affordable!

Utilize stores like Sams Club and Costco: 

If you have a membership or know someone who has a membership at these stores you can really save money here. My suggestion is to by the things you use regularly (I.e. paper towels, napkins, tissue, toilet paper, dish washer detergent, laundry detergent, etc) in bulk at these stores. When you buy these things in bulk you save yourself the re-occurring expenses of having to buy them weekly or more than weekly. It is super helpful and most bulk products last for months. You can also buy food in bulk here as well. If you have something that you eat quite often it may be much better to by it in bulk versus buying it multiple times a week.

Speaking of large quantities of food:

Here is my BIGGEST tip for when buying food in mass! This part has a few aspects to it. First things first, it is INSANELY cheap to buy frozen vegetables and they last longer. I strongly suggest that if you eat large amounts of vegetables to buy them frozen you can cook or microwave them when you are ready to eat them. THE BIGGEST THING that has helped us save money in our household is buying meats in mass and FREEZING them. Elliot and I buy the large packs of meats and what we don’t cook we put in the freezer. This saves us a ton of money from buying small amounts of food more often, which again it

You truly don’t need cable: 

While internet is pretty necessary in your apartment you can totally make do without cable, which adds a good 50-70 dollars to your monthly bill bringing it to over a hundred a month. If you get the most expensive subscriptions to Netflix ($13.99) and Hulu (without live TV, which is $11.99) you will only be spending $25.98 a month. In addition to that you can also get Hulu with live TV for $39.99 a month, which is $53.98. Even if you just chose the Hulu option you are still paying way under then you would be for cable.

So there you have it: 

Those are my tips to save money while apartment living! There are plenty of useful tools out there to help you save money! A great resource with tons more articles is :

https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/

I will be sure to post more on saving to come! If you want more of my content be sure to follow me on Instagram @alisonschulthesz

 

 

 

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