- Personal Finance
Live in an Apartment? Here's a Few Ways to Save Money & Space
1. Think Multipurpose
It sounds a lot easier than it actually is, but if you can become a little bit more flexible in your thinking, it will go a long way. For example, you’re having a date over next Monday, or girl’s night is coming up this weekend and you want to make margaritas. You think your best option is purchase a margarita maker. While this is a good idea, why not purchase a decent blender that will get the job done just as well?
With the blender you’ll be able to do so much more than make margaritas. You can make smoothies, blend food, make milkshakes, and so much more. This doesn’t have to be limited to just the kitchen either. Consider your living room where you may have a footrest. Consider replacing it with an ottoman that doubles as storage space for your blankets, movies, or whatever!
2. Start renting (even though you already are!)
Sure you might look sophisticated slowly building up your library full of WWII books, but is it really useful? Odds are probably not. Your library of books in addition to your collection of the entire Simpsons series is taking up too much space and costing you money! For one, it usually isn’t cheap to purchase numerous books, tv show series, or movies. These costs add up over time, and the items lose their resale value very quickly.
Secondly, they typically take up a lot of useful space. After all, you do need some place to store these items. Instead of purchasing everything you want, why not consider renting them? Become a member of your local library where you can read and read until your heart’s content. If you’re a big movie or tv fan, buy a subscription to Netflix or Hulu, which are both great services that will probably have your show.
3. Change your shopping behavior
Next time you are at the store, slow down and ask yourself if you really need it. Many times we become so accustomed to instant gratification and buying whatever we want, we come to the realization later on that it was an unnecessary purchase. Yes it may be nice to have an extra lamp here, or another pan to cook in for dinner, but is it really necessary? You’re not going to be living in that apartment forever, so why not hold off? You’ll probably come to the realization you have been making many unnecessary purchases for a long time after you practice this for a bit.
4. Check your carbon footprint
By carbon footprint, I mean watch how much energy you are using every month. You are old enough by now that you should know to turn the lights before leaving the house, and to turn the water off while you’re brushing your teeth, so just do it. The small things we’ve been told while growing up can help us out a lot in our adult years.
If you want to take it a step further, consider purchasing energy efficient light bulbs, a low flow shower head, and thick curtains to keep the temperature low in the summer. A simple Google search for “How to save energy” will provide you with more than enough to get started.
5. Prepare your meals ahead of time
Although mostly bodybuilders and fitness junkies are notorious for this, preparing your meals ahead of time offers numerous benefits you’ll probably like. For one, you’ll be able to eat much quicker when you’re hungry. The trip to McDonald’s is going to take a lot longer than a trip from the fridge to microwave. Two, you’ll have control over what eat and what goes into your food. You’re the chef, so you decide what you eat and how much of it. Three, you’ll be saving money, as you’re going to get a better bang for your buck by preparing your meals with food from the grocery store. Four, it’ll typically be better for your health too. Odds are if you’re cooking at home, it’ll be healthier than 95% of fast food joints.
If you don’t have any already, all you need is some tupperware and about an hour or two of your time. Google some simple recipes with common ingredients such as chicken, rice, broccoli, etc.
6. Get renter's insurance
It seems like an unnecessary expense, but the one time you may end up standing outside your burning apartment building, you’ll be glad you paid the $17 a month to be able to buy all your stuff again.
Surprisingly, renter's insurance does not cost nearly as much as you would think. For those of you thinking you can't afford it, the truth is you can't afford NOT to have it! In most states, renter's insurance will hover between $10-$25 per month which will typically cover any theft or damage that happens to your property while you're living away from home. It's best to check your insurance company's rates and coverage before following through with any purchase.
© 2015 Brian Fischer