When you are first considering getting an apartment by yourself there are certain things you have to take into consideration, including which things you absolutely need to live comfortably. You are going to pay for everything yourself, remember.
Of course, finances are a huge worry for many. From my own personal experience of having to pay all the bills myself, I found some great ways to help save myself money when living alone.
1. Cook meals at home (especially ones that make leftovers) instead of ordering from Postmates or Grubhub.
2. Invest in a multipurpose cleaner instead of buying one product for each room.
3. Try to go grocery shopping once a week. Then, buy the smaller versions of foods instead of the regular sizes, so you’re less likely to have spoiled food.
4. Speaking of shopping, stick to the outer isles and create a dedicated list. Creating a grocery list that includes just what you need, and only buying those items helps you from wandering to the processed food isles.
5. Be strict about that A.C. and heat — wear extra layers in the winter and use fans in the summer so you don’t have a surprisingly high bill each month.
6. Look into couponing and try only to shop when there are sales at your favorite local stores.
7. Instead of heading out to the movies, invite friends over to watch something fun on Netflix.
8. Speaking of, pull up everything you’re subscribed to that costs money and see if there’s anything you can live without (magazine subscriptions, music, TV streaming services, etc.)
9. Call your internet and cell phone providers to see if there are any cheaper plans/discounts you can get in on.
10. When you are out of something or on the lookout, see if any friends or family have anything extra that they no longer want (hand-me-downs are a godsend when you get into a new apartment).
11. Find some local flea markets and thrift stores for some unique furniture and other home decors instead of expensive retailers and chain stores.
12. Use natural lighting from windows to illuminate your home, and only turn lights on in the evening.
13. On nice chilly days, open your windows for a fresh breeze instead of turning on the AC.
14. Always allow a little cushioning when it comes to writing out your budget — it’s better to overcompensate and have too much than too little. Throw the remainder in your savings for an emergency or rainy day.
15. Unsubscribe from those pesky retailer emails you get so you’re less likely to be tempted by sales.
16. Adopt the mantra of “living within your means”: freeze or shred unused/paid off credit cards. No overspending, no excess debt.
17. When picking out your apartment, don’t always opt for style, choose for practicality and affordability. It’s also a good idea to find places with all utilities included, that can help you save money in the long run.
18. Download budget and expense apps like Mint or Clarity Money to help create a strict budget so you’re always in the know about your finances.
19. Scour Craigslist for cheap or free items that you need for your home (but still be safe when shopping the site).
20. Make the switch from cable to digital streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, it’s cheaper.
21. Instead of expensive nights out with friends, opt to go to places that are free or more affordable like local art shows, free concerts, museums and parks. Facebook is also an excellent tool to check out local free events in your area.
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