After paying rent and utilities along with the necessary cash to fill up your gas tank and then paying off those pesky student loans, it can seem like all of your hard-earned money is spent on bills.
Don’t worry, you are not alone.
Today’s 20-somethings remain financially optimistic, despite current struggles. According to Moneyunder30.com, only 12% of 20-somethings reported feeling “very satisfied” with their financial situations. When it comes to saving, 63% of respondents reported saving between 1 and 15% of their income. But 14% aren’t saving anything at all, up from just 8% who reported not saving anything in 2014.
One thing everyone can agree on is more money in your bank account at the end of each month is never a bad thing. We have outlined four tips you can take to save money at your apartment each month.
1. Live with a roommate
A one-bedroom apartment will cost you around $900 per month. If you choose to live in a two-bedroom, the rent is around $1,200 in total. If you decide to live with a roommate, you could be saving $300 each month for rent, and that doesn’t include all of the utilities you’d be splitting.
Depending on your financial situation, an extra $300 per month can make a big difference. You might be able to pay off those student loans faster or start investing more into your retirement fund.
There can be downsides to living with a roommate, such as lack of privacy and lifestyle differences.
When considering whether you want to live with a roommate, ask yourself if $3,600 extra per year is worth the living companion, or if you value your privacy more than that dollar amount.
2. Cook more in your apartment
According to livingonadime.com, eating out is one of the top causes of personal debt.
ABC News reported on a couple that eats out for the majority of their meals. By cutting their food habit to eating out just twice a week, the Molinas were able to save $2,227.68 that year!
Whether you are peer-pressured by your friends to go to the trendy new restaurant or just busy, eating out can turn into a costly habit.
If you prepare over the weekend for the upcoming week by grocery shopping and planning your meals, you can save a pretty penny.
And the last time we checked, there’s nothing illegal about going to a restaurant with your friends if you have already eaten earlier that night. You can certainly enjoy a cocktail at the table!
3. Cut the cord on cable
From 1950 to 1960, the number of American households with a television set climbed from 9% to 90%. Today, however, that trend is reversing.
A recent survey conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates showed that among 18-to-34 year olds, TV as the primary medium for entertainment is down from 40% to 21%.
With cheap Netflix subscriptions and access to entertainment content on your computer and smartphone, cable is no longer a necessity in your apartment.
If television is not extremely important to you, don’t feel tempted to add a cable package just because the sales rep for the cable company recommends it.
4. Take the bus or bike
Many apartment communities will charge extra for a parking space, due to the high demand.
Still, many rental communities nowadays are in centrally-located destinations, close to entertainment and possibly even your work.
If you choose an apartment that is in close proximity to your workplace, get some extra exercise and bike to work. You’ll stay fit, help the environment, and save on a parking spot and gas.
If your office is more than five miles away and you have no desire to race in the Tour De France, biking might not be the best option. Still, rental communities are often situated right by a bus line. The bus can drop you off right by your office and you won’t have to pay a high price at the pump.
What Fits Your Lifestyle?
There are plenty of ways to cut costs when living in an apartment. You just need to decide what will make you happy so that can save you money at the same time.
If you follow our four tips on saving money at your apartment, your bank account won’t be the only one smiling.
Schottenstein Real Estate Group contributed content to this article. SRE Group, an apartment leader in the Midwest, has the following properties: Mason Grand, Grand at Polaris, Grand at Florence, Grove City Summit and Parkway Village.