Save Money on Bills During College While Renting an Apartment
So you are a college kid in an apartment, and don’t understand how you can save money. The wallet is being stretched thin with cable, electricity, water, and the main one, rent. However, it doesn’t have to be as bad as you might think. My roommate and I have found little ways to save that keep our wallets surviving.
First, save water. Don’t leave it running when you’re not using it. Water is not so much a big deal, because it is not a big bill. Ours usually ends up at around $20, so the only real way to keep it low is to fill up a dishwasher before using it to prevent unnecessary loads, and wash some dishes by hand. Also, just don’t leave water running.
Next, you can save on food. Don’t always go to Wal-Mart. Go to Big Lots, Food City, Food Lion, and other places to find the best deals on food. Also, sign up for their savings cards. These are usually free, and can end up saving you around 25% on some items. Don’t forget coupons. You may feel like an idiot just clipping coupons and handing them in, but they can save a lot more money than you think. Also, don’t buy name brands. Some things that are store brand or off brand will cost around $1, while the name brand will be around $1.50. Why pay the extra 50 cents for the same item? This may not sound like much, but it can really add up. And going back to the Big Lots subject, a lot of their items are damaged. For example, sometimes they will have cheaper items like pasta because the noodles got cracked. It is nothing that really matters, but it is cheaper.
Also, you can save on electricity in the apartment. This is one of the biggest bills other than rent. Leave things off. Use natural light by leaving blinds open. Windows open in the summertime will create nice breezes other than an expensive air conditioner. Also, don’t leave your computer on all the time. This eats up just a little energy, but it is money being thrown out the window.
Find your water heater. There is an adjustment knob on it for maximum temperature. You will never need water that is 150 degrees. Turn it down to 120-130. That is really all you’ll need, and that’s only for washing machines and dishwashers. This will save you a little on your bill. Also, check your thermostat. Leave it warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. This will let your heating and air work less and save on your bill.
Also, change your air filters. They cost around $1, and should be changed around every 30 days. When they are full of dirt and dust, the system has to work harder to push air through. Changing them will create less work. Don’t use hairdryers. Hairdryers will run the bill up more than anything. Also, check the lint filter in the dryer. If there is too much lint in it, it will prevent the dryer from heating up. This will cause you to keep running it over and over, running the bill up. It can also create a fire hazard.
Of course, no matter how much saving you do, it’s important to remember that not only is a penny saved a penny earned, a penny earned is a penny saved. Consider picking up odd jobs on the side to bring in extra money. I’ve seen students do everything from selling essays to students on internet forums to selling communist graffiti for cash to make it rain.
College is pretty tough, and having to work extra hours to pay the bills can only make it worse. Using some of these tips can help to ease the pressure of renting an apartment. It can also ease the strain on your wallet.
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