You did it, you’re finally done with school and are now officially an adult! Whether you got a job out of town, or you needed to maintain that independence college gave you, your first post-grad apartment is a special place you’ll always remember. But, moving in is an easy way to fall into a spending trap. Now that you’ve found the place you’re going to live, here’s how you can save some money.
Gather Friends to Help You
Hiring movers is an extra cost you don’t need, especially after paying a security deposit and first and last month’s rent. This is where having good friends comes into play. Gather up some of your closest pals and kindly ask them to help you move in. Tell them that you’re providing drinks and pizza to sweeten the deal.
Split Costs with Roommates
You’re an adult now and on your own, but having roommates can definitely help out financially. Renting a multi-bedroom apartment and splitting any costs with the others will help keep your individual costs down. This way you’re not paying rent and utilities all on your own. A little help never hurts.
Buy Discount Furniture
You definitely want your apartment to reflect your new adult status, and that ratty sofa from your college house just won’t cut it. While you might be tempted to thrift shop for furniture to keep costs down, that’s not always the best idea either, since you don’t know where it’s been in the past. Instead, look for stores that sell quality pieces for less money to give your living room the look you really want.
Cut Costs Where Possible
There are so many possibilities when you’re looking to cut costs. One place to definitely consider is television service. If you’re already paying for streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, adding a cable bill might not be worth it.
Save Energy Where You Can
Paying for utilities can be a drag, especially when you run up a large bill. But fear not, there are ways to help lower those costs too. If you’re spending too much on heating or air conditioning, buy some energy efficient curtains to block any drafts and keep the heat/air in your room. Or, if energy is your issue, plug any devices into a surge protector with an on/off switch that can be flipped when you’re not home or when items aren’t in use. You can also replace lighting with more energy efficient options.
Set Limits for Yourself
Now that you’re paying rent and bills, it’s time to take a hard look at your spending habits and put limits in place where possible. Instead of stopping for coffee every day, turn Starbucks into a once a week treat. Also, when going grocery shopping, always make a list of what items you need so you’re not straying from it. Also, head to the store after eating a meal so you’re less likely to spend extra money.
Consider Loan Consolidation
Getting that first loan bill, and then making the first payment, can often be painful. Unfortunately most students need to take out loans to afford higher education, and then spend years afterwards paying it back. When your lender isn’t offering solutions or help, look for outside sources like credit unions for assistance. One option they’ll tend to offer is loan consolidation, which could lower your payments and interest rates. Just find a branch near you to make an appointment and see what you can do.
Graduating from college and moving into your first adult apartment are major accomplishments. Don’t let the financial stress get to you. Enjoy this time in your life!