If you’re going to school, just starting out in your career, or work in a field that’s more personally rewarding than financially rewarding, then saving money on living expenses is likely high on your list of priorities when looking for a new apartment. Here are six ways you can reduce your cost of living and keep more money in your pocket each month.
Micro living is a popular trend
, particularly among millennials who want access to urban centers and upscale amenities while keeping their living space simple and streamlined. The fact of the matter is, studio and micro apartments cost less than full one-bedroom units. If you’re considering living in a smaller space
, think carefully about how much time you plan to spend inside your apartment and how you intend to use it. Choosing a building that is close to places you like to go (like museums, parks, restaurants, clubs, theaters, or shopping centers) makes a small apartment more appealing.
Get a roommate
For some, sharing a larger space is a more attractive option than living alone in a smaller one. Often, you can share a spacious 2- or 3-bedroom apartment
for less than renting a micro unit alone. Just make sure that you choose your roommates carefully. It’s important that you be able to communicate openly and respectfully about sharing your space and living costs. Backing out of a lease because you find that your roommate is excruciating to live with can be more expensive than living alone. Check out these tips for creating a harmonious home with you next roommate
Don’t forget about the cost of commuting
Commuting is likely one of your ongoing monthly expenses, so make sure to reflect on the impact your location has on this cost. Choosing a downtown apartment
, for example, may put you within walking or biking distance of work as well as a lot of the places you like to go in your free time. If a particular location gives you easy, car-free access to the places you need or want to be, you could save hundreds of dollars each month in car payments, insurance, gas, parking, maintenance, and other car-related costs. Even if you don’t completely give up your car, using it less saves you money and can make you feel good about doing something positive for the environment.
Shop for amenities you’ll use
By keeping a sharp eye out for amenities that you value, you could cut some of your current costs as well as live more comfortably in a smaller apartment. For example,
- An on-site fitness center or swimming pool may eliminate your need for a gym membership.
- A business center can allow you to work from home without feeling stir-crazy in a small apartment.
- A community room, game room, cinema, or pool can give you the space you need when you invite guests over as well as save some of your entertainment costs.
- An apartment community designed with dedicated outdoor spaces, such as dog parks, playgrounds, or pocket parks, gives you and those you live with room to enjoy time outside without traveling to another location.
Choose a modern building with energy-efficient appliances
Older buildings that have not been recently updated tend to be less energy-efficient than newer buildings that have been properly insulated and equipped with the latest technology.
Adopt energy-saving habits
However efficient the building you choose, you can save even more by making energy savings part of your everyday routine. Keep drafts out, choose efficient light bulbs, and turn off—or even better, unplug—electronics when you’re not using them. Find more energy-saving tips in this blog post.