When we move into off-campus housing, we expect a lot of changes to take place. We are officially done with dorm life, can rely on roommates for the good and for the bad, and have the luxury of decorating our very own house/apartment.
Living off campus can get to be expensive if you are careless, so you should make it cheaper by sticking to certain rules. This way, you can enjoy all of the benefits while also saving money. It is basically a win-win.
1. Rent furniture.
When you move off-campus, that means that you at one point lived in a dorm. So you were used to its small living quarters, little to no furniture provided given the lack of space, and a forced roommate. Oh the joys and fond memories that exist.
In your own apartment you can save money on furniture by thrifting, splitting it, or renting it. Thrifting is great because you are purchasing mainly used, usually decent looking pieces. You can then split it up financially between all of your roommates. If you call the coffee table, then they get the love seat. It is only fair. It also is not a huge loss on your part if you decide you do not want certain items when you end up moving out.
However, when you rent furniture, you can simply pay a monthly fee, or purchase a package for the amount of time that you will need it. Just make sure that you try not to destroy or stain the items because that charge is not a good time. Most packages come with the necessities, like the bedroom space, living room and dining room. Plus, with renting you do not have to worry about moving it out at the end of your lease and finding a means to transport it to your new house.
2. Find roommates.
Living with roommates is not always perfect, as we all know, but it can definitely be helpful. Especially when it comes to saving money, which is always our motive. Living alone in a studio is pretty expensive, so throw in that it is in a college town and you are practically asking for high prices.
By having roommates, you can split a lot of the living costs. Obviously this entails rent and electric, but also groceries, furniture, and the miscellaneous items. Another pro is that if a few of you have cars, then you can share rides to campus, the grocery store, or anywhere really. It saves you both gas money and mileage on your car.
When living with roomies, it can be less expensive than living on-campus because you are also not paying for the benefits of your university’s amenities. This means the gym, food services, and obviously the dorm. Good news is that your tuition is still somewhat going toward these things so you can still use them without paying for all of it. In other words, you are saving money by not living on the school’s premises and using their address.
3. Cook at home.
Living on-campus usually translates into not having a kitchen of your own. You most likely had a floor kitchen if one at all, and then used the campus dining halls as your main source for food. When you leave your parents’ cooking, you tend to rely on someone else to feed you. We have all been there, guys.
However, now that you have your own kitchen, you can literally cook every meal at home. Okay, maybe not every single meal, but definitely more of them. Plus, it is nice to actually be able to cook again and not have to eat pizza every single day because that is all cafeterias know how to make. Sorry college food courts everywhere.
This saves everyone money because you can split your food with the roommates, plan and prep ahead of time (in theory of course), and not only eat out 24/7. You can also store your leftovers somewhere when you do happen to go out to eat, which is completely necessary. And cooking at home can create roomie bonding experiences, as well as helping you actually know how to survive on your own cooking. It can also cause a pretty big mess so make certain that you clean up after yourself. No one likes a dirty kitchen.
Moving off-campus is exciting for various reasons, but an imperative factor is because of the money that you individually save. You should rent your furniture, have roomies for cheaper rent (and all around bills), and — because you can and should — cook at home.
The goal is to save money and to better your finances, so with these hints, you should be well on your way to a large savings account.