Whether you’re a homeowner or an apartment renter, living expenses can put a real drain on your monthly budget.
Add in some seemingly innocent money mistakes, and you could find yourself stuck with even bigger bills.
1. Don’t buy new
Sure, purchasing a brand-new piece of furniture is exciting, but it can also be expensive. So save some cash and consider used furniture pieces.
“Buying pre-loved household items can save you a bundle, and this lets you purchase new items you’ll really need to buy new further down the line,” Schreck says.
2. Find a happy medium between freezing and roasting
Cooling and heating an apartment can be spendy. If your gas and electric bills are high, take some energy-saving measures, which will also end up saving you money. It’s a win-win.
For example, turn your thermostat up a few degrees in the summer and down a few degrees in the winter. It “can make a huge difference,” Schreck said.
Turn your air conditioning unit off at night, when outside temperatures drop. Open your windows and use fans to stay cool.
In the winter, grab a blanket and put on a sweater rather than turning up the heat.
I live in a town that sees 100-degree temperatures in the summer, and it’s not uncommon to see temperatures of 30 below zero in the winter. So keeping our energy bill within reason is a constant struggle.
I’ve experimented with changing our thermostat by a few degrees – up in the summer and down in the winter – and it has made a big difference in our bill.
3. Watch your water usage
Making eco-friendliness a priority isn’t just great for the environment, it’s also excellent for your monthly budget, Schreck notes.
Conserving water is as easy as only running your dishwasher or washing machine when they’re full, turning off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth and taking shorter showers.
Also, check your faucets, toilets and showerheads for leaks.
4. Check your lighting
This is a simple tip to follow, but it’s worth a reminder: When you leave a room in your house, turn off the light.
“Not only is a continually running bulb unnecessary and costly, but it also isn’t so great for the environment,” Schreck says.
Using LEDs or other energy-efficient light bulbs will also save you money over the long run.
5. Cut the cord
Cable and satellite TV packages can be expensive. Save yourself some cash by cutting the cord and paying for a more cost-friendly video streaming service, like Hulu or Netflix.
Check out “13 Hidden Costs of Renting an Apartment.”
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