1. Buy Multitaskers.
Most apartments are a bit on the small side, so make the most of your space by choosing multitaskers over unitaskers.
For instance, choose a sofa with a hidden bed, or buy a coffee table that doubles as storage (a trunk, a lidded ottoman, a wooden table with drawers). Or in the kitchen, skip single-use appliances (rice cookers, deep fryers, juicers) and opt for multitaskers.
For example, buy a blender (which can make juice, smoothies, soups, salad dressings, and more), or a high-quality pot (which can cook rice AND make deep-fried food).
2. Buy Less Stuff.
While smart storage is one solution to the perennial lack-of-storage problem experienced by apartment dwellers, another smart and money-saving option is to just buy less stuff.
Most people have too much stuff to begin with, and that includes kids (A British study found the average 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12 daily!) So, think hard before you make a purchase and consider whether it’s actually necessary.
3. Rent/Borrow Items Instead of Buying.
This is smart financial advice for anyone, but is particularly relevant if you are short on space as well as money! Though buying some items makes sense (Don’t rent the sofa you sit on every day!), when it comes to infrequently-used items, renting or borrowing can be a big money-saver.
For instance, rent or borrow a carpet cleaner instead of buying one. Rent or stream movies instead of buying and storing them. If you’re a sporadic traveler, borrow a suitcase from a friend. Use the library instead of buying books.
4. Go Digital.
If you’re renting, you may not stay in your current home forever. So why not opt for digital versions whenever possible? You’ll save space now and also save time and money when it’s time to move.
Buy eBooks and Mp3s. Stream movies and music. Make digital photo albums instead of paper versions.
5. Watch Your Energy Use.
If you’re responsible for your own utility bills, there are some good habits you can establish, even if you can’t upgrade your insulation or install new windows like a homeowner could.
Use energy efficient light bulbs, draw shades in the summer and open them on sunny days in the winter, make use of a programmable thermostat if you have one, install a better shower head (you can take it with you when you move!), and incorporate fans to help reduce your A/C usage in the summer.
6. Eat In (At Least Some of the Time).
Since you’re not in a college dorm anymore, you probably have a kitchen. And if you use it, you can save some serious dough.
You don’t have to be a great chef to put together homemade meals, and almost anything you cook at home will save you money over eating out. Buy or borrow some simple recipe books (America’s Test Kitchen has some great easy cook books and they’re often available at the library!), follow some food blogs, and get grocery shopping and cooking.
You can easily save 50-75% of the cost of takeout, and since you need to eat every day, the savings will add up fast.
7. Buy Renter’s Insurance.
Don’t be pennywise and pound foolish. Renter’s insurance is very affordable and if there’s a fire or a flood in your apartment, you’ll be glad you chose to insure your belongings.
Give some (or all) of these legit tips a try and your bank account will thank you!
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