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10 ways to save money when shopping for apartment needs

Elizabeth March 7, 2013 Financial Tips, Renter Resources No Comments
10 ways to save money when shopping for apartment needs

Moving into your own apartment is exciting, but you are also probably on a budget. The good news is that with a little work and creativity, you can save money when getting your new apartment together. It is important to save some cash because then you can put this back for future unexpected expenses that always seem to crop up whenever you get a new place.

Make Your Own Art

Every apartment needs something on the walls, but wall art can get really expensive. Why not put your creative juices to the test. This could also help you in clearing out things like old magazines (use them for collages), old craft supplies and other items that are just taking up space.

Get a Washer and Dryer

Yes, the initial expense can be a struggle, but over the course of a year you will not only make your money back, but you will save thousands on laundry over the years. You can find those units where the washer and drier are one unit with the one on top of the other. These take up very little space and do not use a ton of energy, making them cost effective.

New Furniture is Not Necessary

Check out thrift stores, yard sales, online free cycle sites and ask friends if they have things they are trying to get rid of. It is not unheard of to be able to furnish an entire apartment for under $1,000 because there are so many free and highly discounted items out there. Just make sure it is comfortable for you and, of course, clean.

Say No to Name Brands

Okay, there are a few name brand products that may be better for you, such as skincare products if you have sensitive skin and finding a product that actually works for you, for example. However, most items work just as well in their generic brands and you will save a bundle. Now, coupons often do not exist for generic items, so continue to look at coupons and use them when they make sense to do so.

Build Over Buy

Things like shelves can be built pretty easily with a drill and some screws. When you buy pre-made shelves these are not necessarily expensive, but buying some wood and screws will always be cheaper. Plus, when you build it you can rest assured that you are getting exactly what you need. Then, you can keep the bare wood, stain it or paint it, depending on your preference.

Not Everything has to Match

Using mix matched plates, different pillows and furniture that is not uniform can give your apartment a cool look and will save you money. When you need items, look for what is on sale, free or available second hand. There is no rule that your eight-piece dinner set has to be exactly the same.

Create a Budget 

You know how much money you make and what your bills are so create a move-in budget. Do not be afraid if this budget is quite small because with all of the tips in this article, you can surely see that a few bucks can really go a long way. Sit down and write a detailed list of what you absolutely need and then look at how much you can spend and figure out how much you can spend on each thing.

Think About Last-Minute Expenses

You may need to do something like make a copy of your key or get a better lock installed and these are things that few people think of when creating their budget. A general rule of thumb is to put back at least $200 for these types of expenses. If you do not need it then stick it in your savings account and be happy that you have this put back for later.

Get a Roommate

Roommates are not always practical, but if you can stand having a roommate, consider one. He or she will be able to bring things to get the apartment together and since you will be saving on the rent, you will have more extra cash to put into getting everything that you need for your new pad.

Keep it Small 

Huge apartments are wonderful, but do you really need all of that space? The most space you have, the more things you will need to fill it. So, go for an apartment that is just the size you need to fit in what you have and need to live your life. Most single people do perfectly fine with a moderately sized one bedroom apartment. You can always upgrade in the future if you grow out of it.

About the writer: Mark Russell writes about apartment living and apartment décor.  Mark is a writer for Apartment Guys.

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