Education is expensive and it’s not only tuition you have to worry about. It’s bills, transportation, and groceries as well. And while some things, like rent, are non-negotiable, you may be able to cut the costs in other areas.
College students move frequently and often change their roommates. Each apartment or house you occupy is going to require different things to furnish and decorate it. If your old roommate graduated and took the washer and dryer with her, you might find yourself wondering if hand washing your clothes would really be that difficult. But let’s face it – there are some home utilities you just can’t live without, and when no one in the house wants to dish out the funds to take a trip to Sears, you might want to take a look at the newspaper instead. Search the classifieds for second-hand appliances and furniture. One of the advantages of living in a college town is that there are typically always other students who are selling what you need. Hold back on getting that cute new couch at IKEA and see if you have any family or friends that have an old one you can use. When it comes to old furniture, don’t be afraid of a little sandpaper or paint. Be creative and come up with a way to take that outdated chest of drawers from ugly to shabby chic.
Find yourself turning off more lights now that you are the one paying the bills? Living on your own means that you not only have to pay rent, but electricity, gas, and water bills too. Even though you are splitting the bills with two other roommates, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are any cheaper. If you can stand a little bit of heat, but your roommate likes to blast the air conditioner, agreeing on a thermostat temperature can be difficult. When everyone is paying the bills, it’s important to compromise and agree on usage that works with everyone’s budget. Save money by looking at the bills with your roommates each month and figure out where most of the money is being spent. Then make a plan to cut back your costs by turning off lights when no one is in the room or only using the washing machine when there is a full load.