At some point, we’ve probably all had roommates—whether they’re platonic or romantic. You’ve probably also daydreamed how awesome it would be if you were able to live alone and have your own place. However, you wake up from this daydream when you check your bank account and the cost of renting an apartment all by yourself. With so many people living paycheck-to-paycheck, footing the rent all alone, and all the bills to go with it appears to be overwhelming. There are ways to save money and be able to achieve your goal of being financially fit enough to live by yourself.
Take Advantage of Move-In Specials
Sometimes, buildings offer free rent for the first month, especially new apartments or in low-rental times, like during the winter. Be on the lookout for these deals. Even if a free first month is not offered, you can always ask. Furthermore, never be afraid to try to negotiate with the landlord. Remember, the answer will always be no if you don’t ask.
Live at Home
Instead of spending a good chunk of your paycheck each and every month on rent, take some time to move back home to accumulate some wealth. Yes, it is not going to be fun or exciting to move back home with your parents or an extended family member, but how great is it going to be when you can live freely by yourself sometime soon. Whatever you opt to do, not paying rent for a few months can greatly help you save up for a new place, the deposit, and other move-in fees (like setting up the WIFI).
Get Things Second-Hand
You can save a lot of money if you buy used furniture from Craigslist or get free things from your network. Take to social media and your natural network to see if there is something that someone wants to get rid that you could use. Also, even when purchasing big ticket items, like a car, pre-owned items can be the way to go for your personal needs
Follow The 50-30-20 Plan
The 50-30-20 Plan is a spending guideline that suggests you spend:
- No more than 50 percent of net income for “musts” (rent, food, gasoline)
- 30 percent for “wants” (new clothes, vacations, nights out)
- 20 percent for savings and debt obligations (emergency fund, savings, 401k)
By abiding by this plan, you could be able to save more than your current budgeting guidelines. Thus, moving one step closer to achieving your goal.
Be Realistic About Your Budget & Luxuries
Can you really afford to live alone? Do you need a one-bedroom or will a large studio suffice? On a related note, do you need cable or can you live with Netflix (as little as $7.99 a month!) and a good Internet connection to catch up on all your favorite shows? Every time you can cut down your monthly expenses, it’s one step closer to living by yourself.
Earn More, Spend Less
Think up all the ways you can earn more money: do freelance work, make purses out of old ties (if you’re crafty), sell cookies at local bake sales, walk dogs, become an Uber or Amazon delivery driver. Every time you want to go out and spend money think of a way to earn some instead.