How to Save Money Living Off-Campus

This guest post is by Jakob Barry of Networx.

One of the main reasons students choose to live off campus and not in the dorms is to get away from the roar of residential housing, the crowds, and the desire to make a home throughout the year rather than having to move out between semesters.

At the same time off campus housing can be expensive, which means ways need to be found to cut costs so students can live comfortably and enjoy the year working towards degrees without worrying too much about expenses.

That being the case a few tips that can help slash spending include the following:

college move-inHeat
When it comes to home heating, which will be a necessity during the coming months, efficiency is the key to savings. First, seal drafts around windows and doors because that’s where heat is lost the most and don’t leave windows and doors open longer than necessary when it’s cold outside.

Second, consider how heat is distributed and contained throughout the living space. In terms of distribution bleed radiators and keep vents clear of clutter so heat isn’t trapped and can fill a room. In terms of containment closing doors between rooms prevents heat from escaping into hallways and other areas of a home that are not being used often and there’s less of a chance of needing to turn up the thermostat.

Electricity

  • Heat is one thing, general electrical usage is another and there could be a lot of it when not careful. Some tips for saving on electricity are:
  • Use compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of incandescent bulbs. They cost a little more but save a lot.
  • Don’t keep the refrigerator door open; it causes the motor to work overtime trying to bring the temperature back to its original setting.
  • Unplug appliances not in use as many still use electricity despite sitting idle.
  • Unplug cell phone, laptop, and other chargers when they are not charging because they still feed on power when connected to a socket.

Water
Water conservation isn’t only important because it can help lower bills but the country is in one of the worst droughts experienced in years.

To keep tabs on the amount of water being used first check for leaks by turning off all facets and appliances that are water related. Wait two hours and check the meter to see if it moved. If so there is a leak that needs attention because dollars are flowing down the drain every minute.

Meanwhile, whenever water can be reused reuse it, whether for feeding plants or pets.

Food
Chances are even if you live off campus you have roommates. If that’s the case check and see what kind of food products everyone purchases as there may be certain items the house goes through quickly that would be cheaper if bought in bulk. Also, go shopping together so you can share the gas money on one trip instead of making two.

Most importantly, the best piece of money saving advice when it comes to buying food is never go shopping when hungry as you’ll probably purchase more than you planned simply because or your desire to eat.

Student Pass
Finally, never forget you’re a student and that being one comes with benefits. Subscribe by email to a blog with money saving advice. Always carry your student id with you wherever you go and don’t be afraid to flash it even when a sign for student mark downs isn’t being advertised.

There are many places that give student discounts but require students to speak up. Try it and you’ll be surprised at the results.

Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for Networx.com. He blogs about money saving ideas for pros across the U.S. like Columbus, OH, garage doors.

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