What to Do This Weekend
Weekend plans look a lot different nowadays, eh?Â Iâm sure you are as sick of reading stories that begin with,Â “In these unprecedented times” or “Our new reality.”Â So Iâm going to skip the intro and the explanation …You are being a hero by staying home and protecting the health of your family and that of your neighbors.Â Thank you!Â Let me reward that good behavior with a list of a few things to keep you entertained this weekend.
Itâs a ridiculous tongue in cheek nature show on Netflix.Â There are plenty of adult jokes disguised as nature facts.Â Itâs child safe and adult approved.Â The whole family enjoyed it!Â If you are looking for a program the whole family can enjoy, add Absurd Planet to your watch list.
Speaking of Netflix, did you know you can watch a movie with friends long distance?Â Check outÂ Netflix Party.Â It synchronizes everyoneâs video playback and adds a chat feature.Â If you and your significant other arenât quarantining together, this is certainly a fun date night option, too!
Date Night Dinner & Dessert
If you are homebound with your significant other, youâre probably ready to spice things up. Â Tasty did a great feature of creating a three-course meal from the pantry.Â I was impressedâ¦.especially when one of the courses was peanut butter cookies!Â Follow along and cook a great meal or just get inspired to create your own pantry date night!
We are sitting still so much more than usual.Â You need to give your joints and bones and muscles some love! Stretch them out!Â There are plenty of free stretching videos on YouTube and the like, but my number one recommendation is the Peloton App.Â They are offering a 90-day free trial right now, after that itâs $13/month.Â The full body stretches are 5-15 minutes long giving you plenty of options.Â Additionally, they have meditation, boot camp, running, and walking programs.Â (and no, Iâm not an affiliate…I just think itâs a great app)
Try A New Summer Recipe
Yeah, cooking isnât a groundbreaking suggestion.Â Approach it a little differently today.Â Think of it as a meditation.Â Take your time cleaning and cutting the fresh veggies or fruit.Â Maybe watch a Youtube video first and learn a new technique.Â Then when you are ready, take on one of these yummy summer recipes.
Last week I took a dance lesson to learn the moves to the Tik Tok âSavageâ dance. The instructor was amazing…I was a *mess*!Â But I havenât laughed that hard in a while…and it used up a lot of energy!Â You can find plenty of lessons on YouTube or you can try a virtual class with Diva Dance DC.Â You can literally dance like nobody is watching! And who knows…maybe you will find some hidden talent!
Phone a Friend
â¦.not for your sake, but for theirs.Â People are getting cabin fever.Â They need each other.Â Scroll through your phone and find the friend that you know lives alone or the friend you know wishes they were living alone, and give them shout.Â It doesnât have to be a Zoom happy hour and it doesnât have to be an hour long.Â You can simply share a happy memory you have with them.Â Small interactions and gestures go a long way right now.Â Â
Thatâs it for this week.Â As I find specific events or awesomeness, I will share a new post weekly!Â If you have ideas or events to include next week feel free to send them my email@example.com or @Apartmentalist on Instagram.
Read What To Do This Weekend on Apartminty.
Home is where the heart and all your stuff is, so you probably want it to be pretty nice. Just not break-the-bank nice. There are a few easy ways to save before signing on the dotted lease line, fortunately. Do your wallet a big favor and check out these tips for finding the biggest and baddest apartments with move-in specials.
How to find apartments with move-in specials with Apartment Guide
Apartment Guide is making it easier than ever to know which properties offer the biggest bang for your buck by tagging them with a hard to miss, but easy to use hot deals badge.
Follow these easy steps and you’ll be on your way to saving money on your next apartment lease.
1. Search for apartments in your city or neighborhood
Visit Apartment Guide and search as you normally would using filters to narrow in on your desired city, neighborhood, price and features. You can easily select a Hot Deals filter option, which will only show apartments in your search that have an active deal for you.
In addition, as you’re scrolling through your full list of properties, you’ll notice a friendly red badge that says âHot Deals” or âDeals” with your special offer.
2. Claim your move-in special
When you click on a property, you’ll know if it has an active deal when you see the red word “Deals” in an icon under the photos. Click on that badge or scroll down the page to see what special is currently being offered. It could be anything from a months’ free rent to a gift card when you sign a lease.
Then click on “Check Availability” to fill out your name and contact information and it will be sent to the property along with your move-in special. Someone from the community will contact you shortly.
While you’re on the page, you can also sign up for virtual tours, if they are available.
Other tips for finding apartments with move-in specials
There’s no reason to stop there. Double (or triple) up on the savings by heeding a few of these tried-and-true tips for scoring the best apartment deals.
Timing is everything
No one wants to move during the busy holiday season, much less when it’s oh-so-chilly outside. So take advantage of everyone else’s hesitation and cash in on apartment community promotions that run rampant from October to December. Happy New Year, indeed.
If a deal seems too good to be true it probably isn’t going to be there long. Starting a few months before the big move, monitor rental prices in your desired area. This will give you a better idea of what’s fair to pay and what a true apartment deal looks like. That way, when a truly great promotion or rent reduction pops up you’ll be able to swoop in and grab it right away.
Although it seems pretty backward, it can sometimes be cheaper to score a brand-new unit. This is because newbie communities have a lot of space to fill, so they run excellent specials to get people in the door. Just make sure your rent and amenity fees won’t get jacked up without your consent in a year or two.
Make the ask
Many people don’t realize that rental rates aren’t set in stone. If a community is struggling to fill units they’ll be more likely to throw you a bone or two, in the form of reduced rent or waived fees. Don’t be afraid to check out these potential caveats. The worst thing they can say is no, right?
Brag a bit
Now’s not the time to be modest. Landlords would far prefer to have reliable renters in place, so if you have an impeccable credit history and references go ahead and drop this info like it’s hot. Be sure to include your score, if you know it. The apartment community is more likely to offer discounted rent to a sure thing, rather than someone who’s racking up debt all over.
Explore payment options
Some apartment communities have flexibility as to whether you pay month-to-month or upfront for a certain period of time, such as three, six or even 12 months. If you have the savings this could land you a discounted rent rate since they’ll already have your money in the bank. This apartment deal will cost you more upfront but will save plenty in the long-term.
Don’t be a diva
Sure, you might want a view of the bay or whatever, but if it works better with your budget to rent a middle floor unit it’s probably smart to make the concession. The same goes for ultra-desirable first-floor units. It’s simply cheaper to snap up a middle unit.
You can also save major bucks by opting for a community with onsite, rather than in-unit laundry. This minor inconvenience can net big savings in the end.
The same concept goes for fixer-upper units. Although it’s lovely to move into a turnkey place with a fresh coat of paint, pristine hardwoods and gleaming stainless steel, it’s also going to be reflected in the rent price. So think about what you really need, versus what you really want, all with your budget in mind. Many communities will approve minor repairs and upgrades, so check into that option and do the work yourself for a fraction of what they would have up-charged you!
Cast a wider net
Sure, you want to be in the trendy part of town, but it’s not worth being near all the hot spots if you have no money left over after rent, utilities and amenity fees to enjoy them. Instead, move a little further out to find the unit you want at a price that won’t break you. Then use ride-shares or public transportation to get you where you need to go if you don’t have your own wheels.
Find your apartment with move-in specials today
Searching for an apartment can be overwhelming in more ways than one. A little extra diligence on the front end, however, is likely to net big savings in the end.
So whether it’s a coupon, selecting a basement abode or a combination of the two, take a beat to figure out what you really want, when you want it and what you’re willing to give up to reap the best cash savings possible.
The post How to Find Apartments with Move-In Specials appeared first on Apartment Living Tips – Apartment Tips from ApartmentGuide.com.
How much does college cost? This is a question many wonder. There’s rarely a week that goes by where I don’t receive an email from a student or parents of a student who are looking for ways to cut college costs. That’s why today I want to talk about college costs and how you can create a college budget that works so that you can save money in college.
College is very expensive – there is no doubt about that.
However, I want you to know that it IS possible to get a valuable college degree on a budget!
The average public university is over $20,000 per year and the average private university totals over $45,000 once you account for tuition, room and board, fees, textbooks, living expenses and more.
Even with how expensive college can possibly be, there are many ways to cut college expenses and create a college budget so that you can control rising college costs.
Continue reading below to read about the many different ways I cut college costs. While I was not perfect and still racked up student loan debt, I did earn three college degrees on a reasonable budget.
- How I Graduated From College In 2.5 Years With 2 Degrees AND Saved $37,500
- How I Paid Off $38,000 In Student Loan Debt In 7 Months
- The Benefits of Paying Off Student Loan Debt Early
- Should I Ruin My Retirement By Helping My Child Through College?
- How To Save Money – My Best Money Saving Tips
1. Take classes at a community college to cut college costs.
Whether you are in college already or you haven’t started yet, taking classes at a community college can be a great way to save money.
Earning credits at a community college usually costs just a small fraction of what it would cost at a 4-year college, so you may find yourself being able to save thousands of dollars each semester.
There is a myth out there that your degree is worth less if you go to a community college. That is NOT TRUE at all. When you finally earn your 4-year degree, your degree will only say where you graduated from and it won’t even mention the community college credits at all. So this myth makes no sense because your degree looks the exact same as everyone else’s’ who you went to college with. You might as well save money because it won’t make much of a difference.
I only took classes at a community college during one summer semester where I earned 12 credits, and I still regret not taking more. I probably could have saved around $20,000 by taking more classes at my local community college.
Also, you are most likely just taking general credits at the community college, so it’s not like you would be missing much by taking classes there instead of a college that has a better reputation for the major you are seeking.
If you do decide to go to a community college, always make sure that the 4-year college you plan on attending afterwards will transfer all of the credits. It’s an easy step to take so do not forget! You should do this before you sign up and pay for any classes as well as to make sure that ALL of the classes will transfer succesfully.
2. Take advantage of high school classes to lower your college budget.
Many high schools allow you to take college classes to earn both college and high school credits at the same time.
This is something I highly recommend you look into if you are still in high school, as it saves time and is one of the best ways to save money on college costs.
When I was in my senior year in high school, nearly all of my classes were dual enrollment courses where I was earning college and high school credit at the same time. I took AP classes and classes that earned me direct college credit from nearby private universities. I left high school with around 14-18 credit hours (I can’t remember the exact amount). This way I knocked out a whole semester of college. I could’ve taken more, but I decided to take early release from high school and worked 30-40 hours a week as well.
3. Take all the credits you can to stay within your college budget.
At many universities, you pay a flat fee. So whether you take 12 credit hours or 18 credit hours, you are paying nearly the exact same price.
For this reason, I always recommend that a student take as many classes as they can if they are going to a college that charges a flat fee tuition.
If you think you can still earn good grades and do whatever else you do on the side, definitely get full use of the college tuition you are paying for!
4. Apply for scholarships to lower your college costs.
Before you start your semester, you should always look into scholarships, grants, FAFSA, and more. You usually have to turn in any paperwork around spring time for the following semester, so I highly recommend doing this right now if you are going to college in the fall.
Another myth will be busted right now. Many believe that all scholarships are impossible to have or it means you have to win a contest. That is just a myth.
I received around $16,000 a year in scholarships to the private university I attended. That helped pay for a majority of my college tuition. The scholarships were easy for me to get as they were all just because I earned good grades in high school and scored well on tests. I received scholarships to all of the other colleges I applied for as well just for good grades, so I know they can be found as long as you do well in high school!
There are other ways to find scholarships as well. You can receive scholarships from private organizations, companies in your town, and more. Do a simple Google search and I am sure you will find many free websites that list out possible scholarships for you to apply to.
Tip: Many forget that you usually have to turn in a separate financial aid form directly to your college. Don’t forget to do this by the deadline each year!
5. Search for cheaper textbooks to lower your college budget.
Students usually spend anywhere from around $300 to $1,000 on textbooks each semester, depending on the amount of classes they are taking and their major.
For me, many of my classes required more than one book and each book was usually around $200 brand new. This means if I were to buy all of my college textbooks brand new, I probably would have had to spend over $1,000 each semester.
I saved a decent amount of money on college textbooks by renting them and finding them used. Renting them was nice because I just had to pay one fee and didn’t ever have to worry about what to do with the textbook after the class was done, as I only had to return them. There was no worrying about the book being worthless if a new edition came out, which was nice! Buying books used was nice occasionally as well just because sometimes I could make my money back.
I recommend Campus Book Rentals if you are looking for textbook rentals. Their rentals are affordable and they make getting the textbooks you need easy.
Read: How To Save Money On Textbooks + Campus Book Rentals Review
6. Skip the high price of living on campus to cut your college budget.
To save more money, I decided to live on my own. I didn’t have the option of living at home after high school and living on campus would have cost me a ton of money.
Instead, I found a very cheap rental house (the house was VERY small and probably could have been considered a tiny home) and was able to somewhat easily commute to work and college from it. I probably saved around $500 a month by living on my own instead of on campus, and I learned a lot by living on my own at a young age as well.
If you can live at home though and want to save money, I highly recommend it if it’s an option for you. You can save thousands of dollars a semester by doing this!
I understand that some are against this because it may impact your “college experience,” but I think most people would be fine not living on campus, especially if it’s not in the budget. You could probably save around $40,000 over the years on your degree by living at home.
How did you cut college costs and control your college budget? How much student loan debt did you have when you graduated?
The post 6 Ways I Saved Money On College Costs appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.
Things To Do While Stuck In Your Apartment During the Coronavirus Pandemic
By now, almost everyone in the country is under some kind of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders from government agencies due to the coronavirus pandemic. Authorities stress that this is the main way to try to flatten the curve of new infections.
OK, so what can you do while cooped up in your apartment.Â The options arenât quite unlimited, but they are numerous. Take advantage of the space you have and undertake any activity that will be good for your mental or physical well-being. Hereâs a look at some of the most popular:
1. Do a jigsaw puzzle
This has become quite popular around the country, with people finishing a jigsaw puzzle and then posting a picture of it on social media. The more pieces, the better, say, 1,000 or more. How long youâll be able to do this to remain occupied depends on how many puzzles you have on hand, or how many times youâre willing to do the same puzzle over again.
If you donât have jigsaw puzzles, maybe you have a Rubikâs Cube or a book of crossword puzzles. You can also find crossword puzzles online and in your daily newspaper, if you still subscribe.
If you have a set of weights in your apartment, use them. Or maybe youâre a packrat and still have exercise routines on VHS tapes or DVDs. If not, there are plenty of routines you can find for free online.Â
If you can leave your apartment, go for a walk or a jog, as long as you observe the social distancing rules that are now the new normal. If you donât want to go outside, walk up and down a stairwell or walk up and down your hallway. Again, give others their personal space.
Short of that, you can go old-school and do crunches, sit-ups and push-ups on your floor. You can also do isometric exercises using a rolled-up bath towel. For a refresher on the techniques, check out these workouts you can do in your apartment and then get to work.Â
Whatever you chose, mix it up and keep it fresh as you stay in shape.Â
OK, the first two suggestions will put your mind and body to work. At some point youâll feel like being a couch potato, so why not catch up on a series youâve been meaning to watch on Netflix, Disney Plus or one of the many streaming services available? Youâve never had a better excuse than now.Â
âTiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madnessâ has become all the rage on Netflix. It was released in mid-March and has given people something to do in the age of coronavirus. It is a true-crime documentary television series about the life of former zoo operator Joseph Maldonado-Passage.
If thatâs not your thing, there are favorites such as âNarcos: Mexicoâ and âStranger Thingsâ on Netflix. If youâve already seen them, whatâs the harm in starting over? On Disney Plus you can watch âThe Mandalorian,â âStar Wars: The Clone Warsâ and âThe Simpsons.â
4. Spring cleaning
Itâs spring, and you have a lot of unexpected time on your hands. Nowâs a great time to get in some spring cleaning of your apartment. Cut through the clutter and organize your closet and dresser. Most importantly, regularly clean and disinfect important areas such as kitchen surfaces and appliances that are used often. You should also keep your bathroom clean.Â
5. Other stuff
There are plenty of other things you can be doing, such as catching up on your reading, playing a musical instrument, writing emails to friends and family and getting plenty of rest.
Read Things To Do While You’re Stuck In Your Apartment on Apartminty.