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Secret Advantages to Living in an Apartment- Save Your Money

06 Apr

The housing crisis has forced a lot of people out of their homes and into rentals. I have friends that couldn’t even stay in a house, and had to move into an apartment. As I’ve mentioned before, we decided to stay in our apartment for another nine months instead of moving into a duplex. I dislike living in an apartment (noisy neighbors, no yard, drug dealers living next door). I would much rather stay in a house, but apartments do offer some ways to save money (besides cheaper rent).

1)      Money Saving Contests– Help your personal finances, and pay attention to contests! When we decided we wanted to re-sign our lease we were invited to a lease signing party. They had a raffle type contest that offered a bunch of different prizes (gift cards, free pet rent, free rent). Once I heard that we would be guaranteed to win something, I knew we had to show up. We ended up winning the grand prize, which was one month of free rent! The thing that bothered me about this situation was that we didn’t know about the party until two hours before it started. We could have easily missed it. They sent out a letter about the party, but we threw it away without reading it (then we’d be paying rent this month L). They also have another contest where you can be entered into a raffle to win $100 off your rent if you pay before the 1st of the month. Just by paying attention to what the front office offers we saved $650.

2)      Free Food– I’ve never been the type to read anything the front office leaves on my door. After learning about the free food, I read everything they give me! Apparently it’s common for apartment complexes to offer free dinners on certain nights of the week. At our complex we get free tacos on Thursdays and waffles on Sundays mornings.  By offering 2 meals a week, every resident could save $40-$60 a month. When we went to taco night I noticed that there were only a handful of people there. This was great because they give away free food, cook the meal, clean up after it’s over, and there aren’t any lines (we did have to bring our own plates. Ha)! It’s a great way to save money and meet the neighbors.

3)       Use the Amenities– Almost all apartment complexes offer some sort of amenities. They aren’t always the nicest, but they are free. I paid for a 24 hour fitness membership for months while living in my apartment. I know that if I was doing it, others must be doing it too. My reasoning was the gym at my apartment complex sucked (but the pool is great). I decided to suck it up and go with the free gym. I miss my old gym, but my savings is thanking me.

 Living in an apartment isn’t always the most pleasant experience, but if you are living in one you might as well make the best of it. You can do that by paying attention and saving money. The apartments want all of their residents to take advantage of these offers. They want to build a relationship with you so you live there longer. That’s the big secret behind all this free stuff. So keep your eyes open, and nourish your personal finances.

 Does anyone else have advice for saving money in apartments, or just a really good story about apartment living?

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23 Comments

Posted by on April 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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23 responses to “Secret Advantages to Living in an Apartment- Save Your Money

  1. theamalgamated

    April 6, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Wow. Where do you live? This kind of stuff would never happen near me! I wish. 🙂

     
    • Chris Neighbors

      April 6, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      Ha ha, our complex isn’t even that nice. I had no idea they did stuff like that for the first year! Turns out they are having a pancake breakfast tomorrow morning… yum

       
  2. Ellie B

    April 6, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    good stuff, Chris! Meeting neighbors is so important, because they can become allies if there is a community problem. Good neighbors will look out for your property, give you rides to the airport, and defend you, if need be. They can become lifelong friends!!

     
  3. Canadianbudgetbinder

    April 7, 2012 at 5:42 AM

    We would never get free food here at an apartment building that’s great. I think it’s also a good way to have the tenants interact and get to know each other. When they bond maybe they hope for a happy environment and dishing out the money for the food is a good investment if the tenants look after each other in a respectful manner.

    Thanks for sharing this post Chris!
    Happy Easter

     
    • Chris Neighbors

      April 7, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Happy Easter to you too! I think it’s so strange some apartments never give away free things. Every apartment I’ve ever lived in gives away free stuff (Even if it’s just free coffee and muffins). My next post will have to be “How to get your cheap apartments to give away free stuff” Ha HA

       
      • Canadianbudgetbinder

        April 7, 2012 at 11:22 AM

        Ha, No doubt, The only thing we’d be getting free is a wake up call because someone triggered the alarm in the building to alert the fire brigade.
        Never heard of free stuff around here mate.. it is interesting though..could take that concept and run if I had a building lol.. I’d make Mr.CBB’s Fudgy Brownies.. all the little grannies would love it!

         
      • Chris Neighbors

        April 7, 2012 at 11:29 AM

        We get free mushrooms in our apartment… they were growing from the wall. That was a mess!

        So where are you from in Canada? My girlfriend has duel citizenship. Her mom is from Vancouver, and we try to go to Point Roberts (which is a tiny town on the west coast that is technically part of Washington) every summer.

         
      • Canadianbudgetbinder

        April 7, 2012 at 11:32 AM

        ewweee… lol.. I’m in Toronto, the fast life suits me since I’m from the London area back home in the UK. Love it here though, wouldn’t go back for nothing, except to visit. I love Canada so far but miss travelling for cheap.. gone are those days.

         
  4. donationcan

    April 7, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    We’re in a townhome community. We have all the amenities as apartments, lawn care, pool, 24 hr maintenance, and gym. But we have the privacy of our own home with an attached 2 car garage and our own entrance. We love it and have decided to rent another townhome when we move to PA this summer.

     
    • Chris Neighbors

      April 7, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      I like townhouses. The only problem is most of them don’t have a yard. When we move (which won’t be for 9 months) we want a yard for our puppy.

       
  5. Traveling Well For Less

    April 7, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Hi Chris,

    Sounds like apartments in your area are doing their best to retain their renters. Definitely love the idea of free food. 🙂 Now if only the bank would offer the same thing for mortgages… 🙂

     
  6. smartspending5

    April 8, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    I hope my “On Smart Spending” article helped you add to your list of money saving strategies. 🙂

     
  7. supplements canada

    April 17, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Really enjoyed this blog.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

     
  8. Mark P. Holtzman

    April 27, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Chris – great post. Here in the New York area, apartments don’t come with so many amenities, and you’re lucky to have a super who doesn’t eat all of your food.

    Most people think of their house as their lifetime investment. (It certainly is mine, at least so far.) This is a terrible way to build up your net worth and save for retirement, the equivalent of putting all of your eggs in one basket. Your lifetime savings would be completely wrapped up in the value of your house, and we know how volatile real estate can be.

    Many people would be much better off with a well-rounded, diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds. This is a more reliable way to put away your “nest egg.”

    There are an increasing number of home rentals these days. This is a great chance to keep your money out of the sometimes-hazardous real estate industry, while retaining the privacy of living in a separate house.

    Thanks, Chris,

     
    • Chris Neighbors

      April 27, 2012 at 7:16 PM

      Hey Mark,

      I’ve never been to New York, but I can imagine it’s way different then Reno, NV. I think property is so expensive there that choosing to live there is automatically choosing to put all your eggs in one basket. Was the real estate market hit bad there?

       
      • Mark P. Holtzman

        April 29, 2012 at 7:35 AM

        That’s our situation. We are in Northern New Jersey and the cost of housing is outrageously high. Surveys seem to always seem to list our area as one of the most overpriced, but fortunately our neighborhood has kept its value. I think it is because there is no room for new construction anywhere around here.

         
      • Chris Neighbors

        April 29, 2012 at 9:39 AM

        I’ve always wanted to checkout the east coast. I’ve only been to Washington D.C. (besides flying into the Jersey Airport). Housing wise I think you get more bang for your buck in mid-west/west coast; however, I’ve been told that if you love the east coast life style there’s no going back.

         
      • Mark P. Holtzman

        April 29, 2012 at 10:14 AM

        Chris,

        You know, it works. I live 20 minutes from my job. Our kids go to good schools. Our streets are safe and there are many things to do nearby. Without traffic, NYC is a 30-minute drive. With traffic, you can get there by train in 45 minutes.

        But everything is so expensive and taxes are so high, that you need to live frugally. They just raised the toll for Hudson River crossings to $12 cash!

        It’s odd because we stay home and clip coupons while the visitors from out-of-state can actually afford to see shows and eat in nice restaurants.

         
      • Chris Neighbors

        April 30, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        That’s why it’s nice to live somewhere relatively cheap. It gives you the opportunity to save a little extra for vacations. On the other hand you can’t help where you like to live. It sounds like you live in a great place.

         
  9. trikatykid

    May 2, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    I know you read my latest post. You’ve actually inspired me to consider renting an apartment WHEN I’m finally in the position to be back on my own again. Good job because after growing up in an apartment, I never wanted to live in one again. :). PS. The apartment I grew up in never had taco night or waffle Sunday. You’re lucky 😉

     
    • Chris Neighbors

      May 2, 2012 at 9:29 PM

      Well now you know that when you look for an apartment you should try and find one that will offer you free stuff! Everyone deserves a taco night…

       
      • trikatykid

        May 4, 2012 at 3:43 PM

        Likewise, everyone deserves waffles on Sunday!! 🙂

         
  10. jec

    May 2, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Hi Christ, TY for your visit. I just perused what you’ve written in your blog. I’ll come soon to read them

     

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