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?