Living on rent can take a toll on your budget since there’s a lot of money going out than coming in. There’s also an added pressure of water, gas, and electricity skyrocketing bills. An average American spends around 25% of his income on rent. In such a scenario, the lower your income is, the higher you have to pay for your rent and other utilities.
It’s especially pressuring during summer and winter seasons when the use of cooling or heating systems is at its peak. It’s not like you can implement some major energy-conserving changes in your rental apartment. However, there are a few adjustments you can make to live sustainably and acquire long-term savings.
Consider this scenario: if you spend most of your days at the office and only get home at night, you probably only use the internet for a few hours only before you go to sleep and then go to work again in the morning. It doesn’t make sense to have an internet connection with a lot of data remaining. That’s why you should sign up for a basic internet plan that is much more affordable. For instance, Xfinity internet plans include a basic one with limited data, but enough to cover all your online browsing needs.
Other practical money-saving tips you can try are:
Switch to Smart Lighting
Smart lighting is cheaper on the pocket and can be found in any convenience store. It is easy to install as well. You just need to replace the traditional incandescent bulbs in your lamps and overhead lights, and you’ll experience a huge impact on your monthly bills.
If you want to save on your electricity bill, smart lighting is where you can start. Even if you don’t necessarily want to go for smart lighting, you can still install LED which is far more efficient than traditional incandescent lights. Because LED lights use up to 75% less energy than the latter bulbs.
Unplug All Unused Devices
Are you aware that your devices and appliances plugged into the electrical socket are still consuming electricity, even when you are not using them? The energy that is being used by these devices or appliances when not in active use can be referred to as standby power. This continual use can amplify your monthly electric bill.
For instance, appliances like toasters and microwaves, or phone chargers are silently using up energy all the time, resulting in an increase in electricity bills. Hence, unplugging all these devices can help you save up on your bills.
Are You Doing Your Laundry or Dishes the Right Way?
You can try using cold water to wash your clothes in the washer since using cold water. Since 90% of the energy of the washer goes into heating the water, you can avoid that by using cold water to wash your clothes. Unless the clothing label specifies otherwise.
Moreover, contrary to what it may seem like, running a dishwater doesn’t take a lot of water and energy when compared with washing the dishes yourself. Washing dishes by hand takes up to 27 gallons of water whereas a dishwasher takes up only 3 gallons!
Use Thermostat Wisely
One thing you can do is invest in a smart thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature according to your needs. Many apartments now come with smart thermostats installed. But if you are living in an apartment that doesn’t have a thermostat, you’ll have to install a new one after discussing it with your landlord. The only catch is that it’ll be difficult to remove it when you move out.
However, a regular thermostat is also effective in saving energy. What you need to do is that during the warmer weather, when no one is home, set the temperature warmer than usual and then turn it cool as is comfortable for you. In winters, keep the thermostat down when no one is home, and then high when you are at your apartment.
Finally, you can also try talking to your landlord to help you make some changes in managing your budget. Landlords generally want good tenants and for them, it costs money to move one renter out and bring a new one. This gives you the upper hand to negotiate the rent price.
You don’t have to follow all the tips mentioned in this article. Analyze your lifestyle situation and figure out what makes sense for you. If your budget allows, you can switch internet provider to a cheaper one, or buy LED to replace the traditional bulbs. With time, it’ll get easier for you to save up rent money or even make some extras every month.