How to Save on Utilities
ForRent.com saving the day! They have shared these awesome tips for how to save money on utilities each month.
To see the original article please visit: https://www.forrent.com/blog/apt_life/7-ways-save-utilities/
To see a list of our available properties please visit www.gsorentahome.com
Wouldn’t it be great if every rental included all of the utilities in your monthly rent? Talk about stress-free living! We could take 30-minute showers, wash laundry any time we wanted, and keep the temperatures as hot and cold as we’d like. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Most of us need to keep a close eye on the thermostat setting and how many loads of laundry we’ve done. I’m always happy to find ways to save! Here are seven ways to save on your utilities.
Energy Efficient Bulbs
Most likely one of the easiest ways you can save — energy efficient light bulbs. Each energy efficient bulb used can help save money on your utility bills by using less energy. Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving CFLs, which provide high-quality light output, use 75% less energy, and last 6–10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, saving money on energy bills and replacement costs, according to the US Department of Energy.
When you’re not at home, be sure to turn your thermostat off or keep it warmer/cooler, depending on the season. It’s amazing how much you can save by adjusting your thermostat by one degree.
However, if at all possible, inquire with the property owner or leasing professional about having a programmable thermostat installed. Set the program around your schedule to save on your heating and cooling bills.
Try to avoid doing partial loads of laundry. Washing full loads will lessen the number of loads you’ll have to do. Wash your laundry in cold water whenever possible as well. Purchasing a collapsible drying rack to air-dry clothes is also another great way to save.
Install low-flow fixtures in your bathroom and kitchen. By replacing shower heads and faucets with low-flow fixtures, you maximize on your savings (efficiency). Get a low-flow shower head with a shut-off valve. If you’re unable to replace the faucets, there are attachments you can purchase that will work as efficiently.
According to the Nebraska Energy Office, a low-flow shower head can save up to 43% on your hot water bill when considering the amount of hot water being used for shower usage.
Buy and use timers to program a custom light schedule for lamps. Adjust the timers when necessary during daylight savings (if applicable).
Window Shades and Coverings
Hang window shades or coverings on windows that might receive direct sunlight throughout the day, particularly windows that face the south. Keep them closed during the day to keep your apartment cooler. In the winter, keep them open to allow the sun to warm up the apartment.
Unplug Appliances and Electronics
Did you know that even when they are not turned on, appliances and electronics still draw electricity when plugged in? Be sure to unplug appliances and electronics that aren’t used on a regular basis, such as a toaster, blender, stereos, etc. Consider buying a power strip to control multiple electronics and appliances at the same time as well.
Hopefully, these 7 practical ways to save on your home rental’s utilities will help! Do your research, visit with your local utility companies and be sure to talk to the property owner or leasing team about other ways to make your apartment more energy efficient. Here’s to apartment living and saving along the way, friends!
How Much Rent Can You Afford?
Per Rent-A-Home of the Triad, Inc. policy in order to qualify for a property you must make 3 times the monthly rent. But that doesn't always mean you need a property at the top of your budget. Take a look at this article from blogger Bethany Mitchell about how to budget your money!
To see the original article please visit: http://www.bethanymitchellhomes.com/blogposts/2015/3/14/how-much-rent-can-i-afford
To get started on finding your next rental please visit our website at: www.gsorentahome.com
The conservative rule is that your rent or mortgage should not be more than 25% of your income. Others claims your rent should be no more than 30%. Whether or not this figure makes you cringe, there are some additional costs you should take in to consideration before establishing a budget. Expenses are added on once the apartment complex gets you in the door, and all of them should be included in this 25-30% rent to income ratio.
Here are some added expenses to consider:
1. Cable & Internet
If cable is not included in your base rent, add on another $50-$60. If neither cable or wifi are included, add on $90-$150.
Yes, trash. With a dumpster behind the apartments, my friend never expected a trash service fee to come with his monthly bill. Sure enough, there was another $20 a month for someone to pick up trash placed outside doors every evening.
3. Water (and the administrative cost)
"Water is dirt cheap," I was told once. True. My friend's water bill case in at a whopping $4.37 last month. However, don't forget to calculate in another $15 administrative cost for, well, I don't know.
Add $10-$15 a month for renter's insurance required by most apartment complexes.
Some apartments have parking spaces but require you buy a pass. Others allow you to rent out a single car garage for $100-$200 a month.
Mortgage lenders even require house payments to be less than 28% of your gross income. Do the same for your rent and be prepared with a budget before signing the lease!