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Off-Campus Living

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve decided to ditch dorm life or are considering it for the near future. If this is you, here are some tips to help keep costs down while venturing into the exciting world of off-campus living!

Get Some Roommates
A lot of folks really like the idea of living alone while they plow forward to their degree, but that can often be cost-prohibitive for most students and their families who may be assisting with these expenses. Some say having roommates is a huge part of the “college experience” and you don’t want to miss out on a lifetime of memories and stories to tell! One of the major benefits of moving off campus is that you get to choose your roommate. Having a roommate(s) to share rent and utilities with can help keep some money in your pocket.

Transportation
When you move off campus, you often lose the convenience of walking to class. The city of Philadelphia has an extensive public transit system so familiarize yourself with the routes that are relevant to the placement of your apartment as well as your school’s campus and if it makes sense for regular usage, consider getting weekly or monthly passes to save considerably on fares. Also, an excellent option is to obtain a bicycle, you can buy one for a reasonable price and you’ll never have to fill it with gas or pay a fare to get on it! Riding a bike to explore your neighborhood is also a great way to get to know what’s available to you in your area as far as food, entertainment, parks, school resources and more!

Utilities
This is something to consider heavily especially if you’re transitioning from a dormitory situation where these costs may have been included before. Be aware of the things that use energy in your home and try to reduce the usage of said things whenever possible. Make sure you turn off lights and appliances when not in use, make sure windows and doors are closed when using heat or air conditioning, only do full loads of laundry to reduce the number of times you use the washer/dryer. Same thing if there is a dishwasher in your apartment, wait until you can fill it before running for just a few items, or maybe just consider washing them by hand anyway as you’ll certainly use less hot water. Remember that even if you’re not paying for water in your apartment, you’re paying to heat that water!

Cable
It’s no secret that cable can cost an arm and a leg on a monthly basis so it might be smart to go without it. Surely you’ll need an internet connection in your new apartment since you’re a college student, so use this to your advantage for entertainment as well. Using streaming services (even if you pay a for a few of them) is considerably cheaper than using traditional cable service, and let’s be real…nobody needs 200 channels to flip through! Also, maybe your parents have cable anyway and you can use their login information to watch your favorite shows on network websites. An HDMI cable is fairly inexpensive and will hook your computer to your television for ultimate comfort while using your favorite streaming service.

Food
In this age of fast moving information, we all find ourselves busy and leaning on convenience because well…it’s convenient. But convenience always comes with a price! Instead of going for those quick bites at the store or restaurant, think ahead! Do a weekly grocery trip with plans for meals, pack a lunch for when you’re going to on campus all day, make a large meal at the beginning of the week that you can eat for multiple days. Not only will these kinds of things save you money, it’ll also increase your appreciation for that awesome meal you get at your favorite restaurant when you aren’t eating out several times a week.

Student Discounts
There are so many places especially near campus that offer student discounts, it never hurts to ask, you might be surprised at what you can save just by showing your student ID. Here is a link with some places you may not have known offer discounts to students in Philly.

Hopefully, this list has been helpful in your quest to be economical about your venture into the world of off-campus living!

Jake Smith © LYL Realty Group 2016

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