9 Condo Living Tips on a Tight Budget
Condo living at best is like living in a five-star hotel, where everything is at your reach. The internet could offer a whole lot of frugal solutions to set up your condo unit, too. In reality, owning a condominium in the Philippines is not a picnic, even renting in a condominium does not get you a step closer to a picnic as well.
When you first think of purchasing a condo the word brings up visions of high-rise buildings in Manila, Taguig, Ortigas, Alabang and other business districts. Apparently, if you opt to rent a condo, the rent is the biggest item on every owners budget. The average renter spends about 35 percent of their gross income on rent and rent-related monthly expenses. Other expenses are stressful to the budget as well. But with the right tips and tricks and a couple of reading time, living in your condo can be the best choice you ever made.
So hold on tight to that wad of hard-earned money because you are in for a more affordable renting experience in your lifetime. Here are 9 tips to save money while renting a condo:
1. Stay Glued to your Budget
Yes, you’ve probably heard this a million times and yes it’s always at the top of every saving-tips list you’ve ever seen. Where the budget stands draws the power of saving. A budget list must have a run-down of all the monthly expenses that you had and will be having in the future. It should clearly state a savings part and a free-spending part. The savings part should be at least 10% of your total income while the free spending part should be about 5% of your income.
Having a budget up your sleeve keeps you disciplined but make sure to stick to it! If you are the type who keeps on breaking his budget list, then stop. Start again. Practice makes perfect and so does budgeting.
2. Avoid Unnecessary Appliances
See that lamp on the bedside table? Does it have any use to you? Or do you just use it for the amazing yellow light effect it gives your face in pictures? Well darling, it has to go. Quite frankly, for designers and wanna be fashionistas, they see condo living like high-end living, needing expensive furnitures and numerous appliances. This is applicable to condominium owners however, if your are simply availing of a condo for rent, then avoid unnecessary appliances. With a couple of appliances, you are lowering the electric bills. Keep your condo appliances countable and accountable. Besides, if you only intend to stay within the agreed lease term and no plans of extending, having few appliances makes transferring houses easier!
3. Utilize Your Windows
Let the natural light and cool wind in through your windows. If you are feeling cold, let some light shine in without having to use a heater. You may also turn off your lights and harness solar energy.
4. Save on Energy-Saving Devices
While having a few appliances could already save you a large amount of electrical expenses, it’s still pricey considering the technology within the appliances. The good news is, you already have the option to upgrade your appliances into energy-efficient ones. It may be costly at first, but the amount of money you save from the large energy consumption of your old appliances will be worth it.
5. Pull the Plug and Make It a Habit
If your TV is not in use, pull the plug. If your fan is not in use, pull the plug. If you’ve finished charging your phone, pull the plug. Apparently, your appliances are still using up energy called phantom power or idle current. Accordingly, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) explains that the average home contains 40 products constantly drawing power which may account to as much as 10 percent of household energy use. Imagine how much money you could save with just one step? So, pull that plug!
6. Harness the Condominium Facilities
Part of the Rent usually covers the condominium maintenance fees for the swimming pool, gym, among other amenities offered to every condominium owner. Condominiums in the Philippines compared to other real estate in the Philippines offers these amenities to provide comfort and a different lifestyle to every unit owner. Since you are paying for this, make sure you use their amenities to the full! Instead of staying in your unit, watching the TV, and increasing your electric bill, why don’t you go to the swimming pool or workout? This way, you are enjoying the amenities you are paying for and lessening your bill at the same time.
7. Consider Sharing with a Roommate
The best way to save your money without having to give up your condo dream is to get a roommate or two. With the numerous monthly expenses and difficult economy adding up, you’ll definitely get caught up with a financial difficulty at some point. If you have a roommate, you will always have someone to share the bills. Talk to your closest friends or officemates, having someone close as roommates makes the experience better. You may also take advantage of online websites such as Craigslist.
8. Perform Regular Check-ups
Why fix when it ain’t broke? Well, to avoid larger expenses of course! Here’s one money saving tip for condo residents: proper maintenance of your household leads to lesser expenditures. If you notice that your faucet is leaking, get the help of your condominium’s plumber or management. Leaky faucets and running toilets are the most common problems in every condominium and these types of problems could set your water bill to the roof! Do routine checks all around the house to avoid these issues from catching you off-guard.
9. Decorating? Do-It-Yourself!
Why do you have to spend on an interior designer when you could utilize the power of the internet for DIY decorating tips? Re-use old furnitures and summon the inner designer in you. Ask friends and family members for help in decorating your home, you may even be surprised of furnitures and decors they are willing to give you.
Make your condo living or leasing an awesome experience with these tips. If you think about it, these steps on how to save money while paying rent is not hard so long as you stick to these tips. Be smart in every choice including spending every last penny that you have. Now, your dream condo living could be achieved while keeping your hard-earned money in your pocket.