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No longer on my own :)

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
As of June 2010 I will no longer be living alone, struggling (at least not alone). As of yesterday I signed a lease for a great apartment with my boyfriend of three years. Its in a college town, but surprisingly not a dump. Its half of a house with an unfinished basement, kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a porch. Honestly it is exactly what we were searching for, in our price range, and close to campus. Now a days its honestly the little things like a free sofa we got last weekend, old dishes from my parents, etc that are lighting up my life this holiday season. If you have advise to help me and my boyfriend who are just starting out please please comment. I need all the help I can get, money saving tips and all.
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Comment by thechmstrybtwnus

Joined: 5/6/2009
Posts: 13
Wow, that is such a big step! So first of all, congrats. =)

Currently, I live in an apartment with 3 roommates. We have lived there for almost a year and a half, but will be moving out come June. I remember when we were moving in I thought it was going to be really expensive and difficult to make this place feel like a home. Surprisingly, it was much easier that I expected.

One of the big things that is so helpful in saving money is getting all the furnishings for free or for cheap. You mentioned getting a free sofa and inheriting dishes from your parents.. that is definitely the way to do it. You would be surprised by just talking around how many people are trying to get rid of furniture. Especially in a college town, kids toss furniture left and right because they don't want to have to travel with it. When May rolls around there will be tons of couches, chairs, tables, etc. out by the side of the road as kids are moving out of their apartments and houses. (My apartment got a great tv stand last year that some boy was about to throw into the dumpster!).

And even if things don't really go together you can make it work. For my living room, I ended up getting a couch for free from a lady at my church and a chair that my parents were getting rid of. I bought some cheap fabric and made some slip covers and it looks like the furniture was meant to go together. If you have a bunch of dishes from one place and then inherited some bowls that don't match, try buying some cups that have a little bit of both color schemes in them to make it seem like it all goes together. You just need to think outside of the box a little bit to try and pull together all of the mismatched things you end up with. For things that you can't get as give-aways or hand-me-downs, try Craigslist. My roommate got her desk super cheap from there. Also, Walmart is great for all of the kitchen and bathroom stuff.. I got a whole matching shower curtain, soap dish, toothbrush holder, bath mat, hand towel set for a pretty reasonable price.

Some landlords don't allow this, but if you can paint you really should. I'm not gonna lie, paint can get expensive (especially with all of the rollers, pans, etc.) but from experience painting a room can really make it feel more like home. We were allowed to paint our apartment as long as we paint it back to white when me move out, and the time and effort put into it was so worth it. Everyone that comes over loves how bright and welcoming our living room is. It could also be a fun thing for you and your boyfriend to do together as sort of a housewarming activity.

I'm pretty sure in no time you will have the place feeling like home and that you'll do a great job of getting it all together. You might have to spend some money, but in general I think you'll be able to do it pretty cheaply. Good luck and I hope it all goes well!

Posted: Friday, November 20, 2009 8:37:48 PM
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Comment by bfurl

Joined: 12/29/2008
Posts: 17
I've found that the Salvation Army has a large selection of very "unique" (lol) coffee mugs, blankets, napkins, and household furniture that really give a creative, homey feel.

But things like putting a little water in your dishwashing soap so that it's around for a little longer, and making sure you have no leaking faucets around the house. Also, if you aren't already in the habit, practice turning lights off when you leave a room, and making sure things aren't plugged in when they don't need to be. Winter proofing: covering outside windows to retain heat, turning heat off when you aren't home, and lowering it when you're sleeping (same goes for AC). You'll come up with ways to save! (Where you buy your groceries from--and what you buy, etc.)
Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 6:20:46 PM
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Comment by bfurl

Joined: 12/29/2008
Posts: 17
Oh, and good luck to you! :o)
Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 6:21:14 PM
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