led lighting

Ways To Save Money When Renting

Ways To Save Money When Renting

Homeowners have many privilege of being able to save money and receive some great tax benefits for owning a home, but what if you’re a renter, what can you do to save money? We will take a look at what a renter can do to save some hard earned money even if they do not own a home.

There are many people these days that do not have the time to own a home because they are so busy with work and their personal lives, in return many people are opting to rent either a home or an apartment instead of owning a house. In this article we will take a look at some ways renters can save money just like a home-owner does.

  • Location Is Always Important

These three words are always the most important words when it comes to real-estate. It does not matter if you are purchasing or renting location is extremely important. For a renter long commutes can eat up your finances. For example, in our nation’s capital or any big city commuting to work is a nightmare and can be very expensive. Renting an apartment close to where you work will save you both time and money.

  • Budget your housing

We all want to be able to live in a luxury apartment, but most of us cannot afford this type of lifestyle. You need to sit down and figure out what your budget is going to be for housing and then spend a little less than what you can afford. Make sure when you are looking for a place to rent do not go above what your budget is telling you what you can afford. If in the future when your income increases then it will be time to upgrade your apartment lifestyle to something more luxurious.

  • Lease Options

When dealing with leases you can save money by talking to the landlord to give you a long term lease, usually two or three year lease. The longer the lease, usually the rent will be less. This is a great option for both you and the landlord. The landlord will save money in the long run because he or she will not have to worry about cleaning and painting the property to get it ready to rent again for two or three years. This is a win win for both you the renter and the landlord.

  • Purchase Renters Insurance

This may sound like an expense, but if you have ever rented it is well worth the cost. Renters insurance will protect your personal belongings from theft, fire, and water damage. The cost of the policy is very inexpensive. Example, you live in a two story apartment building and the tenants in the upstairs unit floods their bathroom and water comes through the ceiling and floods your apartment and all your furniture is ruined. This example happens to a lot of renters, so the cost of this little insurance policy is well worth the cost and it will save you a lot of money.

  • Purchase Inexpensive Furnishings

When decorating an apartment do not spend tons of money of furniture, and whatever you do avoid rent to own stores (they are a rip off). The best thing to do is get creative, spend some evenings on Pinterest getting ideas of how to decorate on a budget. When your finances do grow or you get married and have two incomes or you purchase a permanent home, this is the time you will want to invest in good furniture. But for now, shop thrift stores and garage sales for inexpensive furniture that you can make work for you and your budget.

  • Cut Energy Cost

A lot of talk on blogs about homeowners cutting back on energy cost to save money, but renters can do the same thing. Here is a list of a few things that you can do as a renter to cut cost and save money.

  1. Turn lights out when leaving a room.
  2. Turn the A/C up when not home or have a programmable thermostat installed.
  3. Change out the lightbulbs to LED bulbs.
  4. Check the water-heater temperature setting, if to high turn down the setting.
  5. Install ceiling fans in the bedrooms to help keep the room cool.
  6. Wash dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher, this will cut utility cost.
  7. If not using various rooms, close off the heat and A/C vents.
  8. Hang your laundry to dry instead of running the dryer, most appliances in rentals are not energy efficient.

These are just some ideas that can help you as a renter save money by cutting back on your energy cost.

  • Get Rid Of Cable

The cost of cable is going through the roof. I have basic cable and Internet and my bill is over $140.00 a month. If you’re living from paycheck to paycheck the high cost of cable is something that I would seriously look at cutting. Most of us today need to have some-sort of Internet service, shop around and try and find the best deal, cable companies are not always the cheapest way to get Internet.

  • Rent Near Public Transportation

Many renters live in big cities that offer public transportation. If you are one of these renters than you will want to make sure that you rent within walking distance of public transportation. A person can save a huge amount of money if you choose a location to rent that doesn’t require you to own an automobile. Many apartment complexes charge exuberant fees for a parking slot to park your car. And of course you will be saving money on fuel, insurance, car payments or lease payments and maintenance and repair cost for the auto.

Conclusion

Homeowners are not the only people that can save money by cutting cost of living. These few ideas that I have mentioned above can definitely help get you on the path of saving money if you are a renter. We would love to hear other ideas from renters out there that they do to save money.

Posted by Tom in Budgeting, Finance
How To Live Without Electricity

How To Live Without Electricity

How To Get By Without Electricity

In today’s age of technology it is hard to imagine that people live without electricity but many do. One of these people is my sister and brother-in law. The power lines stop about fifteen miles from their home so the cost to deliver power out to their home would totally out of this world.

Life Without Electric For Lights

Home in Guatemala with no electricity is not uncommon.

In my travels through Central and South America it is amazing how many people live with just one light bulb burning in their home or they have no electricity at all. According to some there are over one billion people that do not have electricity in the world. Now us here in the United States and over in Japan and Europe almost everyone has electric and most of us would not know what to do without it. Most of the electric that the world uses are controlled by powerful countries like the United States and a few other major players. We call this the power grid.

Cooking Without Power

Cooking in many homes in Central and South America is done with an open fire and no ventilation inside the home.

Many people around the world do not even have the capabilities to cook there meals on a stove like we do here in the U.S.A. Many of the places I have been in countries like Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Belize, Honduras and etc. wish they could have an opportunity to cook on an electric or gas stove. Most of these people have to cook on an open fire or on some sort of make shift wood burning stove. There are many injuries or illnesses from cooking this way, everything from lung cancer to repertory problems to death. If you think life is rough when the burner does not work right on your cook stove, just imagine what life will be like when the power goes out.

No Communication

Most of our communication and technology depends on electricity. Most homes today rely on cellular communication to be our lifeline to the world. The days of picking up a handset and dialing a landline phone is a thing of the past. If the power grid goes down are we going to be prepared to use some sort of other communication?

What Will Cause Us To Lose Electricity

Power blackouts can be caused by many things, such as thunderstorms, natural disasters, solar flares, EMP attacks, and so on. In some situations a backup generator is all you’re going to need to get by on for a short time without electric. But what if some huge natural disaster or an EMP takes out the power grid for a long period of time, will you be ready. For additional information on EMP click here.

Lighting Ideas

Like I mentioned in the beginning of this article my sister and family have been living without electricity for close to forty years. I have learnt a lot from them in how to live off the grid. When it comes to lighting it really is not hard to adapt to using candles and oil lamps to get by on. Since my family and I live in Florida we are always losing power do to storms and hurricanes so we make sure that we always have a good stock of batteries and flashlights for when the power goes off. Some other alternatives for lighting that are available today is hand crank flashlights, these are great because they never need batteries. Solar powered lights are great for having light during the night and they re-charge during the day. With today’s solar powered led lighting you can light a whole house with just a few of these lights. Our security lighting on our home and land is done by solar powered motion controlled lighting.
                

Propane Cooking

Most of us have done some sort of camping in our lives. Cooking over a camp fire is nice for a short period of time, but eventually you will run out of firewood to keep cooking. For not to much money pick yourself up a two or two burner camp stove that uses small propane tanks. These come in handy when you want to boil some water for coffee, or soup, or make spaghetti or any other kind of cooking you need to do.
                                       

Life Without Electric Using An Alternative Source Of Power

There is a constantly new source of solar energy coming on the market every time I do any research on solar. They claim this next year we will be able to purchase shingles that will be a solar source. There are other forms of alternative energy that is becoming more and more accessible to the general public. One source is wind power, or wind turbines that produce electric for the home owner. Another source which also uses wind is the old fashion wind mill connected to a generator system that stores power like solar in batteries.

Life without electric can be daunting and uncomfortable especially for us that depend on electric for everything we do. But if you are like me and plan ahead for the day when the lights go out you and your family could be fully prepared.  Being prepared is the key to this situation and what better time than the present to get your family ready for that dark day that lies in front of us when the grid goes down.

Posted by Tom in Homestead, Off The Grid