Plan for the Unexpected Financial Burdens

April 7, 2009 at 8:49 pm (Apartment Living) (, , , , , , , )

When I made my list of things that needed to be covered each month, I didn’t exactly jot down everything. I don’t buy birthday presents every month, nor Christmas presents. I don’t get an oil change all of the time nor get my car fixed. But these are all financial traps that can quickly bring you into debt if you’re a credit card happy fiend. I started a list that will probably have to be edited in the future of things that you WILL need extra cash for and will need to plan for when you run into extra money. Sometimes it’s not there to spend on yourself, but to plan for things down the road.

1. Birthdays: I’ve got a bit of a system with birthdays. I try to shop online on places like amazon to buy cheaper things that are the same as what they want. I also have a chase debit card that gives me points when I spend money so I can redeem them for gift cards. These make great gifts!

2. Christmas: Definitely watch out for this. Don’t spend beyond your means because one happy day may mean misery for years to come if you’re not careful.

3. Car maintainance: Oil changes, unexpected repairs, breakdowns…Cars aren’t MADE to last. Keep this in mine the next time you decide to eat out twice a week because “it’s only 5 bucks each time”. That’s 40 bucks a month! On just lunch twice a week!

4. Overspending on Groceries: It’s way easy to do. One friend get together here, 5 extra items beyond the norm there…the point is, EVERYTHING you do adds up. Holidays are a wicked time when it comes to groceries because most people plan on doing SOMETHING for them.

5. Pets: Vet care, food, shelter, water, anti-flea and worm medications, illness, litter, leashes, etc. Pets are EXPENSIVE. Do not think of them like plants that need some water and they are good. It’s not how the bargain between pet and owner works.

6. Personal maintainance: Medications, hair cuts, new clothes, makeup, cologne, perfume. I guarantee you aren’t figuring these bits into your grocery budget. On the occassion you need makeup, spend 10 bucks less on groceries so it makes up for purchasing it. It’s allllll about financial balance.

7. Fun time: Do you have a “fun” budget? Want to go to the movies? Go to a museum? Go out to the bar with friends? Take your lady or man friend on a date? And don’t forget to generously tip your server! Nothing looks worse on a date than appearing like a cheapass.

Watch your bad selves ladies and gents! Even if apartments can be cheaper than housing, don’t fool yourself into thinking it means you have more to spend!

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Washer and dryer? Yes? No?

August 20, 2008 at 6:33 am (Apartment Living) (, , , , , , , )

When I moved out, I pretty much knew immediately that I wanted the convenience of having a washer and dryer right in my apartment. There probably isn’t anything much more convenient than being able to do an emergency wash on that favorite shirt of yours that you put a stain on. Or when the weather is terrible but you’d like some clean towels.

My sister opted to rent a cheaper apartment sans washer and dryer. It probably saves her money off the rent for not having them, but now she has to pay $1.50 for a wash, and the same for a dry. And guess what. Her clothes aren’t always dry! You’ve gotta love the apartment provided washers and dryers (ie: cheap pieces of crap that can’t hold any laundry or dry it decently). Also, because they are shared by everyone in the complex, someone is ALWAYS using them. It can be very infuriating. They don’t hold very large loads so when she does her and her boyfriends laundry, it ends up totalling about 10 dollars each time. Because she also can’t seem to get into the washers and dryers at her apartment complex, she needs to go to the laundromat. This takes gas (which everyone feels the pinch right now) and annoying time spent somewhere that isn’t your comfy home. If you don’t want your clothes stolen you should probably stay with them, eh? So have fun staying a few hours trying to read that book while the weirdo across from you eyes your ‘delicates’ circling in the transparent laundromat washer over and over.

The flipside of the coin is the money factor. I pay MUCH more than her because I have a washer and dryer in my apartment. It’s a huge benefit that many wish they could have/ afford. You need to decide what is priority for you, because no matter what you’re still going to need to do laundry. If that daring feeling jumps from your chest into your throat and then head, you can go purchase a washer and dryer and have them installed in an apartment that supplies washer and dryer hookups. Again the downside though, you are responsible for the repairs. If the apartment provides them then they have to fix them for you! Snazzy eh?

So when figuring budget, don’t forget laundry!

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