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I'm about to move out but my budget makes me scared. Can you help me?


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Well, this is interesting. I found one complex for $1290/month, W/D included (so I don't have to call or pay a repairman if it clunks out compared to buying my own), 3rd floor (preferable for me -- no stomping above and safer as a single woman living alone), 630 sq ft., upgraded appliances and renovations with decent reviews. I also toured the property before and it was clean and quiet, though I have to visit at night to see the vibe then. It has a much earlier move-in date, but eek! I'm considering taking it.

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3 minutes ago, Needinghelp101 said:

Well, this is interesting. I found one complex for $1290/month, W/D included (so I don't have to call or pay a repairman if it clunks out compared to buying my own), 3rd floor (preferable for me -- no stomping above and safer as a single woman living alone), 630 sq ft., upgraded appliances and renovations with decent reviews. I also toured the property before and it was clean and quiet, though I have to visit at night to see the vibe then. It has a much earlier move-in date, but eek! I'm considering taking it.

Exactly! Included amenities like major appliances is much better than buying them. And you're still in your budget. Sometimes people think  à la carte and DIY is cheaper but actually it isn't in many cases.

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It sounds really good. I also do not like anyone walking around above me. I lived on the third floor before and at times walking up all those stairs was exhausting (especially with groceries) but once I was inside it was no big deal.

Please don't make the mistake I did previously, be sure to check the number of electrical outlets, especially if you're working from home. I didn't and really had to struggle to power everything. I ended up having to buy a bunch of battery powered lamps and other small appliances. Also, in my current apartment the cable connection is not where I'd prefer it to be which affects how I can setup my furniture.

Anyway, I hope it works out for you!

Edited by boltnrun
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Posted (edited)

Rent eating 40% of my budget depresses me so much, though.

One other good option is a $1100/month rent place that's 711 sq ft. with also quiet and clean grounds, but with no W/D, some more bad reviews and older appliances/rooms.

Edited by Needinghelp101
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On 7/25/2022 at 6:41 PM, Needinghelp101 said:

Rent eating 40% of my budget depresses me so much.

When you fill out an application, landlords typically will run a credit check as well as ask for employment verification. Most landlords consider 30% of your  gross income Before taxes as a reasonable guideline.

It would be better to cut down on other expenses such as movies, spas etc. Unnessary furnishings, fancy kitchen stuff, etc. Try a dollar store for some stuff.

Keep in mind that all appliances that are included may be cheaper in the long run. Also you need to know what is included. For example heat, hot water,etc. Electricity is not. So it's important to consider overall cost vs. seems cheaper on the surface.

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Posted (edited)

Well, I think I'm going to hold off on the $1290 place and wait for the $1100 place. (They don't have availability yet.) I visited yesterday and they have two sister properties that looked clean and safe, and even the non-upgraded units still looked good. In a good neighborhood, etc. And everything is included in the rent except allocated water (not too much worse than submetered, right?) and electricity. Yet, no W/D, but that is the only appliance I would have to buy, or I could use their laundry rooms.

But because my budget is so tight, I do think saving that extra $200 from my rent will help a lot. 

Edited by Needinghelp101
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38 minutes ago, Needinghelp101 said:

 I could use their laundry rooms. But because my budget is so tight, I do think saving that extra $200

Most laundry rooms are fine. As long as it's in the building, no big deal. They are regularly cleaned by the cleaning staff and maintained it's not the headache/expense of buying a W/D not to mention commercial machines are more powerful and faster. Keep in mind a W/D will skyrocket your electric bill/water through the roof.

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I use the laundry room at my building. It's fine. And since I work from home I can do my laundry during the weekday mornings, avoiding the crowds. The machines even can be operated with an app, which is so much more convenient than having to try to get quarters all the time!

You could use the laundry room until you save up for your own machines. Or you could just continue using the room. 

I had in unit laundry and my electric and water bills didn't go up much at all. In a multi unit property it's not as pricey as it would be for a single family home. The thing that did impact my electric bill was AC. That's expensive.

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I understand your comfort is to have your own laundry in your apartment.  I get it. That is nice to have.   BUT! I think it would be worth trying out the laundry room first.

I have lived in apartments that had laundry rooms and it was never a problem.  People do laundry at different times. You might find it's convenient and cheaper. if some tenants have their own W/D, you might find you have it all to yourself. 

I actually hate doing laundry. I prefer to do bigger loads less of often. And a lot of my things i don't like to put in the dryer... Sometimes I'll do a load of things that don't need dryed. 

Not saying I don't use both a w&d, but if I was trying to live cheaply and minimally in case I decided to move in a year or two, I wouldn't buy them.  It'll break your heart to dump them in a year. 

So for you, think about how many loads of laundry you do a week. How important is it? 

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When I visited their laundry room, I saw that the price for the biggest load was $2.25 for one wash. Let's say I have to wash and dry 2x/week always on the biggest size, which I don't think I'll have to. (Hell, I can air dry nearly all of my clothes in my apartment.) But estimating for the worst case scenario, that's $10 week/$40 month/$480 year. Maybe it will be worth skipping the W/D for now.

Money is no fun. Just had another big expense today -- $1500 -- the fee for parents transferring the title of their car over to me, the leased one I bought out. Another chunk out my savings.

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I'm of the other camp and laundry facilities were my nemesis.  The effort took twice as long or more, the hauling everything back and forth, checking, adding more quarters when the dryer didn't dry.  The stolen clothes, being weirded out by what was in the washer before mine.  When I was in my early 20's and living on my own, someone thought to sort through the dryer and steal my panties.  Yep! 

At one time, when escrows didn't line up I had to rent an apt for one month.  Second story, two teenage boys and I had to retrieve a shopping cart under the stair well, bring it up in the elevator, into the apt to load it up only to make the trip back down to the laundry room.  The vision of a shopping cart in the middle of the dining room was a picture I can't forget.  When I moved into my (now) home, I hugged the washer and dryer that is located behind a pocket door in my kitchen

I just got back from camping and had to use laundry room there.  I must have worn a path back and forth 5 times. In the end after two rounds of quarters in the dryer, towels weren't dry. So, I just gave up and brought the damp towels back to the rv.

Years ago my mom moved to retirement community.  Every ten units shared a laundry facility, which had ONLY cold water.  I was weirded out at the thought of peoples personal items, towels, sheets etc.  How is that possibly sanitary??  Don't we wash our own clothes with warm or hot to ensure they're clean?  Luckily, my mom's unit had a stackable w/d added.

I know I'm not helpful here, lol.  Honestly, if my hardline goal was to save money, I  would do without if I had to.  But if I could figure out a way that was within my budget, it would be important to me,

Edited by reinventmyself
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Lol, reinventmyself, I'm trying to be frugal, but I feel the way you feel! I'm grossed out by having laundry where other people have theirs, doubtful the strength of the W/Ds themselves (more loads, more money), and though these do lock and I pay with an app, I think the comfort of my own W/D is worth it. I can always sell it in a year.

Sorry, guys, back to my own W/D. Lol!

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3 minutes ago, Needinghelp101 said:

Lol, reinventmyself, I'm trying to be frugal, but I feel the way you feel! I'm grossed out by having laundry where other people have theirs, doubtful the strength of the W/Ds themselves (more loads, more money), and though these do lock and I pay with an app, I think the comfort of my own W/D is worth it. I can always sell it in a year.

Sorry, guys, back to my own W/D. Lol!

others quickly shot down my mention of second hand.  But my bf's son and another young couple we know just bought second hand, gently used and they work perfectly!  I get there's a risk . . but

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If you buy used machines from a private party and a week later they break or stop working you have no recourse. You'd have to pay to have them hauled away and buy new ones anyway. 

However there are appliance shops that sell refurbished machines. Those often at least have a money back guarantee (not a warranty) so if they break in the first year they'll give you a replacement. That could be a good way to go.

I always wipe down the machines in the laundry room at my building with disinfectant wipes. Just the outside because the soap suds kill any germs and viruses that might be in someone else's clothes. And the clothes go into the dryer clean, so I don't worry about any grossness. Sadly my building doesn't have hookups inside the unit or I'd be all over buying my own just for convenience.

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Laundry rooms I've used are fine -better to use them at off hours and follow building etiquette as far as removing dry clothes from a dryer (or get a sense of how that works).  And I used them for months with my young child in tow and still fine. Most these days use cards you put $ on which is even more convenient.

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2 hours ago, Needinghelp101 said:

Sorry, guys, back to my own W/D. Lol!

lol. No need to be sorry. There are many opinions but only yours matters. 

I'm sorry for the nightmare scenarios in the public laundry. Had I experienced any of that, maybe my own opinion would be different. 

I always wash in cold anyway... and I was not creeped out by my neighbors laundry. I just always made sure to be there when the machine stopped. That's a courtesy to begin with.  nothing worse than finding forgotten laundry!

 

Edited by Lambert
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Just now, Wiseman2 said:

When I used to live in apts., I found a $20 in the dryer once🤷‍♂️. Hope that helps

People leave all kinds of crazy stuff in the laundry room lol. I've found multiple sets of keys, tools, debit cards. I just leave them there because I have no way to find out whose they are.

My favorite experience was when someone left their clothes in a dryer for 10 hours with a note that said sorry, but I had to go to work, I'll come get my stuff when I get home! Of course someone took their stuff out. Kind of entitled to expect everyone to just wait for that long. 

But overall it's been fine. I almost always am able to get my laundry done when I want to. But I do greatly miss having my own machines. 

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My fave was having to wait with my then 6 year old for ten minutes for the dryer to finish -wasn’t worth going back and forth.  We got to chatting with a nanny there with a baby. And my son explains that I set him on fire at his 5th bday party.  Well I did sort of. He was wearing a thin tie dye shirt and I told him to blow out the candle eyes closed and make a wish. He leaned too far forward. Burned a hole in the shirt. 
so be forewarned that you may find yourself oversharing if your apartment is not close enough  to the laundry room to run back and forth. 

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2 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

so be forewarned that you may find yourself oversharing if your apartment is not close enough  to the laundry room to run back and forth. 

Yes, laundry rooms are basically singles clubs. You even see their underwear before asking them out.🙈👙

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2 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Yes, laundry rooms are basically singles clubs. You even see their underwear before asking them out.🙈👙

Hm, I must be way too old because I almost never see anyone in the laundry room and when I do it's either one of the female tenants or the young single guys who simply say "Hi, how are you?" 

I guess if I were a young single lady it might be different.

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On 7/22/2022 at 6:54 PM, Needinghelp101 said:

I'm in North Texas and I make $3200/month after taxes. Health insurance and retirement covered by my job.

Rent: $1300 for 650 sq ft., 1-bedroom apartment
Phone: $40 (I have a cheap Cricket Wireless plan.)
Car Insurance: $130
Renters Insurance: $15
Food: $400
Toiletries (Hair/Skin products, soap, toothpaste): $100
Gas: $250
Internet: $50
Water: $40 (I estimated high-end.)
Electricity: $70 (I estimated high-end.)
Savings: $250

Expenses Total: $2645/month
Funds Remaining: $555, which means...
Fun (gifts, movies, clothes, beauty treatments, supplements, dates): $138/week

Do you think this is a realistic budget?
Are there any items I am missing?

$400/month for one person for groceries is high.  I buy in bulk in Costco, and buy some lose things at a regular supermarket, and we spend about $550 for a family of 4 with 2 dogs.  Water isn't included in rent?  Either way, I spend about $25/month for a half acre for water, watering the lawn and water needs.  Used LED bulbs to keep your electricity down.  Even if you buy expensive shampoos and conditioners, I would still estimate that at $50/month generously.

I think you have a good amount going on.

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The $1100 place popped up with availability! But, it's a 2nd floor place. And I was really hankering for a 3rd floor. (No upstairs noise!).

Yet, there's no elevator, so I'm wondering if the 2nd floor will be okay to take. Though, I heard 2nd floors get the worst of it -- the smell and noise from downstairs and upstairs.

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16 minutes ago, Needinghelp101 said:

there's no elevator, so I'm wondering if the 2nd floor will be okay to take. Though, I heard 2nd floors get the worst of it -- the smell and noise from downstairs and upstairs.

You may want to make sure they have/allow washer/dryer hookups. A 2 floor walkup is a concern with moving, but reduces A/C costs because you're not on the top floor baking . In a decent building, you shouldn't really have smells and noises that are very disturbing.

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