Students can lower their costs by saving money on groceries, transportation and utilities as well.
In a busy college town like Columbia, finding student apartments can be a struggle for students competing for housing contracts and leases after freshman year. There are a number of steps students should take when first looking for off-campus housing, especially if they’re new to the area.
Do your Research
When finding the best apartment in Columbia, SC, it’s crucial to check the Internet for all the possible information from reviews to apartment floor plans. However, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call. So many of the larger luxury complexes will not post key information such as rent, so a phone call is most effective.
Also take the time to schedule a tour to actually see the physical space they will be living in.
Students could also speak with upperclassmen that have off-campus apartments.
Finding a budget
Before touring each location, make a budget that includes rent, groceries, utilities and other costs associated with living off-campus.
Figure out a typical student-housing budget per month, however, there are many ways students can lower their off-campus living expenses.
Students should to track their spending to see where they could reduce costs. More often than not, utilities, transportation, groceries and eating out are areas most people find that they are over spending.
Although utilities might be included with rent, students can make sure they’re making the most of their money by checking previous utility usage data on the property. This will allow students to have an idea of how much past tenants had paid for utilities at the property so they know what to expect.
Food is another expense students should consider. Using coupons when shopping for groceries can be beneficial to cutting costs. Many of the coupons for local grocery stores can be found online.
Location and transportation
Although many of the housing options are cheaper the farther they are from campus, students may want to consider whether they will have a car and how they plan on paying for parking.
Driving and the cost of gas are factors that can influence a decision to look for housing closer to campus next year.
For more information, contact Abberly Village.