Living off-campus is exciting, especially for undergraduate students who never lived on their own before. But it’s important to remember that you inherit a lot of responsibilities when living on your own, as well. That’s why we’ve gathered this list of seven tips for students living in off campus housing near Transylvania University. Read on to learn more about budgeting, roommates, and more.
Know Your Budget
Falling behind on your rent is no fun. To avoid late fees and ensure your payments are made on time, you’ll want to create a budget that reins in your monthly expenses. Although building your budget is as simple as subtracting your fixed costs from your monthly income, students who are new to living on their own occasionally underestimate these costs. If you don’t want to come up short, remember that rent is just one part of your fixed expenses. You also need to account for things like utilities and groceries.
For additional income while you’re at school, consider working for Transylvania University, which is more than accommodating to student schedules.
Find a Roommate
Finding a roommate is one way to cut costs while living off-campus, but the process of picking a roommate isn’t as easy as it might seem. It may surprise you, for example, that friends don’t always make the best roommates. If your friends tend to be more on the messy side, and you like to keep things organized, you may want to consider living with someone who has living needs that are similar to your own.
Create Roommate Agreements
Creating a roommate agreement prevents quarrels over household chores and responsibilities. You don’t want to constantly fight with your roommates about whose turn it is to take out the trash or wash the dishes, and writing things down helps everyone stay on the same page. Talk to your roommates about what they expect from you, and make sure your concerns are known as well. Once you’ve created your agreement, make several copies and keep one in a communal space, like the kitchen.
Use Your Time Wisely
You don’t have RAs looking out for your best interests when you’re living off campus, so it’s important that you use your time wisely. Create a schedule that allows for times to play and times to study. And in the event your study time is interrupted by your roommates or other distractions, have a backup place in mind where you can study in quiet. The Tates Creek branch of the Lexington Library is a smart choice, as is a local coffee shop like Coffee Times.
Having the ability to cook in your own kitchen is one of the greatest things about living off campus. Not only is cooking fun, it’s also a much cheaper alternative to dining at a restaurant or ordering take-out food. In order to maximize the amount of food you can get with your budget, opt to purchase cheap and healthy food items like bananas, rice, beans, and tuna fish.
If you’re going to cook often, it’s important that you clean often as well. Dishes have a habit of rapidly accumulating in kitchen sinks, so make sure you wash whatever you use immediately after every meal. You’ll also want to take out the trash regularly to avoid unpleasant odors. While obviously good for hygienic reasons, a clean apartment also has a positive effect on your mental health.
Living off-campus is exciting. With these tips, we hope it will be productive as well.