Browsing Tag

renting

Adulting Student Life

Making Green Decisions in Your College Apartment

February 8, 2021

College can be a stressful period of life that leaves you little extra time to work with. Things like living sustainably and making eco-friendly choices can often be pushed to the backburner as you attempt to keep up with your assignments and attend classes on time.

On top of that, renting a dorm or apartment can make it feel like you have little-to-no say on how your living situation impacts the environment.

Nevertheless, there are still many small, yet powerful ways that you can make green decisions while you’re living in a college apartment.

Consider the Temperature

The easiest way that you can do your part in the fight for a cleaner planet is by adjusting your thermostat. If it’s hot outside, turn up the temp by a few degrees. If you’re experiencing wintry weather, bring the thermostat down a few degrees. If the weather is nice, open the windows up and turn the HVAC system off entirely.

This won’t just reduce the amount of pollution you’re putting into the air, it can also lower your utility bill. This can be a great first step in helping you save money, address debt, and increase your financial independence.

Embrace Thriftiness

Thriftiness is another way to better the Earth and bolster your finances at the same time. By shopping for second-hand clothing, you avoid much of the dramatic wastefulness that comes with fast fashion. You can also get gently-used furniture, sports equipment, and even electronics.

By trying to reuse rather than buy new, you will naturally reduce the quantity of garbage that you’re creating. It is also a great way to save some cash as you tighten your belt and try to get to graduation day.

Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Even if you’re renting, it’s still up to you to clean your space. Fortunately, you can even turn the act of mopping a floor or scrubbing a toilet into an eco-friendly activity by using green cleaning products.

This can reduce the number of chemicals that you’re using, protecting both the Earth and your own health in the process.

Cook for Yourself

This one can require a little more time, but if you plan things out it really doesn’t have to impact your schedule much. By purchasing food in bulk and then cooking it yourself, you can dramatically reduce the amount of packaging that you’re throwing away.

You can even take things one step further by using reusable shopping bags each time you head to the grocery store.

Bike to Class

Finally, if you live on or near campus, consider ditching your car. Instead, get a bike or walk. By opting for a fuel-free mode of transportation you can avoid putting unnecessary carbon emissions into the air.

The extra exercise is also a great way to stay fit, especially when you’re spending so much of your time sitting behind a desk.

Going Green in College

You don’t have to be the king of your own castle to make a difference. On the contrary, there are countless smaller steps you can take to do your part in the battle to protect our planet, even when you’re renting on a college campus.

So put down your textbooks for a minute and take a moment to consider where and how you can put some extra effort into creating a brighter future.

BIO: Sam Bowman has a passion for learning. As a seasoned professional writer, he specializes in topics about people, education, tech and how they merge. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.

Student Life

Your Rights as a Renter: A Guide for College Students

February 4, 2021

Going to college is a huge opportunity and one that offers an incredible number of unique and first-time experiences. At the same time, it will likely be the first time you’ve lived away from home, figured out your schedule, and made your own rules.

Amongst all of these first-time experiences, there are a couple of instances where you may be taken advantage of because of your inexperience with the process. Some of these instances may orient around your first rental experience. Because of this, it is essential to do your research and know your rights as a renter. 

Getting into a Rental

As you first start applying to and looking at rentals, there are several things to take into consideration. For instance, how much are you able to pay for rent each month with or without utilities included? Are you willing to live with roommates? Do you have specific conditions that you can’t live in?

Determining these things will help you set a budget and narrow your search a bit. Once you start looking at places, you should also think about your rights and requirements for living, such as:

  • Deposit Limits: Most states have rules about how much a landlord can charge you to secure your spot in a rental.
  • Documentation of Rental Facility Conditions: If you have to pay a security deposit that will be used to fix and clean things when you leave, it is important to document the condition when you move in with pictures and notes that are signed by both you and the landlord.
  • A Lease Copy: You will be provided a copy of your lease agreement. Read it and ask questions before signing.
  • Livable Conditions: Landlords are required to meet certain standards of living conditions that include working utilities, safety features, and free from certain types of damage including asbestos contamination, mold, or vermin.
  • Rental Raises: Your lease stipulates what your rent is for the duration of your lease and it cannot be raised until your lease is up.
  • Insurance: Your landlord may or may not require you have renters insurance, but it is always a good idea. Check out GradGuard for renters insurance that’s made for college students.

Making it Your Own

Once you’ve researched your rental rights, asked questions about them, and feel good about signing your lease, it’s time to start moving in. There are plenty of exciting things you can do now that you have your own place, so take the time to make it your own! As you make yourself at home, you should keep certain things in mind like:

  • Privacy: Your landlord is not allowed to come into your home without giving you notice and a reason.
  • Decoration Abilities: Your landlord cannot tell you how you can or can’t decorate your rental as long as you are not damaging anything.
  • Prohibitions: Your lease will stipulate prohibitions like painting walls, putting large nails or screws in to hang things, or tearing out carpet.
  • Landlord Installations: If you’re interested in installing anything that could make the rental facility more valuable or more energy-efficient, talk to your landlord about it. You may not be able to install it yourself, but your landlord may be open to the changes. Then they can cover some of the costs and install it themselves.

Being a first-time renter can be an awesome experience if you take the time to find a good place to live with an honest landlord. Do your homework and know your rights as a renter — things will work out for the best!

BIO: Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.

Other Transition

Living Off-Campus: What You Need to Know

April 12, 2019

Now that you are ending that “dreadful” year of living on-campus, I’m sure you are considering living off-campus. You’re sick of the small space, the hovering of the RA’s, having to use your keycard every time you go in and out of your residence hall, the limited amount of guests you can have over at any given time–the list goes on and on. The only logical thing you’ve been thinking about for awhile is “when can I finally move off-campus?”

Don’t worry, we all have this thought and are excited for what that entails, however, life is very different off-campus opposed to on-campus and there are definitely a few things you need to consider when making that decision.

Can You Afford It?

This is huge honestly. Though you are stoked to be living on your own with the ability to have get togethers whenever you want to, there is a pretty large price tag to come along with that. Living off-campus you need to consider what your rent will be, how much your bills are going to cost, whether your apartment comes furnished or not, how much your groceries will be each week, etc. Sometimes, the cost of living off-campus exceeds the cost of living on-campus. Be sure you consider all of these expenses first before moving.

Are you living with roommates or by yourself?

It can be tempting to live by yourself, but that experience should be saved for when you are finished with school. Living with roommates will probably be your best bet, as long as you pick and choose them wisely. It takes a certain human(s) to be a good roommate to share the expenses properly, understand your weird habits, and do their fair share of the cleaning. There wasn’t a need to worry about those things when living in the dorms, but outside of them, it is a whole new world.

How are you going to get to campus?

Commuting is something that we sometimes forget when moving off-campus. How are you going to get to class when you move off-campus? Hopefully, you find a place with good rent at a good size that is close enough to campus for you to walk or bike, but if not, you definitely need to think about the cost it will be for you to get a parking pass for your car or what the bus schedule is and the route it takes to get to campus. These can really be deal breakers depending on the location of the apartment/house you’re looking at.

Changes in your renters insurance

If you move off-campus, there can be some changes in your renters insurance coverage. The premium price might change, your landlord could want you to get higher limits, you have more stuff to cover so you might want to get higher limits anyway, etc. Regardless of your living situation if it is on-campus or off-campus, renters insurance is a must, but definitely for off-campus housing. You don’t want to be stuck with having to replace a bunch of stuff on your own if you come home from class one day to see that you were robbed and all of your stuff missing.

GradGuard offers renters insurance to students living off-campus as well as on-campus! You still get all the benefits like low deductibles and worldwide personal property coverage, so don’t forget to update your address or purchase a new policy when moving.

We hope this has helped you with your decision making! Remember that college is the time of your life and living off-campus is a great experience, just be sure you are prepared for it.