My First Apartment https://www.myfirstapartment.com Sat, 20 Oct 2018 16:20:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How Much Does It Cost to Move Out? You Need to Save For These 5 Expenses https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/10/how-much-do-i-have-to-save-to-move-out/ https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/10/how-much-do-i-have-to-save-to-move-out/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:00:24 +0000 https://www.myfirstapartment.com/?p=29332 Before you are ready to sign the lease to your first apartment, you need estimate the cost to move out and save enough money to cover these 5 expenses that you’ll have to pay before or on your moving day. 1. Payments to the landlord Your landlord will require you to pay the first month’s…

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Before you are ready to sign the lease to your first apartment, you need estimate the cost to move out and save enough money to cover these 5 expenses that you’ll have to pay before or on your moving day.

1. Payments to the landlord

Your landlord will require you to pay the first month’s rent plus a security deposit that is typically equal to your monthly rent. In addition, you may also have to pay your last month’s rent, to provide landlord security that you don’t skip out at the end of the lease without making your final rent payment. So, as you sign the lease you are writing a check to the landlord equaling two to three months of rent.

Use this worksheet to estimate how much rent you could qualify for on your annual salary and this one if you are paid hourly.

In addition to the rent and security, your landlord probably charges you $50-$100 in various application fees, such as for a credit check, even before you are accepted for the apartment.

2. Utility deposits

Your electric, gas and water companies and your cable/internet company may require security deposits or ask you to pay for the first month of service in advance. Any deposits are typically based on your estimated usage. For example, if you have electric heat, your initial payment will be higher than if you only use electricity for lights and to power all your appliances and equipment. After you move in your electricity, water, etc. utilities bill based on usage. When you move out you’ll need to request to get any deposits back.

To show how these deposits may work, here is typical language from a Comcast Cable agreement:

“You will be billed monthly, in advance, for recurring Service charges, equipment charges, and fees. YOU MUST PAY THE FIRST MONTH’S SERVICE CHARGES, XFINITY EQUIPMENT CHARGES, DEPOSITS, ACTIVATION FEES AND INSTALLATION CHARGES ON OR BEFORE THE DAY WE INSTALL ANY OR ALL OF THE SERVICE(S).”

We estimate that your utilities will total somewhere around 20% of your rent, depending where you live and what is included in your rent.

3. Moving costs

Depending on how far you move and how many possessions you have, you may need to rent a van or truck, or even hire a moving company. You may have seen ads for moving trucks for as low as $19.95 a day. Those rates do not include all the fees you’ll be paying, so even a quick, small, in-town move will easily add up to $100 all in, and moving to a different city will cost from several hundred dollars up. Be sure to get a cost estimate when you make your van reservation.

4. Starter Furniture

If you don’t bring any furniture, your move will be easier and cheaper, but where are you going to sleep? An inflatable mattress will work for a few nights, but if you planned properly and saved a little more, you can order to have a mattress delivered to your new place on your moving day. Even if you don’t have any furniture, you probably have bedding to get started with, and to be upgraded as your budget allows.

You’ll also need at least one lamp, curtains or window shades, and a desk or table and couple of chairs. Read how one of our bloggers furnished her place for under $1,000.

5. Starter pantry and supplies

There are a few supplies that you need on your moving day, starting with toilet paper and paper towels and some kind of cleaning product. If you are a coffee or tea drinker, you’ll need a coffee pot or water kettle for your wake-up coffee. Your first trip to the supermarket will probably run at least $50-$100 if you want to stock up on some basics.

Savings target estimate:

Our rule of thumb is that you should save at least 3 times your expected monthly rent before your move. Here is the savings target range if you make $15 an hour or about $30,000 a year:

Landlord: $1,550-$2,350 = first month rent ($30,000/40= $750), one month security deposit, last month rent, plus $100 for application fees
Utilities upfront: $150 = 20% of rent
Moving costs: $100 to $500 = small in-town move or long distance move
Furniture: $500 to $1,000 = mattress +
Basic supplies: $50 to $100

TARGET SAVINGS: $2,350 to $4,100

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6 Cozy Affordable Items To Spruce Up Your Decor https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/10/cozy-affordable-items/ https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/10/cozy-affordable-items/#respond Sun, 14 Oct 2018 16:00:35 +0000 https://www.myfirstapartment.com/?p=29238 With fall here and winter on the way, some people are mourning the loss of warmer weather. Whether that’s you or not, it’s important to keep your space as cozy as possible during the months where some deal with issues like seasonal affect disorder. How can you counteract that? By using these 6 cozy affordable…

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With fall here and winter on the way, some people are mourning the loss of warmer weather. Whether that’s you or not, it’s important to keep your space as cozy as possible during the months where some deal with issues like seasonal affect disorder. How can you counteract that? By using these 6 cozy affordable items to spruce up your apartment decor.

From pillows to candles, there are are some seriously cozy affordable items you can use to give your place a bit more of a makeover than you think. Even when the weather comes full circle and begins to warm up once more, it doesn’t mean you have to put these pieces away. Everyone wants to feel warm and snug in their apartment, so embrace the cozy with these pieces.

Throw Blanket

 

60″ x 50″ Chunky Chenille Reverse to Sherpa Throw Blanket, $26.99, Target

Never underestimate the power of a cozy blanket. Whether you’re just watching Netflix or reading a good book, a blanket is the perfect way to feel just a bit more cozy at home.

Candles

Leaves 3-Wick Candle, $24.50, Bath & Body Works

Candles are great ways to make a space cozier, and there’s such a wide variety of scents to choose from. Whether you’re sensitive to smells and wanted an unscented flame or you love an aromatic scent meant to relieve stress, there’s a candle for everyone.

Pillows

Diamond Knit Chenille Oversized Square Throw Pillow, $26.99, Target

Being cozy is often about being comfortable, and what’s more comfortable than being surrounded by a soft pillows? Nothing. Exactly. Grab some decorative ones and some ones that are for lounging and you’ll feel like you’re basically in heaven.

Essential Oil Diffuser

Onugi Essential Oil Diffuser, $15.99, Amazon

If stress relief is part of feeling cozy for you, essential oils and a diffusers are a great and affordable addition to your apartment. Amazon has tons of options, and they don’t all have to cost a fortune.

Lighting

Threshold Nickel Stick Table Lamp, $9.49, Target

Overhead lighting is notoriously harsh, and unless you’ve found the one space that is the exception to the rule, you may want to consider some table lights or even something more creative like twinkle lights. There are so many lighting options, and they can make a space feel much cozier than that terrible ceiling light.

Green Things

Gracie Oaks Tablescape Desktop Succulent Plant in Planter, $32.99, WayFair

Not everyone has a green thumb, and that’s totally fine. Adding a plant whether it is real or not will help add a little bit of life into your apartment.

Clearly, there’s no shortage of ways to make your apartment cozy for an affordable price. Now, it’s just time to do some shopping.

Lead Image: Photo by 张 嘴 on Unsplash

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How To Winterize Your Apartment To Save On Heating Bills https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/10/v/ https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/10/v/#respond Thu, 11 Oct 2018 16:00:49 +0000 https://www.myfirstapartment.com/?p=29266 Summer just ended, and if you’re anything like me you may still have your air conditioner in the window, waiting for that last leaf to fall before taking it out. Winter will be here before we know it, and so will that first winter electric bill. There are a few things you can do to…

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Summer just ended, and if you’re anything like me you may still have your air conditioner in the window, waiting for that last leaf to fall before taking it out. Winter will be here before we know it, and so will that first winter electric bill. There are a few things you can do to save money on heating bills this fall and winter.

Seal The Windows

If you live in an older house or apartment building, older windows can cause heat to escape and cool drafts to make their way in. Check with your landlord to see if he’s able to provide weather stripping, sealant, or window insulation, or if he will allow you to do it on your own. 

Hang Heavy Curtains

Quilted curtains, or any curtains that are a bit heavier will provide an extra layer of insulation to keep cool air out and warm air in. In the daytime, open the curtains to allow the sun to heat the house, and close them at night to keep the heat in. 

Add Cozy Area Rugs

Area rugs aren’t just a decor statement, they’re also great for keeping warm. Having cozy floors will allow you to keep your heat turned down without worrying about cold feet. You can also opt to lay runners in the most walked on places, such as beside your bed, hallways, and in the kitchen. 

Keep The Heat Down, But Don’t Turn It Off

Keeping the heat on a minimal level will keep the pipes from freezing, so you don’t want to turn it completely off, however it can be turned down. I personally started turning the heat way down every time I leave the house for a significant amount of time, and our power bill is lower than it’s ever been.

Invest In Warm Bedding

Photo credit: Wayfair

Fleece and flannel sheets with a big duvet will keep you warm enough at night that you can keep the apartment a bit cooler. Keep warm throw blankets on your couch, desk chair, etc., to stay warm and cozy all season long. 

Heat Only The Areas That You Spend Time In

If you live in a house with roommates, ask them if they mind you turning their heat down when they’re going to be gone for more than a day. If your apartment has a spare room or office that isn’t used regularly, there’s no reason to keep the heat up. 

Layer Up

It’s called sweater weather for a reason! Dressing in cozy layers will keep you warm all season long without driving up your power bill. 

Don’t Forget To Check Your Registers!

Make sure to move any furniture blocking the heaters, to allow the heat to fully warm the room, and also to prevent fires. Rearranging the room to allow a full view of the registers will let heat flow through the space more efficiently, so there won’t be any wasted heat. 

Comment your best heat saving tips below!

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5 Simple Plumbing Hacks Every Renter Should Know https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/10/29273/ https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/10/29273/#respond Mon, 08 Oct 2018 16:17:28 +0000 https://www.myfirstapartment.com/?p=29273 Calling the plumber is a phone call nobody wants to make. Even if your landlord covers major plumbing services it can still be time-consuming and extremely inconvenient. Of course, there are times when you must call the plumber, for example when you cannot stop the water flow and the landlord is nowhere to be found.…

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Calling the plumber is a phone call nobody wants to make. Even if your landlord covers major plumbing services it can still be time-consuming and extremely inconvenient. Of course, there are times when you must call the plumber, for example when you cannot stop the water flow and the landlord is nowhere to be found. However, every renter can master these five simple hacks to handle minor plumbing emergencies and save big money.

1. Unclog the Toilet without a Plunger

The first time your toilet is clogged and you cannot reach the super, you’ll probably call your parents. They tell you to get out your toilet plunger and clear the clog. That’s when you realize that you forgot to buy a plunger. Fortunately, there are  two other ways you can try to unclog your toilet, as long as it is not overflowing and the clog is not a solid object, like your cell phone.

Use Hot Water and Soap

  • Remove the cover on the tank and disconnect the chain from the toilet handle. This will stop the flow of water going into your toilet bowl.
  • Fill a container with hot (not boiling) water and soap — dish soap or even shampoo will work. Pour the water down the toilet bowl to break down the clog. As long as the clog is either toilet paper or organic, the heat combined with the soap should break it down.
  • Repeat, if necessary.

Use Baking Soda and White Vinegar

  • You’ll need one cup of baking soda and one cup of plain white vinegar.
  • Pour the baking soda into the toilet bowl. Slowly add vinegar and see the mixture bubble.
  • Wait about half an hour and then pour hot water into the bowl. See  this video for further instructions.

2. Fix Leaky Pipes with Plumber’s Tape

Leaky pipes can be difficult to detect, and they’re one of the most common causes of an expensive utility bill. They can also lead to significant flooding if they are left unattended.

Leaky Sink

  • Turn off your water supply.
  • Place a bucket underneath where your pipes meet the threads. This will catch the remaining water that’s still in your sink.
  • Disconnect the pipes underneath the sink at the threads. A monkey wrench is preferred.
  • In a clockwise direction, wrap plumbers tape around the threads.
  • Reconnect the pipes. The tape will create a tighter grip around the pipes and stop the leak(s).

3. Find Toilet Leaks with Food Coloring

If you are paying for water separately from your rent and the bill seems too high, check if your toilet is slowly leaking. If the leak is bad enough, you’ll hear the toilet running continuously, but even a smaller leak that you do not hear can waste gallons of water a day. Leaky toilets aren’t a simple fix, but they are easy to detect.

Check for Toilet Leaks

  • Remove the cover on the tank.
  • Drop a few drops of food coloring into the tank and leave for 30 minutes.
  • If there is food coloring in your toilet bowl when you come back—you have a leaky toilet.
  • Call your landlord and report the problem. Fixing leaky and running toilets is a job for professionals. (If you do have some mechanical skills and want to give the fix a try yourself, follow this step-by-step guide, but have the plumber’s number handy in case something goes wrong.)

4. Fix Water Pressure In Your Shower by Cleaning the Shower Head

There can be many reasons why your shower has low water pressure, however, it can often be due to a dirty shower head, a problem that you can easily fix.

Fix #1

  • Unscrew the shower head and remove the spray plate.
  • Soak the spray plate and shower head in white vinegar for 3-5 hours.
  • Brush off any loose dirt with an old toothbrush and rinse all the parts in clean water.
  • Re-attach the spray plate and shower head and enjoy the increased water pressure!

Fix #2

  • If unscrewing the shower head/ spray plate is not an option, fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and place it around your shower head. Make sure to secure it with an elastic band.
  • Let it soak overnight so that it can eat away at the build up.
  • Remove the plastic bag and elastic band and brush off any debris with an old tooth brush.
  • Rinse the shower head and relish the new feel of your shower.

5. Deodorize Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are incredibly convenient, but they can create an aroma that’s unpleasant for you and your guests. Deodorizing your garbage disposal is a straightforward process.

  • Put ice cubes and small pieces of lemon peel down your garbage disposal.
  • Turn on your garbage disposal.
  • Let the disposal run for 30-45 seconds.
  • Turn off the garbage disposal and remove any debris leftover.
  • Repeat if necessary.

These simple hacks can be incredibly useful, but it’s important for you to know that they won’t necessarily fix everything. If there’s a persistent or urgent plumbing issue, make sure to contact your landlord or call a plumber.

Our contributing blogger, Brandon Jarman, is a recent Brigham Young University graduate who is currently living in Salt Lake City. When he’s not writing, he enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, and eating delicious Mexican food.

 

 

 

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Get to Know Your New Roommate! https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/10/get-to-know-your-new-roommate/ https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/10/get-to-know-your-new-roommate/#respond Fri, 05 Oct 2018 16:00:46 +0000 https://www.myfirstapartment.com/?p=29055 Most of the time, moving into your first apartment means moving in with a roommate or two to share the expense (and have some fun!). But, finding the roommate can just be the beginning! If your new roommate is a new friend, acquaintance, or someone you didn’t know prior to the apartment, you should find some…

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Most of the time, moving into your first apartment means moving in with a roommate or two to share the expense (and have some fun!). But, finding the roommate can just be the beginning! If your new roommate is a new friend, acquaintance, or someone you didn’t know prior to the apartment, you should find some time to invest in getting to know them!

Here are some quick and easy ideas to get to know your new roommate. Soon enough, you’ll be bonded for life!

  • Have a quick “meeting” to level set expectations

Right when you move in, schedule time with your new roommate to talk about big things, like bills, guests, cleanliness, etc. This meeting will help you both understand what the other expects from living together in the apartment.

  • Cook a four-course meal

Spend a night in and cook together! Fancy meals can be a fun way to break the ice and try something new together.

  • Host a “favorite movie day”

More into chilling out? Head to the grocery store for snacks then settle on the sofa and watch each of your favorite movies! This will not only be a relaxing day, but will teach you more about your roommate’s preferences and should give you some laughs along the way.

  • Take a walk in your new neighborhood

Nothing improves mood like a little exercise! Explore your new area with your roommate by taking a walk. Ask them questions or just enjoy each other’s company in quiet.

  • Invite your new roomie to join your favorite activity

Share your favorite things with them! Whether you go to a kickboxing class every week, hit the local farmer’s market on Saturdays, or go out with friends on the weekend, consider inviting them to join you in an activity you love that may also interest them! The invitation will demonstrate you’re interested in spending time with them… and you get to do something you like to do!

  • Volunteer together at a local charity

Much like exercise, volunteering is a great feel-good activity to do with friends and new friends. Ask your new roommate if they have a charity they’re passionate about or join a local opportunity with your roommate!

And remember, you don’t have to be best friends with your new roommate. The goal of getting to know them is ensuring you both have a positive experience living together and can enjoy each other’s company. Think over these ideas, then get chatting with your roomie!

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7 Pieces To Maximize Storage In Your Tiny Apartment https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/10/pieces-to-maximize-storage/ https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/10/pieces-to-maximize-storage/#respond Tue, 02 Oct 2018 12:00:06 +0000 https://www.myfirstapartment.com/?p=29222 Sometimes space is limited. Whether you’ve got just a tiny bathroom or your whole apartment is small, you’ll need to know how to maximize storage to get the most out of your new digs. Thankfully, there are tons of pieces to maximize storage in your tiny apartment. From drawer organizers to multi-purpose furniture, you’ve got…

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Sometimes space is limited. Whether you’ve got just a tiny bathroom or your whole apartment is small, you’ll need to know how to maximize storage to get the most out of your new digs. Thankfully, there are tons of pieces to maximize storage in your tiny apartment. From drawer organizers to multi-purpose furniture, you’ve got options to make your small apartment cozy and functional.

Where should you start? That depends on your needs. Are you a book lover who needs storage for their tomes? Do you love clothes so much that no closet could possibly be big enough? Good news, there’s something for everyone out there. These 7 pieces to maximize storage in your tiny apartment are just a starting point.

1. Bed Storage

MALM High Bed Fram/2 Storage Boxes, $254, IKEA

Even if you have a twin bed, you can still get some storage out of it. IKEA sells beds with built-in storage underneath. Whether you need to store clothes, shoes, or extra bed linens, beds with storage are a great way to add extra space with a piece you’ll have to have in your apartment anyway.

2. Floating Shelves

Mercury Row Colvard 3 Piece Floating Shelf Set, $23.14, Wayfair

If you’re allowed to add shelves per your lease, then floating shelves are for you. Not only will they not take up any floor space for storage, but they’ll also act as decor while you maximize your space.

3. Drawer Organizers

SimpleHousewares Kitchen Pan and Pot Organizer, $14.97, Amazon

Don’t understand your usual methods of storage. Organizers are there not just to make your items, like pots and pans, look pretty. They also maximize space by keeping things in order as opposed to bouncing around all over your cabinets.

4. Command Hooks

3M Command Damage Free Utility Hooks, $9.31, Amazon

Don’t underestimate the power of Command Hooks. From creating a space to store a furry friend’s leash to acting as a way to hang things like jeans or tank tops on the wall instead of in a closet or on a wardrobe rack, they’ve got tons of uses.

5. Corner Desk

Corner Writing Desk, $85, Walmart

Furniture can certainly take up a ton of space. That’s why you should be strategic about placement, and a corner desk if perfect. Not only is is small, but because it can be placed in the corner, it takes up much less square footage.

6. Stacking Storage

Grey Opaque Modular Stackable Drawers, $12.99-$49.99, The Container Store

If you’re looking for a nightstand or end table, why not make it double as storage? These stackable boxes from The Container store are meant for dual purposes, and they’re perfect to create a cross between storage and furniture.

7. Hanging Laundry

Over-the-Door Canvas Laundry Bag in Natural, $19.99, Bed, Bath, & Beyond

Don’t let your clothing be a reason you lose space, and don’t let laundry baskets do it either. Anything that’s hangable is your friend, so snag this laundry bag now.

While you may think your apartment is tiny or you don’t have enough space, don’t worry. There are tons of ways to make sure you get the most space for you buck thanks to these 7 pieces to maximize storage.

Lead Image: Patrick Perkins/Unsplash

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6 Quick, Cheap Recipes to Master https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/09/5-quick-cheap-recipes-to-master/ https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/09/5-quick-cheap-recipes-to-master/#respond Sun, 30 Sep 2018 16:00:57 +0000 https://www.myfirstapartment.com/?p=29163 Finding dinner recipes that are quick and easy to cook in your first apartment can be a game-changer. If you haven’t yet learned, going out to eat or ordering in can have a negative impact on both your health and your bank account. Instead, make a commitment to learn these quick and easy recipes that you…

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Finding dinner recipes that are quick and easy to cook in your first apartment can be a game-changer. If you haven’t yet learned, going out to eat or ordering in can have a negative impact on both your health and your bank account. Instead, make a commitment to learn these quick and easy recipes that you can throw together and enjoy in your apartment… trust me, it’ll be worth it.

Pasta with veggies

Quick and EASY is learning how to cook pasta. On hand in my kitchen, I always have: Whole wheat pasta, marinara/red pasta sauce and pesto. To add some veggies, I’ll include a handful of broccoli, asparagus, spinach, or tomatoes.

The “recipe?” Boil your noodles per package instructions, add the veggies when you have 2 minutes left, drain, and stir in your sauce, grate a little cheese, add a grind of pepper! One-pot, quick, easy, and easy to change up! Buy a couple different jars of sauce so you can change up the flavors from time to time.

Frittatas

Another easy way to use any leftover veggies is to make a frittata. Saute the vegetables with onion in a frying pan, add 2-3 beaten eggs, top with cheese and place the frying pan under the broiler until eggs are set and top is getting a little color.  Or, cover the pan with lid until eggs are set and cheese is melted and throw a little parsley on top for color.

Tip: Leftover cooked potatoes in the veggie mix help make your frittata a hearty dinner.

Frozen burgers

Find your favorite frozen burger (and don’t discount veggie, chicken, and turkey options!) and keep them on hand for quick, protein-filled goodness. Shred the cooked burger over a salad or eat it along with a can of (low-sodium) veggies for a balanced and delicious meal!

Stir fry

This is one of my favorite ways to cook because it is extremely flexible! The staples for stir fry? Whatever you LOVE! Get a good mix of veggies (broccoli, carrots, corn, green beans, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach… you name it!) and starch (brown rice, quinoa, rice noodles) and protein.

Here is one of my favorite recipes, and once you master it, you can mix it up with different arrays of sauces. Try to make your sauce yourself as much as possible to avoid excess calories and salt!

Delicious salads

Salads don’t have to be boring! The key is finding a dressing you love (lighter options like olive oil and balsamic vinegar are great!) and mixing up the veggies you include. Some ideas? Chopped romaine, red cabbage, kale (chopped small to start!), or arugula! Then top with broccoli, avocado, chickpeas, edamame, onion, chopped carrots, chopped peppers, corn, tomatoes, mushrooms… and THEN you can even top with cooked veggies like mushrooms or sauteed beans.  Finally, throw in some leftover protein – hard boiled eggs, tuna, cheese, turkey, anything you happen to have in the fridge, and you have a substantial meal.

Salads give you tons of great options! Delicious salads may take 5 minutes of chopping veggies, but your wallet and waistline will thank you!

(Healthy) frozen meals

And finally, cooking every day may not be a reasonable goal for you. That’s fine! Instead of setting for fast food, pick up a few different frozen meals while you’re at the store. (Amy’s is one popular organic brand.) These can be a good supplement to otherwise healthy meals. Read the back of the box to understand nutrition information, watch for high sodium, and don’t be afraid to mix up a little salad or roast veggies to go along with this meal.

 

 

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3 Simple Rules for BF/GF Visits When You Are Living with Roommates https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/09/3-simple-rules-bfgf-visits-roommate/ https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/09/3-simple-rules-bfgf-visits-roommate/#respond Fri, 28 Sep 2018 16:00:51 +0000 https://www.myfirstapartment.com/?p=29179 We are re-posting these rules for BF/GF visits to help all of you who are living with roommates for the first time to avoid roommate drama. There are three issues that can turn a roommate relationship ugly:  splitting expenses, housekeeping chores and roommate’s BF/GB overstaying their welcome.  I have already covered how to handle splitting expenses…

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We are re-posting these rules for BF/GF visits to help all of you who are living with roommates for the first time to avoid roommate drama.

There are three issues that can turn a roommate relationship ugly:  splitting expenses, housekeeping chores and roommate’s BF/GB overstaying their welcome.  I have already covered how to handle splitting expenses and housekeeping,  it’s now time to tackle the biggie that has brought an end to many a beautiful roommate relationship -how to hang out with the BF/GF without breaking up with your roommate.

roommates

Image from Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Okay, we’ve all been there. You’re at the end of a date (or a raging party) and you’d like to say “Wanna come up?” Or you’ve gone over to your boyfriend’s house so many time this past week they’re gonna start charging you rent. But before you invite your significant other over (potentially for hours and days) you just have to check with the roommate first.

And how long is too long to have them over? Like, can you watch the entire first season of Breaking Bad? Or do you have to keep it to one episode of New Girl? Does that candlelit home-cooked dinner for two have to be at 4:30p.m, so as to not disturb your fellow apartment dweller.

Here are three simple rules to maintain a healthy relationship on both ends:

1. Plan Plan Plan.

If you want your boyfriend to come over on Saturday so you two can be super cute and cook dinner and then watch Julie & Julia, be polite and ask your roommate a week in advance. Yep, a week. Sorry, there’s no real spontaneity when you share a house. (Really the amount of notice you give your roommate depends on what you talked about when you made a roommate agreement. You did make one of those, didn’t you?)

2. It’s okay to say no.

Let me repeat that: It’s okay to say NO. When your ladyfriend assumes that she can lounge on your couch and watch reruns of The Bachelor while painting her toenails, you can gently let her know that’s not cool with your roommate. This is great because you have someone to blame it on and you can just shrug your shoulder and give her sad eyes and then she will just have to forgive you. And um, while she’s at it, can she just get all her hair removal devices out of the bathroom? Just remember, it is NOT okay for your SO to take over your space. Unless he or she is paying rent, you must constantly remind yourself, she doesn’t live there. Therefore, she may not, ever, use the space as her own.

3. Use your head.

I know you’ve got one, so use it. Put yourself in your roommate’s position before asking him or her something silly, like “Can my boyfriend and his friends do their annual PONG tournament here next Saturday?” That’s just silly. Come on people, have a little decency. Plus your roommate probably does not want hang out with your boyfriend. So don’t invite him on all your outings. That’s weird. I can’t repeat this enough: RESPECT YOUR ROOMMATE. If you don’t, you can bet your ass when they get a boyfriend or girlfriend, they won’t respect your privacy either.

Anybody have any stories of roommate/significant other screws ups? Please share!

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Living with Man’s Best Friend: Best Dog Breeds for An Apartment https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/09/living-with-mans-best-friend-what-to-consider-when-getting-an-apartment-dog/ https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/09/living-with-mans-best-friend-what-to-consider-when-getting-an-apartment-dog/#respond Wed, 26 Sep 2018 12:00:25 +0000 https://www.myfirstapartment.com/?p=29136 Before you let that cute dog in the pet store window or a shelter steal your heart, make sure you do a little research to find out if your building allows pets and which dog breeds are best suited for your living situation. Many landlords will let you know their pet policy as soon as…

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Before you let that cute dog in the pet store window or a shelter steal your heart, make sure you do a little research to find out if your building allows pets and which dog breeds are best suited for your living situation. Many landlords will let you know their pet policy as soon as you take a tour. If you don’t hear anything about pets, be sure to ask. And don’t forget to find out about any fees you may have pay. You don’t want to move in with your pet and realize too late that your “best friend” is not welcome.

Typically, pet policies are restrictive to the size and weight of dog and often include breed restrictions targeted at “aggressive” breeds. However, it’s also important to consider the socialization and activity levels needed to keep a dog healthy and happy in an apartment setting. The temperament of the dog must agree not only with the space but also with anyone else sharing the apartment, including roommates, other animals, or children. So, here is a list of some of the most apartment friendly dogs, accompanied by their size, temperament, and activity level! And also some cute dog pictures…obviously.

Shih Tzu

Weight: 9-16 pounds

Temperament: Affectionate

Activity Level: Low

 

Chihuahua

Weight: 3-7 pounds

Temperament: BIG personality with loyalty to their owner.

Activity Level: Low but require daily walks

 

Bichon Frise

Weight: 12-18 pounds

Temperament: Intelligent and affectionate with a hypoallergenic coat! Good with other dogs and kids.

Activity Level: Low to moderate

 

Boston Terrier

Weight: 12-25 pounds

Temperament: Lively and friendly

Activity level: Moderate

 

 

French Bulldog

Weight: Under 30 pounds

Temperament: Playful and smart. Plus they normally don’t bark!

Activity level: Low

 

English Bulldog

Weight: 40-50 pounds

Temperament: Friendly and calm. Love to snuggle (even at 50 pounds!).

Activity level: Moderate- should not be exercised in hot environments!

 

 

 

Cocker Spaniel

Weight: 20-30 pounds

Temperament: Gentle and happy. Plays well with kids and other dogs!

Activity level: Moderate to high

 

 

Pug

Weight: 14-18 pounds

Temperament: Charming and loving but will get into mischief!

Activity level: Low- they thrive in moderate climates otherwise health concerns may arise.

 

Mutts

Weight: Who knows!

Temperament: You won’t know until you meet them!

Activity level: It’s a mixed bag!

 

I’m a big proponent of adopting and not shopping when it comes to pets! Often, adopting is not only a more cost-effective option but also gives you the chance to provide a loving home to an animal that otherwise may not get to experience one! No, animal shelter doggies are not always “purebred” but they are purely loving and in need of a home. Take it from someone with a mutt, rescuing an animal without a home is one of the best decisions you can make!  

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How to *Productively* Work from Home https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/09/29131/ https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2018/09/29131/#respond Sun, 23 Sep 2018 16:00:46 +0000 https://www.myfirstapartment.com/?p=29131 For a lot of people, working from home may seem like a dream situation. Getting up late, working in your pajamas, and being able to spend the entire day hanging out with your favorite living thing on this earth…your dog (or at least that’s my dream anyway). But what about when you actually have to…

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For a lot of people, working from home may seem like a dream situation. Getting up late, working in your pajamas, and being able to spend the entire day hanging out with your favorite living thing on this earth…your dog (or at least that’s my dream anyway). But what about when you actually have to buckle down and get work done? Working from home while also meeting deadlines and producing quality work requires a high amount of drive and discipline. It’s not for everyone, but if you think it is a good fit for you or you’ve been given the opportunity, here are some good ways to make your home more “work friendly” so you’re as productive as possible:

Stay away from personal tasks.

Work time is work time and personal time is personal time. When working from home, the two may be in close proximity to one another but should never overlap. Would you watch Netflix or online shop while sitting in an office cubicle while you complete a PowerPoint? No. This is how it should be working from home as well. The human brain, while one of the most amazing structures in the universe, has a hard time focusing on more than one task at a time. If you’re attempting to finish up monthly reports while also binging the last season of OITNB, spoiler alert, those monthly reports may not turn out great. During work designated time, it’s time to work.

Discipline your time.

This may be the most hard-to-swallow pill about working from home. In order to successfully work from home and still contribute and be productive for your business, your time management skills need to be great. If you’re constantly torn between responding to emails or watching Netflix, working from home may not be the best fit for you. But if you’re able to consistently manage your time throughout the day to get projects done and actual work accomplished, then you’re doing it right! The last thing you and your boss want is for business productivity to suffer, so get a planner, fill out a calendar, and make sure you are setting at least a few hours aside per day to get quality work done.

Power Hour

Designate the first of hour of at-home-work to complete your most “daunting” or “un-enjoyable” tasks for the day. Without a direct superior over your shoulder when working from home, these harder projects may tend to sit on the back burner purely because they are more difficult problems to solve. As most people’s productivity is highest in the morning, take this time to chip away at these more difficult projects.

Do not stay in your pajamas.

This has been proven time and time again! Look good, feel good as some would say. By making the effort to get up and change clothes, your brain switches into work mode and begins revving its engine for the day, ready for  you to bust out some quality work. No, you don’t have to put on a formal dress or that tux that’s been collecting dust in the back of your closet since senior prom- but putting on a change of clothes cleans the slate and gets your ready for a great day of work. Plus, if you get called into a last minute meeting, you’ll be all ready to go!

Set up dedicated office space in your home.

One of the biggest issues work from home employees cite is the inability to separate their work life from their personal life. After all, your living space essentially becomes your entire office! If you aren’t in a living arrangement that allows you to set up your office in a separate room, at least try to segment only a single area of your space that is dedicated to working. A quality desk and desk chair are a great place to start! As long as you are able to shut down your computer and step away from this space at the end of the workday. Being able to create this boundary between work and personal life will be extremely beneficial in the long-run.

Communication is essential.

It’s important to remember that unless you are an entrepreneur/sole employee of a company, there are other people within your company that you will need to communicate with on a daily basis. Whether it be emails, Slack, phone calls, or otherwise, it’s important to remember that good communication is essential to a company performing like a well-oiled machine. Make sure to properly mark your calendar when you have meetings when you’ll be physically in the office, when you have a vacation, etc… This makes it easier to set meetings and deadlines and also prevents you from becoming “that employee” (yeah, you know the one).

Get out and interact during the day.

Work from home doesn’t always mean work from home. In an age where everywhere has wifi, and some cities are completely wifi-enabled, work environments are endless. I’m a big fan of working from coffee shops because caffeine…but many people say libraries, parks, and restaurants are also great places to work! But choose your work spot wisely, especially if you are someone who is easily distracted or can’t focus with tons of external stimuli around. However, the human brain is often most productive when learning tasks in a new or novel environment, so if you’re stuck in a creative or productive rut, getting out of the home office and grabbing a cappuccino from the cafe down the street may be exactly what you need!

Get at least 20 minutes of exercise during the day.

I think by now we can all agree that regular exercise is a good thing. If you work a 9-5 job, your workout time is most often limited to early morning or late evening, also known as times when working out seems like the last thing you want to do. Working from home allows you to take advantage of a non-traditional work schedule and squeeze in a workout during a time you may not normally be able to. Sometimes this means being able to take a walk at 1 pm when the sun is shining rather than at 8 pm when it’s dark and you’ll be eaten alive by mosquitos.

As a reminder, working from home is not for everybody. It takes a level of self-discipline that is extremely important when settling down to get work done. If you are someone who is easily distracted or slacks off on work when unsupervised, working from home may not be for you. If you think it might be a good fit though, bring it up to your boss – even if it’s just starting with one day working from home a week. Get your space ready and get your mind right because your productivity is about to be off the charts!

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