6 Budgeting Tips on How to Afford an Apartment in College

How can one afford an apartment in college when they have to struggle to pay for textbooks and tuition? It’s really not difficult as there are many options for a student in Canada when paying for an apartment in college. Granted, your personal savings may not be much to write home about, neither will help from parents make much of a difference.

With the right financial management, you can easily live in luxury student rentals with enough budget for everyday expenses. If you want to live in an apartment on or off campus, here are some tips on how to afford an apartment in college:

1. Draft a monthly budget and stick to it

A great tip on how to afford an apartment in college is to draft a monthly budget and stick with it. If you are not frugal, you could run out of cash very fast. College life is robust. There are many demands on your money. Those monthly expenses can seriously rump up if you are not careful. At the end of the day, you might find yourself without rent money.

Staying within your budget is critical. A monthly budget keeps your expense in check. It helps you to know how much you have for each expenditure item. Make sure your budget includes rent, internet and phone bills. Keep monthly estimates for expenses that fluctuate such as those for groceries and utilities.

2. Get a side hustle that fits with your college schedule

Since college life is extremely vibrant and busy, look for side gigs that won’t demand too much of your time. For instance, an Uber side gig demands too much of your time before you can earn enough to pay for your college apartment rent. Look for jobs that will pay you to do what you already do.

For instance, Twitch pays students to play video games. You can also get paid as an Official Notetaker, which is something you already do. Taking class notes in a course you are enrolled in and getting paid for it is ingenious. Besides, your grades will improve after working as a paid notetaker, simply because you get to retain more knowledge than the average student.

3. Take advantage of summer and semester breaks

During semester breakers and summer, there’s ample low-cost housing in college. During these periods, the majority of students are not taking classes. Some sublet their apartments as they proceed to go home or travel for the summer holidays. Subletting your apartment is a good way to make extra cash to pay for the next year’s rent.

Often, the rental rates are highly discounted during these breaks, too, making it feasible for you to keep your apartment while you’re away. Besides, your college most likely offers gap housing for students during these breaks. While these are not permanent arrangements, you might get an apartment on campus at a fraction of the cost.

4. Use your student loan to pay rent

There are a host of student loans you can take advantage of to pay your apartment rent. Allocation for housing and tuition funds happens away from prying eyes. If you can have your apartment rent covered in a scholarship, loans or other facilities, you are set for the rest of your college life. Student loans are sent directly to the college. Once tuition and other college fees are paid, the balance is deposited into your account.

The disbursement of student loans is done at the beginning of the academic year. What this means is that you may have to pay rent from your personal resources, at least until you receive your deposit by mid-September. Once the deposit lands in your account, don’t be deceived by the huge amounts since you will have to spread the funds across several months of rent payments. If you can avoid using a student loan to pay rent, do it. However, if it’s the only option at your disposal, take it.

5. Engage in work exchange

Work exchange is a great way to keep apartment rental costs down. For instance, if you live on campus, why not become a Resident Advisor, a position that comes with full room and boarding options?

To qualify for this position, you must have lived in the dorm for no less than one year. This is a great way to keep your housing costs on the down-low. If you rent an apartment in college, participating in the work-exchange program will cut down your on-campus rent costs.

6. Split the rent with a roommate or two

Instead of living in a college apartment on your own, how about ganging up with another student or two or three and share the rent? This significantly reduces your rent obligation since the burden is shared among multiple roommates. It gets better if the apartment has extra rooms that can be converted into makeshift bedrooms.

You can afford to live in a college apartment by following the above tips. Whether it is engaging in a side gig, participating in a work exchange program or splitting rent with roommates, living in an apartment in college is possible.

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