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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sturmcrow View Post
    Learn to make meals that you can save and reheat a couple times.
    Unless you don't care about potential food poisoning or have a cast iron stomach, I don't recommend doing this.

    I do suggest splitting leftovers from a large meal into portions and reheating each portion individually as required, but please don't reheat the bulk repeatedly - it's a good way to lead to a very long night with your toilet.

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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Remember to be proactive about seeing people. The sudden change from living in a family or dorm to living all by yourself can be quite overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of free time on your hands.

    I try to make sure I have at least one appointment per day where I get a) some human contact that is more than what I get shopping for groceries and b) outside the apartment - preferably in open air if the weather allows it.

    Oh, and if you can invite friends over regularly, do it! If food money is an issue, ask them to pitch in, but having people over is a great way of making sure you eat properly. At least I find that I won't serve some of what I eat when I'm alone if I have friends over. (thinking of it, that might be a good test to see if you're eating well enough: "Would I serve this to my friends?")
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Castaras View Post
    Cats don't smell. They're cleaner than most animals.
    A lot of cat owners say that. Doesn't make it true.
    I think I've had enough for a while.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Learn to look at the per kilo/liter prices of things. They tell you how much things really cost. That smaller bottle of shampoo might be cheaper on it's own, but the a larger bottle of the excact same stuff will have lower price when measured in liters, meaning that you will get more for cheaper.

    This is of course most useful for stuff that doesn't perish fast, such as the shampoo example above. Learn to calculate whether you're likely to use all of the larger container of thing X before it goes bad. If you only need a little for a recipe or something, and know you're unlikely to find use for the rest, then buy the smaller one.

    Some quite healthy but cheap foods are fresh carrots, onions and potatoes (at least here in Finland). Learn to use those in your cooking, carrots go nicely with most meals (cooked or raw).
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Unless you don't care about potential food poisoning or have a cast iron stomach, I don't recommend doing this.

    I do suggest splitting leftovers from a large meal into portions and reheating each portion individually as required, but please don't reheat the bulk repeatedly - it's a good way to lead to a very long night with your toilet.
    Didn't realize it could be interpreted as reheating in bulk.

    Meant exactly what you explained. Make something such as the Chili recommended earlier, refrig or freeze portions in individual containers to reheat

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    If some of my suggestions seem ridiculously obvious, I apologize, but in my experience common sense dosn't actually exist, something that is obvious to one person needn't be for someone else.

    When saving leftovers for reheating, don't expect them to keep well for more than two days in the fridge. If you want to save for longer, use your freezer. Either way, sort it into portions suitable for one sitting as mentioned above, and make sure to put away leftovers ASAP. If you're as poor at planning ahead on your cooking as I am, expect to do a lot of 'what the fridge hid' cooking to avoid wasting food. On that note, if you buy food in bulk, make sure you actually use it before it goes bad. IME, one of the biggest challenges of buying for one person is that it is difficult to get portions small enough to use in time.

    I'll second not buying food when hungry, and extend that to 'don't plan ahead on food when hungry', it'll make you buy more than you otherwise would. If you don't have a firm grip on cooking terminology and practice (I didn't at first) consider buying or borrowing a cookbook which explains what poaching and such is, and which has general tips on keeping your cooking hygienic.

    If you have days without lectures, try to make us of them to buy stuff and wash your clothes outside of rush hours.

    When doing chores, don't forget that you can spice things up a bit by listening to music, radio, TV or the like. As and when you end up procrastinating on your studies, try to spend some of that time doing chores instead of goofing off. Conversely, if you're procrastinating from chores, try adn get a bit of studying done if you can. Don't leave your dishes unwashed for too long, you'll just make more work for yourself by making them harder to clean.

    Remember to air out your apartment at least semi-regularly. It is generally more effective to have several windows open for a short time so you can get a draft than to have a 1-2 open for a long time In winter, you can still air out without freezing your toes off by doing it for short, <=5 min. intervals.

    When you need books for your studies, you can save money by buying older versions and/or borrowing from your university library if they're available there. IME, you'll need to head to the library on the same day as you get your reading list in order to be able to borrow books. If you do borrow books or buy older versions, make sure you aren't missing out on important parts of the text. If you are, try borrowing a newer version off one of your co-students so you can read up on it. If it's a legal option, consider taking photocopies of the pages you'll need (we can copy up to 20 pages or 10% of a book, whichever is less). When and if you borrow books, make sure to take meticulous notes so you don't need the books when reading for exams.

    In general, I find it more cost-effective to take notes where you re-state the points of a text than to merely highlight. It'll save time when reading up for exams. On that note, if you have the energy and can find somenoe else willig to work with you, consider setting up a study group to go over the texts together. Sounding out the points and arguments of texts together can make it much easier to comprehend, and will give you practice for exams too.
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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sturmcrow View Post
    Didn't realize it could be interpreted as reheating in bulk.
    No offence intended to pffh, but I have seen bachelors and students do some very stupid things, particular with regard to simple everyday things like cooking and washing, so just wanted to be clear on the issue.
    As Caustic Soda said, common sense really isn't that common.

    I remember back in uni, when my housemates were making homemade chips and let the oil temperature get too high in the pot. When they put the chips in, they forgot to drain all the water away after washing them.
    As anybody who's worked in a kitchen will know, very hot oil and water REALLY don't mix, so they got a small fireball which left the pot alight.

    While they were panicking and running around trying to find a cloth they could dampen and throw over the burning pot*, I simply turned off the heat, blew out the flames and moved the pot outside where I left it for half an hour.

    In their defence, I did have something like 10 years of experience of working in my parent's takeaway, so I'm used to cooking oil fires.


    *Well, they say they were trying to find a cloth, I distinctly remember them waving their hands going "AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!" instead.

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    While we're on the topic of stupid mistakes, don't empty fat down your drain, it'll thicken and clog your pipes. I did that twice before I found out why it happened . Also remember to occasionally empty out your freezer so you can defrost it. If your freezer is located in your fridge, you'll need to empty it too. IME, defrosting goes faster if you put a container with hot water in your freezer compartment after turning off the power. I forgot to defrost in the first year after I moved out and ended up knocking off ice with a hammer so I could get the freezer door to close.
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  9. - Top - End - #39
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caustic Soda View Post
    While we're on the topic of stupid mistakes, don't empty fat down your drain, it'll thicken and clog your pipes. I did that twice before I found out why it happened .
    Depending on where the blockage is, you can stick freshly boiled water to re-melt the fat without having to resort to expensive chemical cleaners, or dismantling the plumping and scraping.

    You can get away with running the fat down with copious amounts of hot water, but yes, scrape it into the bin (or make it into a bird feeder) is a better idea.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Depending on where the blockage is, you can stick freshly boiled water to re-melt the fat without having to resort to expensive chemical cleaners, or dismantling the plumping and scraping.

    You can get away with running the fat down with copious amounts of hot water, but yes, scrape it into the bin (or make it into a bird feeder) is a better idea.


    My friend the plumber twirls his mustache each time someone dumps boiling water down the drain.


    Someone talked about buying quality instead of quantity... that is an extremly important advice.
    Benefits of buying quality (Note: quality <> expensive):

    -you can resell it (if you're really short on cash for example)
    -repairs are possible and for the most part smarten then buying new.
    -lesser risk to health or less devasting accidents
    -you can inherit it/give it to your children

    Keep in mind that this will only work for certain things. I buy socks at the lowest price possible because no matter the quality you can't wash them more then two or three times.

    If you buy junk expect to buy lots of junk.




    The matter of insurance:
    This is a seriously difficult topic and you should never do anything here without thinking it to the end. A insurance can bancrupt you or save you from the poorhouse.

    First of all you have to understand how insurance companies work:
    Let's call something bad that happens to you X.
    They calculate the risk for X happening to you.
    They run the numbers what X happening will cost.
    Then they add a bonus because, yes they want to make money and need to pay all those statisticians and lawyers.

    So if you don't plan on cheating the insurance company or know something they don't (unlikely) you will pay almost always more money in the long run then just paying for X.

    But hold a minute if it's so easy why should I ever buy one? Easy, because you don't have 60.000 € to 100.000 € in your bank account at all time.

    There is only one that is pretty much always important: Health insurance. Because if you need it you are usually not in a position to make money.
    And any treatment that you'll delay because you don't want to pay for it now will become expensive later. Also it's in the best interest of a health insurance to keep you healthy and they will help you stay upright at worst with free advice at best with discounts or free healthy stuff.
    Last edited by Bouregard; 2012-05-08 at 10:18 AM.
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bouregard View Post
    The matter of insurance:
    This is a seriously difficult topic and you should never do anything here without thinking it to the end. A insurance can bancrupt you or save you from the poorhouse.

    First of all you have to understand how insurance companies work:
    Let's call something bad that happens to you X.
    They calculate the risk for X happening to you.
    They run the numbers what X happening will cost.
    Then they add a bonus because, yes they want to make money and need to pay all those statisticians and lawyers.

    So if you don't plan on cheating the insurance company or know something they don't (unlikely) you will pay almost always more money in the long run then just paying for X.

    But hold a minute if it's so easy why should I ever buy one? Easy, because you don't have 60.000 € to 100.000 € in your bank account at all time.
    Fire insurance is generally important too. Getting robbed will likely lose you all you luxuries but you'll still have your pots and pans, clothes, sheets etc. A fire runs through your apt you're going to be screwed if you don't have money to replace it all.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    I used to work at a bank.
    I can tell you, watching someone come in and say that their house just burned down and panicing because they have no money, no ID, none of their important papers...
    Trust me, just get insurance. You'll have enough things to worry about if disaster hits.

    PS-This is why I sleep with my wallet next to my bed every night. And my phone. And my keys.
    ~~Courage is not the lack of fear~~
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Keep in mind that this will only work for certain things. I buy socks at the lowest price possible because no matter the quality you can't wash them more then two or three times.
    You're meant to wash them before they walk away on their own...
    Indigo is a much more appropriate colour for sarcasm, don't you think?
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    noodles are cheap, keep forever, and go with anything you can manage to afford. when you see them on sale, buy them.
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bouregard View Post
    Keep in mind that this will only work for certain things. I buy socks at the lowest price possible because no matter the quality you can't wash them more then two or three times.
    Huh? I've got many socks that have lasted a lot longer than that. While dress socks don't last near as long as athletic socks, I've never had a pair that didn't last at least a few months, and I tend to wash them about once a week.

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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    I've got plenty of socks that are years old and still in great condition.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by thubby View Post
    noodles are cheap, keep forever, and go with anything you can manage to afford. when you see them on sale, buy them.
    Noodles and Pasta are incredibly cheap.
    Ramen noodles are particularly easy to dress up nice.


    If I had to recommend a single cookbook, it would be one of Jamie Oliver's. I think he orients them rather well towards singles and couples, maybe moving out for the first time. Explains how to get good ingredients cheap, has lots of cheap meals that are quite good. He takes asian noodles and makes it into a restaurant quality dish.
    ~~Courage is not the lack of fear~~
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    If the party wizard can't survive a supersonic dragon made of iron at epic levels it's his own fault really.
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Your going to be a student and your only going to be a uni student once. Drink and eat how you want. You'll work it out. There is no fun in being the one saying "Oh, I can't come out tonight I have run out of money" knowing full well you have cash in the bank. As a student and something brakes so what? You have the rest of your life to worry about that.

    There is some realy nonsense people are talking that is all well and good when you have a job, but saving 10% of your income as a student? If you are able to do that, but I know as a student I never had enough money to save untill I got a job. Uni is not the time to start worrying about financial security, that is for after uni.

    My advice, Pay you rent and bills at the start of the month and have fun. You will probably end up with a choice between food and beer at some point near the end of a month, but then who dosn't and make sure you keep on top of cleaning, both yourself and your appartment. A little time cleaing once a week and putting things away as you go is much easyer than leaving it until you start to worry about your health! And noddles and pasta are your friends. If you run out of money you can live on pasta with salt, pepper and butter for a few days. Better than starving.
    Last edited by GnomeFighter; 2012-05-10 at 06:54 AM.

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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by GnomeFighter View Post
    Your going to be a student and your only going to be a uni student once. Drink and eat how you want. You'll work it out. There is no fun in being the one saying "Oh, I can't come out tonight I have run out of money" knowing full well you have cash in the bank. As a student and something brakes so what? You have the rest of your life to worry about that.

    There is some realy nonsense people are talking that is all well and good when you have a job, but saving 10% of your income as a student? If you are able to do that, but I know as a student I never had enough money to save untill I got a job. Uni is not the time to start worrying about financial security, that is for after uni.

    My advice, Pay you rent and bills at the start of the month and have fun. You will probably end up with a choice between food and beer at some point near the end of a month, but then who dosn't and make sure you keep on top of cleaning, both yourself and your appartment. A little time cleaing once a week and putting things away as you go is much easyer than leaving it until you start to worry about your health! And noddles and pasta are your friends. If you run out of money you can live on pasta with salt, pepper and butter for a few days. Better than starving.
    Quite frankly the majority of this post is absurd. Yes you generally only go to university once. It doesn't mean you shouldn't try to be fiscally responsible. Getting into a situation where you have a choice between beer and food is foolishness. Really ever getting into a situation where its a choice between something and eating is a problem. The attitude in this post is one whereby you end up constantly living in debt like god knows what % of the current US population. Learning to be fiscally responsible is extremely important. Hell it should be important BEFORE you move out on your own.

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by GnomeFighter View Post
    Uni is not the time to start worrying about financial security, that is for after uni.
    You will probably end up with a choice between food and beer at some point near the end of a month, but then who dosn't?
    Or, one could take the advice, be more mature with their funds, and never be in a position where that choice has to be made.

    Post-secondary education is all about learning how to make decisions like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by pffh View Post
    Welp I guess it's time for me to become an adult and so exactly one month from now I will be moving into my first apartment.

    So any tips and tricks for living alone for a poor university student?

    It's just a small studio apartment and I do not have an oven but there is a stove and a microwave and there is a washroom with washing machines in the basement.
    Bulk items for cheap are your friend. Ramen? Hell yes. Toilet paper? Well...it's not like you're gonna STOP pooping. Might as well buy the big container for less. Microwaves are awesome. Rice cooker is a worthy investment if you enjoy rice...it's pretty cheap. Spices are remarkable for varying diet, and last for forever. Mac and cheese was also a staple for me.

    If your water isn't great tasting, consider buying a filter of some kind. Can be cheaper than bottled water or soda in the long run.

    Usually, chairs and things are minimal. Look at people moving out giving away stuff or selling stuff inexpensively. I would not stress about the quality of this. Your university chairs and stuff are not likely going to be things you'll want to keep for the rest of your life. You will later live in more spacious places, and tastes change. Get what works now and is dirt cheap.

    Fire/Health insurance IS worth spending on, yes. See if you can get any advantages on this due to parental jobs. Many cover children in college, or at least offer programs for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    Or, one could take the advice, be more mature with their funds, and never be in a position where that choice has to be made.

    Post-secondary education is all about learning how to make decisions like that.
    I fully agree with this. I worked the entire time I was in college to avoid most loans(hard to avoid all), and lived cheap. I could have gotten away with more, but hey...no massive burden of debt to deal with during my starter job(first job is often not great paying). Definitely a plus.

    Learn to manage money early. It's a skill you'll be using throughout your entire life, might as well pick it up right off.
    Last edited by Tyndmyr; 2012-05-10 at 12:42 PM.
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  22. - Top - End - #52
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    While I fully agreed that you should be frugal, remember to appreciate the things you *do* have. When you have the energy to cook proper food, take that extra effort to make something tasty. Don't focus so much on the chips/beer/what-have-you that you can't afford, but take time to enjoy what you can get. If wishlists *and* gift-giving are a thing in your family, remember to wish for stuff that you'd like to have but normally can't really afford to spend money on. Or wish for money/gift cards directly.

    Try to keep a buffer of cash so you don't end up in financial trouble or preferably even have to worry about it, but remember that generally speaking the lower ones initial consumption, the greater the benefit of increase consumption compared to saving. In the same vein, while you should generally buy affordable food, don't buy the cheapest of the cheap unless you can stomach it. If you can only afford skunky beer or soda, you might as well save your money for later, or spend it money on something more edible. I'm not saying you should splurge or anything, but if you save on food to the point that eating becomes a chore, you've long since passed the line of diminishing returns. On the other hand now is as good a time as any in your life to test whether you can substitute cheaper brands of goods for those you consumed earlier without sacrificing quality too much.

    I hope that was at least semi-coherent.
    Last edited by Caustic Soda; 2012-05-10 at 02:34 PM.
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    I'd go more for selective quality. In some things...it really, really doesn't matter what you buy. I will happily select the store brand of pasta, because frankly, noodles are noodles.

    On the other hand, the savings of single ply toilet paper are never worth it.

    Analyze where the extra few cents has a massive difference. Oh, and do not shop sales unless you are prepared to take couponing to an extreme. Sales bias very heavily toward expensive products. You're usually a lot better off just sensibly purchasing what you need and ignoring the sales altogether.
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    Default Re: An apartment of my own.

    Selective quality was the idea I was trying to get across, so I appreciate you explaining it much more succintly, Tyndmyr.
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