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Your Questions About Cheap Apartments No Credit Check Chicago

February 10, 2013

Sandy asks…

Living in Chicago…….making 42K a year. Possible?

So I have just been offered a job in Chicago…..and they offered me 42k a year. Can I really live in Chicago…..say Hyde Park or anywhere in the city with this salary? Is it realistic to think I can? I want to be optimistic and I absolutely love Chicago but I don’t want to live pay check to pay check and not have any fun. I am good with my money…I can live on a budget, I currently don’t have a lot of debt. Just the typical…college loans, one credit card, a car note around $200 per month, one cell phone, you know life stuff. I want to be smart. What do you think.

Administrator answers:

Heck yeah it can be done. I did it for year, even with less. Just gotta learn to bite the bullet and have a nose for savings. Shop at the smaller stores instead of the big chains (who charge more), keep your eating out to a minimum and learn to cook at home (it’s more fun anyway), find the bars with the drink specials (there are thousands of bars in Chicago and there are drink specials everynight. You could come out with $20 and go home with change). Learn to ride the bus as much as you can. Cabs are a last resort (coming home from a party late.) And speaking of parties, you don’t have to hit the swanky clubs with the $20 admission. Chicago has tons of small bars and clubs with no admission and sometimes live music, live DJ’s, hip hop and rap open mikes, etc.

As far as apartments, you can find one bedrooms in decent neighborhoos for around $700 and up. Studios are even cheaper. Just make sure to get one or more utilities included. And if you need internet connnection but want to save money, learn which coffee shops, etc. Have free wi-fi (if you have a laptop). No sense in paying Comcast or RCN all that money.

It can be done. With $42K a year, you can live like a queen

Mark asks…

overnight romantic anniversary getaway near chicago-land area?

ok my boyfriend was supposed to plan something this year for our anniversary but he said he was gonna surprise me but when i aksed him what we were doing he said that he doesnt have energy to plan nething now. (yes i know grrr) so im trying to put together a relitively cheep overnight (sat/sun 28-29) getaway for the 2 of us i have no prob with extra stuff but we NEED a cheep hotel seeing as i can only spend bout 200 on my credit card n the rest cash but i would do the sleeping at home but we r lame and live with my parents in an apartment downstairs. but ill have cash to spend on din n activities cuz aparently i have to pay 2 years in a row now =( o well hes worth it. but ANY IDEAS would be soooo apreciated!!!! since this is soo last miniute

Administrator answers:

Check hotels in Evanston. They are probably expensive but this time of year maybe a bit cheaper or maybe a package. The Best Western is the one I think of when I think of cheap. It’s across the street from a great bar and it’s close to a train stop so if you want to go downtown you can do that. Also, Evanston is a really nice place and just walking around there could be enjoyable.

Ruth asks…

Can we afford living on our own?

My girlfriend and I are looking for an apartment—over the summer we can both work full time and bring in a combined income over roughly $2,000,

There are about eight apartments we will be checking out within the next week ranging from $480 – $530. Only, we will be making much less, about half that, when college starts up again. Our parents and the lottery fund and her scholarships will help with tuition.

We own an F150 and a Ford Ranger. My car insurance is $70 a month, her car insurance may be taken care of by her parents if we are lucky–if not its $100.

I may start working full time a glass company that my mom used to work for that starts their CSRs off at a much higher pay than most glass companies. She wants to start working at a department store or something until she graduates.

Can we afford this? I don’t know exactly what other expenses we will have besides utilities, food, but how much do you think all our other expenses will run us?

Administrator answers:

Yeah, you can. The expenses you listed are like 700 (assuming the highest rent & that your girlfriend will pay her car insurance- safer to round up.) Depending on your landlord, you’ll have to pay gas, electricity, and maybe water. Ask prospective landlords which utilities you’re responsible for & round up. Electric is the most expensive- figure 25-30 per month. Maybe 10-15 for gas. Seems like most landlords pay water, but if not, probably about the same as gas? The utilities will probably be less than this, might be a little more sometimes. Your expenses might be less than mine cuz I live in Chicago and living expenses here are high.

Groceries- shop discount stores, stock up on things that are nonperishable or last a long time for better deals (toilet paper, coffee, canned foods, frozen veggies, beans, pasta, rice, you can freeze chicken & bread, etc.) Buy generic brands and stick to essentials. Learn to be creative with basic ingredients like the things I listed. Sometimes u have to eat a lot of Ramen or PB&J. The stuff i listed is all fairly cheap. Buy a lot of fruit whenever it’s on sale so u have stuff to snack on. Make sure you have food around that can be easily prepared so you don’t start getting in the habit of ordering out or stopping for take-out, which is really expensive. We spend like 200 bucks per month on groceries (We shop once every week or 2.) Again, where you live things might be cheaper.

U said you can both work full time over the summer- what about during the school year? And how much do you need to pay for tuition and school books? Working & going to school full time is very difficult and can really put a strain on things, including your relationship. You really need to make yourself be disciplined. This is something I have REALLY struggled with. Make sure you have jobs & classes that are very compatible with each other, easy to get to, and not overly stressful. Some jobs will allow you to study during down time which helps a lot. You might have to go to school all morning, work until the evening, and do homework all night. It’s HARD. Schedule carefully. If you buy a slow cooker you can throw together a meal in the morning and when you come home it will be ready for you. Lots of cheap and easy recipes with that & it really helps make life easier.

You also need to consider security deposits. Some landlords make you pay 1st + last’s month rent upfront, some make you pay that plus a security deposit – usually 1 month rent. The electric, gas, and water companies will probably also each require a deposit if you don’t have good credit established. Call & find all this stuff out. Electric is always the worst- I think I had to pay 120 or something for Com Ed. (They pay you back by crediting your account in like a year if you pay your bills on time)

Also, gasoline and other transportation is important, pricey, and should be considered part of your budget. Figure out how much u need to get you where u need to go per month. And do you u have cell phones? These can be kind of expensive too, and also might require a security deposit if you don’t have them yet & don’t have credit. At least you’ll need a home phone if u can’t afford cells- pretty cheap these days. And if you don’t use them already, I’d suggest birth control pills. Once you’re living together this is important so you don’t end up with an unexpected and HUGELY expensive and demanding responsibility… (Sorry to get personal but it’s a huge pitfall with a lot of people. Go to planned parenthood if you need cheap birth control.) Another pitfall- credit cards. I’d steer clear if I were you. Instead, use a checking account with a debit card, attached to a savings account. ONLY spend what you have. Don’t get overdrawn. Balance your account every week & keep close track of what you spend. Never use pay day loans. If you fall behind on bills, it’s better to call up the people who you owe money to and make a payment plan with them.

It’s a lot of stuff to consider, but tons of people do it. It’s a matter of being responsible & staying on top of things before late fees start adding up, and not buying things you don’t need. Take a notebook or use Excel to make a list of expenses: rent, each utility, car insurance, school fees, groceries, gasoline, phone bills. Then put in the amounts and due dates. Add them up so you can see how much total per month. Subtract that from how much you actually have. My husband & i do this together for each month and check off each expense as it’s paid. If we can’t afford it all, we figure out which will be easiest to put off until the next pay check, or we find a place to cut costs (groceries usually.) Utilities will give you something of a grace period, especially Nicor (gas). But DON’T let it get out of hand.

Also, always remember things pop up. Your car will break down, you’ll get an expensive ticket, 1 of you will have to go to the doctor, etc. So it’s always good to have a savings account and stash away whatever you can. If you connect it with your checking account u can transfer money online.

I’d recommend staying at home and saving up for a while so you’ll have a good start, especially with security deposits which can add up to a lot in the beginning. It can be overwhelming at first to pay all this crap, but u get into the habit after a while and it gets easier, if you’re careful. Then you’ll have more time and $ for fun. Sometimes you’ll run into problems, but just don’t let things start piling up. If u get really behind on the electric or gas bills, call them up and make a payment plan. If you fall behind on rent you can get evicted, and if you lapse on car insurance you can end up with big problems, so don’t mess around with those 2 things. Also, cell phone companies can be like vultures.Trust me- I speak from experience on all this.

It sounds like you’re being responsible and taking things into consideration. Just make sure your relationship is strong enough to deal with all this new responsibility. If you haven’t been together for a long time, or if you break up & get back together, or fight a lot, I’d reconsider this. It sucks to break up in the middle of your lease. Or if your girlfriend decides, “screw this,” and just moves out, the landlord will make YOU pay everything by yourself. You’ll have to sublease, or find a roommate or something & it will be really rough. If things are really going well in your relationship, and you really know and trust each other, save up for a while and go for it. Just make sure you know it’s not always fun and it’s not easy.

Robert asks…

Least expensive places to live in or around L.A. ?

3 friends and I are planning to move out to the L.A. area and are currently apartment hunting. What areas in or around L.A. are the cheapest? Our price range is about $950-$1700 a month. We can always go a little above, but we are mostly just concerned with the safety of the area.
I know that it sounds like I don’t have much detail on it yet, this is because we probably won’t be moving until the end of this up coming summer or around then, which is why we are trying to gather details on it now. We plan to have jobs lined up before we get out there, and we already have plenty of money in the bank, and continue to save up money along the way.

For the person who asked why we are going out there: I am planning to go to school out there, two friends (brothers) have family out there who they wish to be closer to family (we now live in PA) and the last person is coming just to have new opportunities.

Disclaimer: We are not coming to L.A. because it’s a “dreamy city” or to become famous. We are not interested in that. haha
I know that it sounds like I don’t have much detail on it yet, this is because we probably won’t be moving until the end of this up coming summer or around then, which is why we are trying to gather details on it now. We plan to have jobs lined up before we get out there, and we already have plenty of money in the bank, and continue to save up money along the way.

For the person who asked why we are going out there: I am planning to go to school out there, two friends (brothers) have family out there who they wish to be closer to family (we now live in PA) and the last person is coming just to have new opportunities.

Disclaimer: We are not coming to L.A. because it’s a “dreamy city” or to become famous. We are not interested in that. haha
Oh and I should mention, we are hoping to look for a 2 bedroom.

Administrator answers:

The least expensive areas in or around LA are high in crime. Do you and your friends have JOBS lined up and money in the bank?

California has a high unemployment rate and a high cost of living. Jobs are hard to find right now and the state’s economy isn’t expected to return to pre-recession levels until 2016. People are moving out of the state everyday to look for jobs. If you have no college degree and no marketable skills, you will not be able to find a job that will enable you to afford California since, as already mentioned, cost of living is high. California is definitely not a state to move to if you have no education, no job, and no money.

If you want to move to California, you need to find a job first and have $10-15,000+ in the bank. You also need a plan. Landlords will want first month’s rent, last month’s rent, and security deposit upfront and will run credit checks on potential tenants. Some landlords will require that your monthly income be at least 2.5 times the rent. No landlord will rent to an unemployed person.

A 1 bedroom apartment in an OK area rents for $1,200+ per month. To be able to afford (spending no more than 30% of income) such a place, you need a gross monthly income of $4,000+. Jobs that pay that much require an advanced education and/or degrees.

Unlike cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco, you need a car. Public transportation in LA leaves a lot to be desired. Train/subway service is limited and getting anywhere by bus takes time.

Check out: http://www.lalife.com/

Allow me to ask: Why do you want to move to LA?

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