Advice and Apps that Make it Easy to Split the Rent

Usually, money matters boil down to lousy execution and poor upfront planning.  Let us take a look into ways to relieve both of those problems.

Plan How to Split Costs Before Bill Is Due

Before paying a penny for utilities, groceries, or rent, establish a roommate planning meeting. The goal: Figure out which bills have to be paid, the quantity each roommate is going to pay, and how you will pay.

Begin by making a list of the anticipated costs. It ought to include estimated month-to-month expenses for the following:

  • Renter’s insurance
  • Trash
  • Sewer
  • Television (Satellite, cable)
  • Internet
  • Water
  • Gas or Electricity (heat)
  • Rent

Some of those might be covered by the landlord, particularly heat.  If they aren’t, check with the energy companies for the prior bills from the previous tenants, as noted in this article by Tuition.io.

Execution: Tracking expenses and paying the bills

There’s a broad array of incredible technologies which cover both the electronic payments and calculating of shared expenses. Let us take a look.

Expense Tracking Spreadsheet

Look at this expense’s spreadsheet from practicalspreadsheets.com.  It’ll download as an Excel file, and has categories, in order for you to create certain expenses and keep track of payment methods.

Rent Split Calculator

This rent split calculator has a 3-step process which helps not just split the rent, yet additionally allocates payment percentages based upon room size.

Apps that split and track expenses

There are various apps in the market which split and track expenses, as noted within this article by Brick Underground. Some have tracking abilities, some do not.

Splitwise

WithSplitwise, you can upload bill amounts then automatically split them between roommates. It’ll keep track of who owes what then sends out routine due-date reminders. It doesn’t have a bill-payment feature.

Paying expenses and rent on the internet

Radpad

If the property manager doesn’t have a problem with paper checks, pay on the internet using Radpad.  The landlord does not need to open an account with Radpad in order to participate. The service splits the rent between roommates. Then it automatically sends out a paper check to the landlord. Debit card payments are 100 percent free.

Paypal

Paypal, the old standby, permits users to pay on the internet provided the landlord has a Paypal account, as well. It permits recurring payments and sending money from a bank account is completely free.

Venmo

Pay anybody from a smartphone provided they have an account with Venmo. Payments are free using a debit card or from a bank account, and there’s a fee with a credit card.

Rentshare

This splits the rent and enables you to pay on the internet. The landlord must joinRentshare to get payments, and there’s a fee.

Let the Planning Begin

Now you have the techniques and tools for splitting and planning the rent. Round up your roommates and start planning!

For more information on 2-bedroom apartments for rentplease feel free to get in touch with Your Next Place right away!

Apartment Fitness Gadgets – Do They Work?

Nowadays, many people are renting apartments.Whether it’s for convenience, location, or to save money, we lead our lives in smaller spaces than we might have once dreamed of. But there’s also still the social pressure to stay in shape, and the convenience of an at-home gym is incredibly tempting for apartment dwellers. This is where compact fitness equipment really shines. From folding treadmills, to door-mounted pull-up bars, there are smaller versions of all the staple gym equipment you’d find in any decent fitness facility. Whether you’re stuck in a tiny bachelor apartment, or in the market for spacious Winnipeg luxury apartments, there are tons of gadgets marketed for today’s renters.Compact equipment is usually at a lower price point, so they seem like a total steal,especially compared to rising fitness facility costs. So, is it worth cultivating your own workout equipment collection in the comfort of your own compact home? Let’s take a look at your options.

First, and foremost, is the complete gym machine. These machines typically have a bench, with pullies and arms, allowing you to do upwards of 50 different workouts in the same 10-foot space. You can spring for the gold standard, the classic Bowflex we’ve all seen time and time again, but if you’re living on a budget, you may want to consider lower cost alternatives like the affordable and modern Total Gym. Regardless of price point, complete gym machines definitely offer the convenience of multiple stations, and tons of versatile parts allowing you to workout your entire body. They’re also incredibly compact, especially for a machine with so many uses, so the convenience factor is unparalleled. The bottom line is, if you actually motivate yourself to utilize all that they have to offer, they’re an absolute must for anyone looking to stay in shape without leaving the apartment.

Next, there are good old fashioned weights. Not only can you get a nice set of dumbbells for a small investment, there are tons of alternatives like kettlebells, medicine balls, punching weights, and even ankle weights. Basically, you could always pick up a set of basic dumbbells and use them for any workout. But now, you can also just buy specialty weights for almost any workout, so there’s no need to shell out for a complete set if you’re only going to use them for one specific purpose.

 Finally, there are as-seen-on-TV gadgets, things like ab rollers, Thigh Masters, balance boards, and pull-up bars. Theseare riskier because they tend to be flimsy, so they break easily, and can damage your apartment. They also tend to be very specific fad equipment, so you’ll likely find them at garage sales or gathering dust in your closet because they get boring fast. If you want to see how all this so-called miracle equipment works, check out videos of real consumers using them, and misusing them before you order.

In the end, the answer is yes: apartment workout equipment not only exists, it works. There are tons of options, especially affordable and compact options. So as long as you find what works for you, and are willing to put in the work, you can have a great workout without stepping foot in the scary outdoors.

Tips for recycling in an apartment

Recycling can seem a little daunting if you’re living in an apartment, but we’re living in a time where people are striving to be greener than ever before. Recycling and reducing waste is important, and I’ve got some tips here for you to make it as painless as possible.

Winnipeggers have a consistent recycling program, so finding recycling bins at your apartment should not be a problem, but there are still some things you should check about the access while you’re looking for the best Winnipeg apartments for recycling. Speak to the landlord or caretaker, see if they’re onboard with recycling. If they are they’re more likely to be accommodating in future for anything you might need to help you along. You should also make sure you have relatively easy access to the recycling bins.

Get some bins for within your suit; the kitchen is an obvious spot for a recycling bin, but if you have a desk or an office having one there can also encourage recycling. Make sure you’re diligent when throwing something away, and most importantly do not throw garbage into the recycling. If you’re unsure, it’s safest to just throw it away.

Dispose of things properly to lessen the change of things finding their way to a landfill. This can be things like mattresses and appliances, batteries, and consumer electronics. Phones are a good example; many people have old phones at home that they don’t use anymore but feel uncomfortable throwing away. You can either just directly donate them (restore to factory settings first!), or you can bring it back to most cellphone sellers to have them recycle it. You can donate many other things to avoid wasting them: clothes, appliances, computers and laptops, etc. Schools in particularly often appreciate having spare computer parts for their students to practice with.

Reduction and reuse are also an important factor. Reuse can be things like glass jars for condiments, which make excellent airtight containers down the line. Be careful though because some containers not intended for reused can break down and become harmful over time. Reduction can be something like using reusable bags when you go shopping, and buying a water bottle to carry with you, to minimize the need for plastic water bottles.

The last thing is something you’ve probably run into a few times before: paperless billing. Most institutions are more than happy to bill you electronically. Cell phone providers and banks are probably the most well-known, but there are others as well. Many people don’t realize that the Canadian Government can handle tax returns and GST return electronically, student loans can be administered electronically, and other utilities like internet service providers can bill electronically. This is a win-win for everyone involved. You can reduce the amount of waste you’re generating, keep your home free of clutter, and the companies are more than happy to enable this, because it saves them money on paper, printing, and postage.

How to Host a Holiday Party in a Small Space

It’s that time of year again: Christmas music everywhere you go, the contact sport of last minute gift shopping, and everyone wants to know when you’ll throw your own holiday party. Maybe you’ve been shopping for a new downtown Winnipeg apartment, or you’re just worried your friends and family will feel like sardines. How can you make the most of the room you have and host a party to remember?

The first step is optimizing your layout. Playing Tetris with your furniture can free up tons of floor space and even make the place look and feel bigger than it is. Try to open center space by moving couches against walls and moving your dining table to the corner of the room. Arrange the extra chairs around the coffee table instead or stack them for people to grab as they need. If your hallways are wide enough, consider putting a couple chairs against the walls for people to stop and chat away from the noise of the main party area, or just to rest their feet while they line up for the bathroom. Especially if you’re not planning on having a four-course meal, use your newly accessible table as a drink and snack station rather than a centerpiece. This way, people have space to move around, hang out away from the bustle, and pass by without fear of getting stuck in conversation –especially if it’s a family reunion. You’ll also prevent them from getting hungry by giving them free access to food and beverages.

Next, decorate for the space you have. If you’re getting a tree, consider a small artificial or LED tree instead of a full-sized one or the real deal. One huge advantage is that they’re compact, so you can put them up on a table or even your counter if they’re small enough, and you can just shove them away in a closet once the holidays are over. You also won’t have to deal with hauling outa sappy, needle-spreading mess, and buying a whole new tree every year. Use white, bright lights, like fairy lights instead of typical coloured bulbs to make the space seem more open and inviting. Less is more for things like wreaths and bows. Hanging a single sprig of mistletoe by the door is a cute conversation piece and it sets the holiday mood without being gaudy or in the way.

Finally, plan activities around your home, not just the generic house party. You have less space, and likely fewer seating areas. Maybe you just have one TV that would be uncomfortable for everyone to crowd around. Be conscious not just of who is coming and when, but what you have available to entertain them. Consider turning your TV to face the open room so people can watch the burning log as they chat. If you have party games lined up, try playing standing games like Charades that require more movement and fewer seats.

No matter what or how you celebrate, there’s no reason that your festivities shouldn’t totally rock just because you have less space. Think outside the box, and have a safe and happy holiday season!

Pets are Family

“Pets are family” has become a common mantra; as someone who worked in the pet industry for a number of years, I can tell you that this is a state of mind, not a carte blanche state of affairs. Plenty of people, especially in rural environments, consider their pets as tools, rather than family; cats are there to hunt for mice, dogs are there to protect livestock, and any further attachment is sentimental nonsense to this mode of thought. I also know people who claimed that their pets aren’t family, then proceeded to spend thousands of dollars on treatment, medication and food. When you believe your pets are family, whether you express it or not, you’re willing to spend money and time on them; you’re looking for pet friendly apartments for rent as a necessity, not a luxury.

Why do we form such incredible attachments with our pets? There’s a wide variety of reasons, as it turns out. Familiarity is no doubt a major element; anyone who has spent some time around animals comes to realize they are sentient beings with feelings, thoughts, and personalities all their own. We come to cherish their idiosyncrasies, just as we do with those of humans; their little quirks remind us there’s a whole universe that exists solely within them. It exists within each of us, too.

There are health benefits to having a pet, too, and these can create an important bond. Getting out to walk your dog is a great excuse to go for a bit of a workout; you’ll have an unfailing exercise partner who is incessantly optimistic, and can think of nothing more enjoyable than a stroll around the block with you. Tending to another being’s needs also commits you to being mindful; you can’t simply forget to feed your cat for a day, and you will be reminded that food is to be had. This helps us to develop schedules, which are sometimes missing in our chaotic modern lives.

Humans have a strong ego; we are filled with a burning desire to do right, to alter the course of history in a way that elevates our fellows. We can be plagued by guilt, shame, and indecision when we feel we have done wrong; these feelings can obscure the profound beauty of forgetting about your worries and absorbing your surrounding, of living in the present. Animals, while they may have an ego, certainly don’t show it in the way humans do; it seems tremendous self-awareness is needed to have ego. When we spend time with animals, there’s data that shows endorphins are naturally released through our system, de-stressing us and making us happy. But animals might do more than that for us; they might remind us to turn off our constantly thinking, worried about the past-and-future selves. They might remind us that it’s okay to run, to play, to breathe and be noisy and enjoy all of the wonderful mess that is life. Our pets are our family; sometimes the only ones who can remind us of what it truly means to live.

Dealing with a Nosy Landlord

According to Porch, the most annoying neighbours are nosy neighbours. These folks are particularly frustrating because they refuse to let others live their lives in peace; they’ll butt in where they don’t belong, give unsolicited advice, and nag about problems that aren’t theirs to nag about. Seriously, wouldn’t we all love to live lives so drama-free we had to go bother our neighbours to find some? Sadly, these folks still exist, and it’s only worse if the “neighbour” in question is your landlord. With a neighbour, worst comes to worst you can tell them to shove off, but with a landlord more diplomacy seems to be in order; we want to maintain the best relationships we can while they still own the property we’re living on.

The first thing to know is your rights. Review your lease as well as documents like The Residential Tenancies Act. In Manitoba, a landlord must give a tenant at least 24 hours notice before entering their premises, so if your landlord is barging in at random times without notice, you can politely inform them that next time, you’ll need at least 24 hours notice. Should your landlord give you 24 hours notice, but it’s impractical for you to accommodate the visit, you can give an alternative time frame, so long as it’s within reason.

You must communicate with your landlord; it’s possible they don’t realize they’re being nosy and inconsiderate. Honest, open communication is key to all of our relationships, including financial ones; if your landlord doesn’t know they’re being a nuisance, how will they stop? Tell your landlord that you’re always willing to work with them when they need access to the unit, but without notice you feel that you’re being treated unfairly.

You might find that despite your good intentions, your landlord continues to butt in where and when they aren’t supposed to. When this happens, it’s time to start logging everything. Send a written complaint to the landlord advising of the issue, and start writing down every intrusion or bad interaction: every phone call, every meeting, everytime they barge in has got to be logged.

Hopefully, the logs and written notice are enough evidence that you mean business; most of the time, cool heads will prevail here and your landlord will cease to bother at all hours of the day. Should this fail, you can begin to consider professional mediation or legal action in order to restore some peace and sanity to your life.

One always hopes it doesn’t come to moving, but some landlords will sadly succeed at driving you away. Should you and your family need a new place to stay, there are always 2 bedroom apartments for rent in Winnipeg that you can find with good property management companies or reputable landlords who will stay out of your hair.