Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Cheapest Apartments In The Us

July 10, 2013

Mary asks…

How can I save energy with central air conditioning?

I just moved into the new apartment where I have to pay utilities separately and we have central AC, so I need advice how to save money. Is it cheaper if I keep it off when no one’s home and then turning it on again later? And does the temperature play a role in this too? Is there a difference if I set it at 75 or 65 degrees for instance?

Administrator answers:

The lower you set the thermostat the harder the A/C has to work to get the house to that temperature, so yes setting your thermostat at 75 degrees will cost you much less than setting it at 65 degrees.

Conventional reasoning says to leave the A/C on at all times. Use a slightly warmer temp than you prefer when you are not home and then turn it down to your comfort zone when you get home. The idea is that the A/C will work less maintaining a cooler temp all day than having to bring a very hot house down all at once in the evening.

I don’t agree with this, I shut the A/C off when we leave in the morning and crank it up again at 6 or 7 that evening when we get home. This has proven to be the most affordable option for us over the years.

I have lived in this same house for 18 years so we have had a lot of time to experiment with this.

Also keep the inlet filter clean and don’t leave windows and doors open.
You can by shading film for the windows with the most sun exposure, that does a lot surprisingly.

Good Luck!

Ruth asks…

Where can I practice my ballet routines other than my “shoebox” of an apartment?

I need to practice my techniques and routines, but my apartment has very little to no space to practice in. Can anyone recommend some places I can go to practice? I don’t mind if it’s public.

Administrator answers:

In the UK we can hire village halls and church halls, not ideal, but usually quite cheap.
I use one end of a hall while a dance group uses the other end. I have to have my music on headphones which isn’t very pleasant, and the floor is not sprung, but it costs me next to nothing.
Some halls do have sprung floors but none near me.

Do you have similar facilities in the US?

Most dance studios hire out space by the hour but it can be expensive. Is there an arts centre near you?
You might be able to do a space sharing deal like mine.

Thomas asks…

Eating while sharing an apartment?

I will be moving into a 4/4 apartment with my friends in the fall and I wanna know how we should do meals– have our own separate foods and eat on our own? Or share food and eat the same thing?

If you have been in my situation what did you do, and what worked for you?

Administrator answers:

It’s usually cheaper to have everyone work together on a list and cook the food for all. Like a family. I had an apartment with two others and that’s what we did. When you all work together, everyone gets to have something they like and the others get to try new foods. We also had friends over to help us eat it sometimes when we made a lot like roast beef and potatoes’.

Lizzie asks…

Where is the cheapest rent in the US?

I am thinking of moving out of state and trying to decide where. If you know the area and prices of a 1 bedroom that would be great!

Administrator answers:

Of the 20 major metro areas, Houston, Pittsburgh and St. Louis are the 3 least expensive. But leave the big city, and you’ll find even more options.

Check out for apartment prices around the US.

Charles asks…

How expensive would it be to live in Italy?

I live in the US right now.
If I ever moved there, would it be expensive to live there?
Just tell me as much as you know.

Administrator answers:

I’ve been living in Italy for nine years and have a home near Denver, Colorado. The expenses for my 4 bedroom house in Colorado and my one bedroom apartment here in northern Italy are about the same. I live in a smaller city, not one of the more expensive tourist destinations. As someone else mentioned, heating bills in the winter can be quite high, but since there’s no air conditioning, the electric bills through the summer are lower than in the US. Basically, you can count on having bills for electricity, gas, water, and trash removal with internet and phone bills depending on your subscription. There’s an annual television tax. You’ll also have fees for renewing your permesso di soggiorno (permission to stay) every year.

I just stopped for fuel on the way to work this morning – 1.32 euro per liter for diesel. That’s equivalent to about $7.17/gallon at the current exchange rate. The dollar has strengthened against the euro recently – it was about $10/gallon a few months ago. My food bills are about the same as in the US, but that’s not comparing identical items. There are some things cheaper here in Italy and some that are more expensive.

You need to know that it’s more complicated than just deciding to move to Italy. As a US citizen it would be illegal for you to live and work here unless you have the proper visa. You can get visa information here: Getting a work permit and visa is not easy for a non-EU citizen. As a US expat, you will also have to file taxes in both the US and in Italy – Italian tax rates are higher than in the US. The expat websites are a good place to do some research; for example:,

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