Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Cheapest Apartments In The Us

July 18, 2013

Daniel asks…

What are the best ways to reduce your bill with electric heat?

I have electric heat and rent an apartment in a very old building. Last year, our monthly electric bill was pretty terrible in the winter months. We are renting the place and are not willing to buy better windows, but we are planning on putting up plastic insulation. Does anyone have any other tips that can help us save money on our electrical bill during the winter months?

Administrator answers:

Turn down the temp just a degree or two when you are asleep under the covers. Burn cheap candles while you’re awake, like when watching TV. Open sunny windows during the day to let the sunlight heat the room(s). Find drafts and seal them off.

Lisa asks…

What are the average monthly living expenses in Jamaica?

Hi, I was born in Jamaica, but raised in the US. I am thinking about moving back there for a few months, but I would like to be able to support myself or at least contribute to the household I will be staying with. Can anyone tell me what the average household expenses are like? I am thinking of staying in MoBay or Negril area, in an apartment/duplex/twnhse, and the only real ‘luxuries’ I would need is internet access and possibly mobile phone service. I know it varies, but I would like an idea so I know if I’ll be able to save enough, or if I need to get a pt job while I am there.

Side question…..
Has anyone left JA and gone back to live? What was the transition like?

Thanks!

Administrator answers:

I am thinking that you are going to need the following.
All prices quoted below are in US dollars.

Exchange rate is approx 65 ja to 1 us dollar. Dont allow that to fool you, most products in the US are more expensive in Jamaica.

1. Food/mth= $50-$75- food is pretty expensive in supermarkets, I suggest you shop for the month at the local market and cook for yourself if you want to save or sonserve.

2. Rent= anywhere from us 200-2000/mth. If they realise that you are american they will probably overcharge you.

3. Transportation (depends on how much you have to travel approx. $2/day intra parish)- i would suggest that if you are well-off you try and rent a car for the period. If you can blend in easily, especially travel;ling by yourself…take the bus, you will meet alot of people that way.

4. Entertainment-$50/mth- see the island, blue mountain, treasure beach, tourist areas, and to the eastern parishes (excellent beaches)

5. Internet- depending on type of access, the ranges are between ($10-50/mth)

6. Telephone- i would suggest you get a cellphone(get a prepaid package-). Take your american cellphone with you that uses the microchip. Buy a michocrip and phone cards. Cost approx. $20 to get a micro chip from one of the phone companies. Phone catds cost between approx. $1.50 and $10.
NB- you can also connect your computer through your cellphone, its pretty cheap. (get online anywhere on the island)

7. Msc.- 10-25/mth

additional.
You can gain employment which would be a bonus- You mentioned that your parents are Jamaican, some companies in Jamaica give alot of preferences to children of Jamaican parentage living abroad…Search online for Jamaican diaspora initiaves in Jamaica.

If you have more question i will be happy to help–link me

Ruth asks…

what are the best groceries to buy in a very limited budget as a college student?

I live in an apartment, there is three of us. What main things can we, and should we buy for cheap to eat. (excluding soup, ramen noodles, ICK)

Administrator answers:

A can of Delmonte tomato sauce costs $1.25 and tastes better than most jars that cost $2.50 and up. Pasta and a salad (buy a head of lettuce, no pre bagged salad) and you have dinner for four for $5.00. Tea bags to make Iced tea, rice, dried beans, or canned. Popcorn in the jar, not microwave, is about ten times cheaper and has less salt, grease and tastes better. A big ten pound bag of frozen chicken legs and thighs, $5.00 from a latin grocery. Hamburger, cheese, always buy on sale, never shop hungary. Remember what ever you eat at home will be half the cost of eating out.

Sandra asks…

Are you legally allowed to break a lease due to a roach problem?

We moved into our apartment about 7 months ago and have had bug problems since day one. We’ve bought roach bait houses and roach stations and it hasn’t worked. Out landlord even sprayed with incredibly poor quality spray once which just paralyzed them. It’s getting worse and worse. We have a six month old baby in the place and we all three have nasty rashes on us. I think it may be due to the bugs. Could we legally break a lease over bug problems? Help!

Administrator answers:

You have reason to be concerned. It is a catch 22………your landlord has sprayed, so an attempt has been made. Albeit the landlord took the cheap way out. I personally would look at the penalty I would have to pay to break my lease. If it was only a couple of hundred of dollars I would be out of there! Roaches are you know cause health problems, to include breathing problems. Roaches also breed like crazy, and there can be eggs and things in your personal property…………so ensure that before you move any of your things that you thoroughly clean your things or you will be taking them with you. The bad thing about living in an apartment is that if your landlord doesn’t treat all of the units around you………..then the problem is still there. You could have a filthy neighbor, for example, resulting in the roaches coming to your unit.

The flip side is that you don’t want Social Services being called by a doctor if you take your six month old to the doctor and they determine she is having health problems due to roaches. I personally can’t take roaches………..and I would pay money to break a lease to get away from roaches, they just disgust me!

Michael asks…

How to make a one bedroom work for 3 people?

My boyfriend and I recently got a one bedroom apartment. We would of gotten a 2 bedroom but it’s expensive here in New York! Anyways how can we make it work for me him and my kid? I don’t wanna have her bed out in the open I want her to have her own space .. Anyways please let me kno! Thanks! :)

Administrator answers:

Hi – how about using a ‘room divider’? You can do these up how you would like them and it gives you separation from the baby. Have a look here for some ideas. If you purchase a blank one you could use some baby wall decals to stick on – on the baby side and something that you like on your side. Or, cover each side in different fabrics i.e. Baby fabric on baby’s side and something to match your part of the room on the other side.

Http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/shopping/guides/on-the-cheap-10-room-dividers-under-100

http://www.walmart.com/cp/Room-Dividers/1043781

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70182191/

Here are some ideas for the wall decals to stick on the ‘dividers’:

http://www.trendypeas.com/shop/category/wall-decal/

http://www.walltat.com/Kids-Wall-Decals-Baby-Wall-Decals-s/3.htm

http://www.allposters.com/-st/Wall-Decals-Posters_c84612_.htm

Some ideas on Fabric Dividers:

http://www.ehow.com/way_6170521_ideas-fabric-room-dividers.html

http://www.slideshare.net/reviewwhereshopnew/good-mocha-room-divider-kit-8h-x-15w-fabric-curtain

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