6 legit money-saving hacks for apartment renters

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 12:42 PM

Each one of these tips will help you save a little money when it comes to renting an apartment Check out rentals in the chilly months. Choosing the second floor of a place with three levels of units saves dramatically on the utility bill If you're responsible for the electric bill at the apartment, hack away at it Get renters insurance Make an inexpensive deck tile upgrade that merely rests on the bathroom floor and can be used at your next place Make time to schedule a walk-through at the empty apartmen

From the moment you start searching for an apartment until your last goodbye to the landlord, there are numerous fees, utility costs and more than can make having your own place a little more expensive than you planned.

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There are several money-saving hacks to trim some of those added costs, according to frugal bloggers, lifestyle pro's and real estate experts.

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Each one of the tips below will help you save a little money so that you can save toward splurges and bigger goals− like homeownership.

Apartment hunting got you down?(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Check out rentals in the chilly months.

While November through February offer fewer rental options, you can strike a deal for a lower rent more often and more easily in the winter months, according to Lifehacker. Landlords have to look harder for tenants in these slow apartment hunting months, so they might be more willing to take less rent or a lower deposit, or to offer a few extra services than what you'd get in spring and summer.

Choose floor No. 2. 

While conventional wisdom indicates saving money by opting for a floor that's higher in the building, that cheaper rent could push your other bills higher, according to the Wise Bread blog. Choosing the second floor of a place with three levels of units saves dramatically on the utility bill -- far better than getting a nominal rent break. The best insulated floor of three is the second, which is particularly important if you'll be paying for air conditioning in the sunny South.

Power down on the electric bill.

If you're responsible for the electric bill at the apartment, hack away at it, real estate website Trulia advised. Be sure to identify energy sappers like appliances that use a remote control or an external power supply or have a continuous display, Trulia said. All of them continue to use electricity even after they're turned off. To save as much as $150 on your power bill annually, invest in a smart power strip and plug in such devices as TVs, cable boxes and game consoles to cut off "phantom power" at the source.

Save on renters insurance

You could always save on renters insurance by forgoing it altogether, but that leaves you open to losing all you own, according to The Balance. Instead, get the insurance, but economize by exploring professional discounts if you are in a profession such as police officer, firefighter, teacher or nurse or are a credit union member or retiree.

If you haven't already chosen where to rent, you may want to opt for apartments near a fire station, in a low crime area or in a newer building to further reduce your renter's insurance.

Make a movable bathroom floor upgrade

A lot of the most affordable apartments, and even some of the pricier ones, have unattractive, cold or warped bathroom floors. To keep from losing your deposit by altering the actual bathroom floor, consider making an inexpensive deck tile upgrade that merely rests on the floor and can be used at your next place, too, RentManager.com suggested. And instead of cutting tiles to fit that specific floor, fill in the hard-to-fit nooks and crannies with black river rocks.

Walk through on your way out. 

Make time to schedule a walk-through at the empty apartment before you're gone for good, Wise Bread recommended. Look at the place with your apartment manager, and review any charges you might incur against your deposit and any outstanding bills. While it's tempting to avoid the face-to-face even if you've had a wonderful rental experience, having the supervisor sign off on notes from your conversation lays the groundwork for protests far better than waiting to get the refund in the mail.

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Recall roundup: PJs for kids, pill packages, and more 

Published: Friday, July 13, 2018 @ 12:18 PM

Sleepwear for children and medication packets are on this week’s list of recalls from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

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image: www.cpsc.gov

Children’s onesies with hoods and fleece pajama pants by Allura are being recalled because they don’t meet flammability standards and pose a risk of burns, but no injuries have been reported. 

The onesies were sold under the brand name “Delia’s Girl” and the fleece pants have the brand name “Sweet N Sassy” on the waist label.

They were sold in a variety of colors and prints

Don’t let your child wear the pajamas and contact Allura at 866-254-3103 to receive a full refund.

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Image: www.cpsc.gov

Prescription drug blister packages by Sandoz and Novartis are being recalled because they aren’t child resistant. 

There is one report of a child ingesting a haloperidol after opening a blister pack.  

Multiple prescription pills and packages are part of this recall.  The full list can be found here

Consumers should continue to take the medication but keep the packages away from children and contact Novartis or Sandoz at 888-669-6682 for further instructions. 

Cedar Chest suffocation danger continues, warns CPSC

Image: www.cpsc.gov

Snowboard boots by Burton are under recall after seven reports of them releasing from the binding without warning, which could cause a fall. 

No one has been hurt but don’t use the recalled models and colors of Step On snowboard boots and contact Burton at 800-881-3138 to receive a free heal cleat. 

Bleeding weed: CDC warns of synthetic pot containing rat poison

Image: www.cpsc.gov

Avalanche transceivers by ORTOVOX are being recalled because they may fail to transmit a survivor’s signal after an avalanche. 

No one has been hurt but do not use the transceivers with the model numbers 1137000006, 1137000001 and 1137000002, which were manufactured from 2010 through 2018. 

Contact ORTOVOX at 877-384-9252 for information on how to return the product for a free repair. 

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CDC warns of dangerous synthetic ‘bleeding’ weed

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 @ 11:01 AM

Health experts are warning of a new and dangerous form of synthetic marijuana that is laced with rat poison.

Dubbed “bleeding pot,” it has been linked to five deaths in the U.S. and over 200 cases of excessive and uncontrolled bleeding. 

“It is especially dangerous right now, because there is a product on the market that contains rat poison and it is impossible for somebody to know whether or not the product that they are using contains that ingredient,” said Dr. Tegan Boehmer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

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The rat poison is an anti-coagulant that kills rats with internal bleeding and has now been linked to four deaths in Illinois alone, and cases of excessive bleeding on the eastern half of the U.S. 

“They may present at the emergency department, with bleeding from their nose, gums, coughing, or vomiting blood or having blood in their urine or stool.” Said Dr. Boehmer in an interview with our sister station WSB-TV in Atlanta.

Many states including Ohio have banned synthetic marijuana sales, but it used to be readily available at convenience stores. 

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Tyler Clackum is a former synthetic pot user and he was able to purchase it from a store when he was 18. 

“I was addicted to it for about six months,” Clackum said, “I lost a lot of weight. I couldn’t eat. I almost needed it to live.” 

Then an overdose sent him to the emergency room.

“I had a kind of hallucination and a weird, really evil experience. All of a sudden my heart felt like it was exploding. I was certain I was dying and all I could do was pray,” Clackum said in an interview with WSB-TV. 

He wasn’t surprised to learn rat poison has been found in some fake weed.

“For all we know it is some random guy trying to add a little something to intensify the high,” Clackum said. 

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Those sickened by synthetic pot laced with rat poison can recover, but it is a long and costly process, according to the C.D.C. 

Clackum said people who smoke fake weed probably don’t care what’s in it, but they should.

“It’s like poisoning yourself with a chance to get high and hoping nothing bad happens. It’s foolish,” Clackum said. 

Anyone who uses synthetic pot and experiences unusual bruising or bleeding should seek immediate medical attention because the condition could be life threatening, according to the C.D.C.  

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Consumers urged to take action with dangerous cedar chests 

Published: Thursday, July 12, 2018 @ 11:28 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 12, 2018 @ 5:32 PM

images: CPSC.gov
images: CPSC.gov

There’s a renewed warning about certain hope chests that could put your child at risk for suffocation.

Several children have died of suffocation after becoming trapped in the auto-locking chests by Lane and Virginia Maid.

“Back in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s, moms would usually get one when they graduated from high and [the chests] would get passed down to their children,” said Lorrie Fields, owner of Fields Of Treasure antique shop in West Carrollton.

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The hope chests made before 1987 are dangerous because they auto-lock.

Fourteen children have suffocated inside of them, including a 15-year-old girl from Reynoldsburg. 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned of this danger for years.

“We originally issued the Lane cedar chest recall — 12 million of them — in 1996,” said Patty Davis of CPSC. “We are concerned that millions of these chests remain unrepaired and in consumers’ homes.”

The CPSC is urging consumers to check again for these dangerous chests.

“[Check] you attic, your basement to see if you have one of these recalled chests,” said Davis. “And if you do, remove that latch and lock immediately and contact the company — which is UFI — to receive a free replacement.”

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Fields said that the chests sell for $75 to $150, and if you are looking to sell one, fix it first.

“People are maybe worried it may affect the value of it and it should not,” she said. “You know it’s just not something you would be able to notice.”

To receive a free replacement latch and lock, contact UFI at 877-251-5010, email LaneRepair@ufifurniture.com or order one here

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Recalls: Helmets, ATVs and more

Published: Friday, July 06, 2018 @ 12:46 PM

images: www.cpsc.gov
images: www.cpsc.gov

Helmets and ATVs are among the latest potentially dangerous products under recall, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

image: www.cpsc.gov

Helmets used in school physical education programs are being recalled because they do not meet federal safety standards and could cause a head injury. 

The Rollerblade-branded helmets by Helmets R Us have “Model 16, SK-501N” printed on the inside label and were manufactured between September 2011 and April 2017. 

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No injuries have been reported, but don’t wear the helmets and contact Helmets R Us at 877-777-9287 for a free replacement. 

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image: www.cpsc.gov

Multiple 2018 models of Can-AM and Renegade ATVs are being recalled for fuel leaks and fire hazard concerns.

There are six reports of fuel spraying out of the tank when the gas cap is opened, but no one has been hurt. 

Don’t use the recalled ATVs (click here for the full list of recalled model numbers and colors) and contact BRP at 888-272-9222 to schedule a free repair. 

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image: www.cpsc.gov

Stanley LED workbench light and power stations are under recall due to potential shock and electrocution from faulty wiring. 

There are three reports of the products with the model number WLB40PS having incorrect wiring. 

Don’t use the recalled light and power stations which were sold at Sam’s Club and Amazon.com, and contact Baccus Global at 877-571-2391 for a free replacement or refund. 

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image: www.cpsc.gov

Scuba gear that could cause you to drown is also under recall.

Oceanic and Hollis scuba diving regulators may restrict airflow at low tank pressures.  No injuries or incidents have been reported.

Do not use the recalled scuba gear (click here for the recalled products’ part numbers, descriptions, and UPC codes) and contact Huish Outdoors at 888-270-8595 for a free repair. 

For more information on these and other recalls visit www.cpsc.gov

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