Watch your rent budget.  Invest in stocks.  Save for the future.  Pay attention to the market. It seems we’re constantly bombarded with information about how we should manage our financial futures. It can be tough to sort through all of those messages to figure out exactly how it all applies to our individual financial needs. That’s where personal economics comes in.

Say goodbye to the stereotype of the frivolous college student who racks up debt and spends with abandon. [find-an-apartment] Today’s students are much more budget-conscious, and they’re particularly sensitive to the costs of student housing. Students still want the right location and great amenities, but they are looking very carefully at all their options before they commit to a lease. Recession reality check Students just entering college in Fall 2013 were high school freshmen during the height of the recent recession. According to rental industry publication Multifamily Executive, these students watched their families struggle with financial hardships like joblessness and upside-down mortgages. As a result, they are entering college intent on minimizing debt and stretching their rental dollars.

Everything has to come to an end sometime – and not always on your own timetable. Maybe your roommate is graduating; maybe they’re getting married; maybe they found a great new job in another city and they have to move. Any way you slice it, they’re out and you’re left high and dry, not to mention all alone in your apartment. That can make for an awkward situation, but it doesn’t have to be a bad one. Even if it seems like your soon-to-be-ex-roomie is leaving you in the lurch, this could be a good opportunity to start a new chapter in your life. Here are some questions you’ll have to ask yourself.

If you see yourself living in your apartment for the foreseeable future, you are not alone. Chances are, you may fall into a category labeled “perma-renter.” For perma-renters, apartment living isn’t a temporary situation; it’s a preferred way of life. [find-an-apartment] The number of perma-renters is on the rise. In the wake of the recession, the housing bust and a stagnant job market, perma-renters have no interest in becoming homeowners. They’re content to stay put, seeing apartment life as a more convenient and affordable alternative to buying a home. Here’s a look at some of the economic factors helping to create the current perma-renter boom.

With temperatures dipping down every day, it’s time to really start thinking about how the colder weather of winter affects your apartment and your bottom line. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, you can’t safeguard completely against heat loss, but there are some unusual things you can do to maximize energy conservation during the winter. By rearranging the furniture in your apartment, you can reduce energy consumption and see the difference in your utility bills each month.

News flash: It’s cold outside. And if you’re smart enough to save money and energy by turning the heat down inside, you know how important your winter bedding is. There’s only one danger: your bed will be so warm and comfy that you might not want to get out of it in the morning (but then again, don’t you always want to catch a few extra Zs when that alarm goes off?) When it’s time to load up your apartment bedroom with the coziest bedding, think beyond the sheets. Here are some ideas to stay warm all night long: Down comforters are what’s up For fluffy warmth, it doesn’t get much better than down. Your most expensive down comforters – designed to be covered by a duvet, or just thrown on top of the bed as they are – will be filled with 100 percent goose down, but a more affordable alternative is a comforter filled with a mixture of down and feathers.

Are you guilty of turning the thermostat up or down when your partner isn't looking? Don’t be ashamed, lots of us are guilty of this apartment/relationship sin. And the deception is sure to increase as winter approaches.

Much like men are from Mars and women are from Venus, it’s been said that men are always hot while the ladies tend to be cold. But how does this gender disparity bode for the living quarters when both disagree on the temperature? [find-an-apartment] Adjusting the thermostat every hour is the last thing you want to do. Trust us - that heating bill will skyrocket! Some might even suggest separate beds or separate rooms - gasp! So, what can the two of you do to remain comfortable and warm (or cool) this season?

Will you be settling into a new place in 2014? Congratulations! Transforming your new space into a home will surely be a priority this year. While decor trends do come and go, there are some basic ways to adorn your apartment - even on the tightest budget. Take a look at what Apartment Guide is forecasting in the coming year!