You found the perfect place to live, a great neighborhood and it’s close to your work, but the cost of rent is a little more than you had first budgeted out. Don’t be discouraged, there are ways that you can save money, even while paying rent.
Saving money on rent, or finding other ways to save money altogether, can go a big way into helping us lead a balanced life, financially; and who doesn’t want that? Here are some of the best money-saving strategies for renters.
9 Best Money Saving Strategies for Renters
1. (Re)Negotiate Your Lease
Sometimes, when we first sign our agreement with a landlord we sign for a short-term lease because we are unsure how long we will be staying. Do we like the neighborhood or maybe we just aren’t sure what we want? But there may be some room to save money on your rent.
If you still have a long way to go before your lease is up, you can try and negotiate a longer term on your lease and see if he will budge on the monthly rent. If your agreement is up relatively soon, you can try the same tactic and don’t forget to remind him that an empty unit doesn’t make money.
2. Bring in a Roommate
Having a roommate may not be your ideal, especially if you are used to living alone, but it is a great way to save money, for you and your roomie. You can bring in a friend, a partner, a family member, or even put out an ad.
3. Want Versus Need
There are those needs that we can’t do without, heat, water, electricity to name a few, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be mindful of how you use those needs. Don’t leave things plugged in all day, turn off the lights when you are not in the room, consider a space heater, and try taking a shorter shower.
You will also need to make some tough decisions about what you want versus what you actually need. You may want to watch tv, but don’t actually need to; you may want to order some Chinese food, but don’t actually need to, you get the idea.
One of the best ways to budget money is to consider cutting some costs. Try changing to a cheaper tv provider, many people make do with Netflix alone. And the next time you get a big craving for some Kung Pao Chicken and spicy noodles, try looking up a recipe online and making the food yourself.
4. Consider a New Job
Now I don’t mean go and quit your job, or even change your career path, but consider a spot as a property manager. What does this mean? Well, it means that you would live onsite as an individual who is responsible for taking care of the property.
In many cases, property managers don’t pay for their unit, and some even get paid extra on the side. If your job entails some management or you feel as though you are a go-getter and not afraid to take on a new challenge, this may be right up your alley. Ask around to see if anyone knows of any opportunities.
If there aren’t any of these jobs available, but you still feel as though you could help your current landlord out, this may be a way you could negotiate the cost of your rent.
When tenants move out, someone needs to paint their walls, put yourself up for the job and see if your landlord would be willing to cut back on your rent cost for your help. There may be other jobs around the building that you could help out with, try talking with your landlord.
Related: How To Save Money On Your Job Search
5. Rent a Room
Although it is nice to have a whole unit to yourself, sometimes the cost is just too much for your situation. Renting a room in a house means that you are only really paying for your room, and splitting the cost on utilities, the use of a kitchen and living space, and you may even share some groceries.
If you are a student, just starting out in the real world, or just tight on cash, trying to pay off some debt, this is a great, viable option for many. You’ll likely be sharing a home with others in a similar situation as you so you might like the supportive vibe you get there.
6. Be a Nomad
Some individuals have to travel for work, this means that they have to leave their place empty or try and find someone to fill in their lease while they are gone. Offer your services and drift from one place to another, if you can.
7. Move Back Home
Now, this may be a less-than-ideal option, but it does have some great benefits, such as being one of the best ways of how to save more money. Think of it as a safety net, if your parents are willing to help you out then take advantage of this strategy.
My oldest brother lived at home after he completed College but felt the need to explore the world soon after. That lasted for a year; he swiftly moved back home and saved most of his money and after a year was able to put a deposit down on a home.
Remember, that just because you move back home doesn’t mean you have to follow the same rules as you did before you became an adult and took on real-world responsibilities. Offering to pay some rent will also remind your parents that you want to be treated as an adult would be treated, with some respect and privacy.
8. Subsidise Your Rent
This is a Government program that helps those who can’t afford to pay their entire rent because their income is too low. You will have to do some research to see if you qualify, it is run by Public Housing Authorities.
9. Change Your City or Neighborhood
As much as it may be difficult to consider living anywhere else than you already do, the fact is, some neighborhoods are considerably more expensive than others; the same is true for cities. You might be choosing to live in a city because that is where you went to school, but now that you are on your own you can’t afford to stay.
And if this last idea appeals to you, you feel the allure of a new city or neighborhood pulling at your heart, be sure to check out some great listings to match that adventure spirit of yours.
Author’s Bio: Danielle thrives on researching and writing on all aspects of life. Further to writing for Zumper blog and personal finance, she is an advocate of self-improvement and living a life that is both financially responsible and knowledgeable. When she is not on her computer, she can be found spending time with her husband and two sons.