Did you know that the average American renter spends about 35% of their income on rent and rent-related expenses? Though renting can be more affordable than having a mortgage at times, the cost of living can still be overwhelming. The best way to ensure that you live comfortably without going broke would be to research ways to save. Below I've come up with a list of eight ways you can save money as a renter:
1. Negotiate Your Rent – Though your landlord advertises a certain amount for rent, the prices can sometimes be negotiated. Talk with your landlord about the possibility of lowering the rent. This may require you to sign a longer lease or supply the landlord with a larger deposit for his or her security.
2. Consider Referrals – Another option for lowering your rent would be to ask your landlord about providing referrals. If your landlord has other vacancies, they can benefit from referrals to good tenants. So if you have friends or family that are interested in renting a unit, you could offer them names and get a discount on your rent should they secure a lease with your landlord.
3. Protect Your Property – One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a renter is to forget to protect your property. A solid renters insurance policy can be very beneficial in helping you to save money. This type of insurance protects your personal belongings in the event that something goes wrong in the rental unit. This may include circumstances like a leak, fire, or home robbery. Renters insurance is often very affordable with low monthly rates. It will provide financial coverage in the event that your personal belongings are damaged.
4. Consider a roommate – If the cost of rent is out of hand, searching for a roommate might be the best answer to your financial situation. A roommate can take on half the bills, including the rent, therefore reducing your out-of-pocket expenses. Be sure that as you search for the perfect roommate, you review their rental history and get references to ensure that you are living with someone that is reliable.
5. Create Your Own Home Decor – Instead of spending all of that money on new furniture or home decor, get creative and make your own. There are plenty of DIY sites and articles that you can review to get some ideas. Repurposing old furniture, recycling odds and ends, and finding items at yard sales and second-hand shops can cut the cost of home decor in half. You will also have a great time creating unique pieces to place in your home.
6. Conserve Energy – Home utility costs can get out of hand. To prevent it from breaking the bank, the best thing to do is learn to conserve energy. By making small changes like turning off the lights and unplugging unused appliances, you can save a great deal of money. Investing in energy saving devices such as light bulbs and a programmable thermostat will help your energy bill decrease.
7. Keep a Budget – Monitoring your expenses will be a large part of staying on budget in your apartment. If you do not currently have a household budget, it is a good idea to create one. By keeping efficient financial records you can assess where you need to cut back to save even more money. Haphazardly spending can cause you to fall into debt.
8. Conserve Space – Finding new ways to conserve space in a small apartment can be another way to save money. For instance, if the rent in an ‘efficiency apartment' is a lot cheaper than a rent in a one bedroom, finding space conservation tips can help you to get all of your belongings into an efficiency and save money.
Although living in an apartment has its financial perks, it can still be tough on anyone's budget. If you've been having issues with the rent or you simply want to save more money, the ideas outlined above will certainly help you get there. If you're really in financial trouble be sure to talk with your landlord as soon as possible so that you can negotiate a payment plan that works best for both of you. This prevents the potential of eviction and keeps the landlord-tenant relationship healthy.
How did you save money while renting?