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Blog category: Renting

How to Save Money On Rent: 9 Easy Ways

6 min read

According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, currently, 35 percent of U.S. households live in rental properties. If you’re part of that group, chances are you’d like to know how to save money on rent. Housing is the single biggest monthly expense for many Americans with 41 percent of renters spending more than 35 percent of their income on rent.

If your goal is to have some money left over for savings or an emergency fund after all the monthly expenses are taken care of, you’ll want to minimize the line item for housing on your budget — if at all possible. Take a look below at nine simple ways to save money on rent so you can sock some cash away to fund your dreams and goals.

1. Choose Your Location Wisely

Have you ever stopped to consider the reason why you want to live in a particular area? Being strategic about location when moving or renting your first apartment can potentially save you thousands of dollars per year. If you're simply choosing a location based on its "cool factor" alone, be prepared to pay more for the perks of being in an in-demand neighborhood. If you’re willing to live farther away from of the epicenter of the buzz, you’ll probably pay significantly less in rent.

However, be sure to do the math on commuting costs versus commuter-friendly rent if you're moving to a specific location for a job. Some people find that paying a little more in rent to be close to work is justified because it cuts down on gas costs, puts fewer miles on their car, and boosts quality of life since they’re spending less time commuting. Being creative about your commute may help you find lower rents. If you’re moving to a new city, become familiar with local bus routes, rail options, or carpools to see just how far from the center your apartment search can extend.

2. Skip the Fancy Furniture

Creating a comfortable space you love is important. However, investing in "forever" furniture could leave you feeling like you'll be paying it off forever. There's a possibility you'll move again in the not-too-distant future and your furniture may not even be going with you to your new place. If you're focused on saving money as a renter, embrace the freedom to decorate your home with used furniture you can refurbish and low-cost design alternatives. It can be fun to get creative with an inexpensive can of paint and some new window treatments. This approach will help you avoid feeling financially anchored to furniture that may not suit your next place. It also helps you save on moving costs: the less stuff you have, the easier it is to relocate.

3. Sacrifice Space Today for Extra Space Tomorrow

Are you researching how to save money on rent because you're saving up for a house of your own? If so, and your apartment’s on the small side, try not to focus on the square footage. While wanting more space is only natural, paying higher rent on a large apartment will only delay your long-term financial goals. If your current space is akin to the proverbial shoebox, it may help to remember that all the money you’re saving by not splashing out on a bigger apartment will help you get that down payment together quicker. Alternatively, if you already rent a bigger place, or have found one you love, consider getting a roommate to split the rent and utility costs.

4. Forego the Fancy

It's easy to fall in love with apartment rentals that boast elegant lobbies, sparkling kitchens, and state-of-the-art bathrooms when browsing listings online. However, it's important to remember that the landlords of those places need to recoup what they invested to create the high-end spaces. That often means passing on the costs to tenants in the form of higher rent. Ask yourself how important it is for your temporary living space to have a new kitchen. If you can live with an outdated kitchen or shabby bathroom, you could save hundreds of dollars on rent every month.

5. Commit to a Long-Term Lease

If you plan to stay in a particular area for an extended time due to family connections or your job, use that fact to your advantage when negotiating your lease terms. Landlords hate vacancies because they lose money when units go unused. What's more, the costs of advertising a rental vacancy, vetting potential tenants, and preparing an apartment for them eat away at a landlord's bottom line. Consider asking your landlord to lock in your rate for an extended term by signing a long-term lease. Many landlords are willing to lock in your signing-day rate in exchange for the stability that a long-term tenant can provide.

6. Trade in Your Parking Spot

Many apartment buildings fold the cost of your private parking spot into your rental rate. If you don't drive, the empty space where your car would normally go is worth gold to another tenant. Consider asking your landlord for a slight discount on your rent if you forfeit your unused parking spot. Your landlord may be able to rent the spot to another tenant looking for more space.

7. Bring Your Tools

If you’re handy with a hammer or paintbrush, you may be able to negotiate lower rent. If your landlord’s amenable, offer to take care of routine maintenance on your place and fix breakages and leaks yourself. This deal may be attractive to your landlord as it saves them coming out to the property every time the bathroom sink gets clogged, or the waste disposal unit goes on the fritz. Depending on your situation, you may even be able to negotiate a deal where you manage the building and take care of all the tenants’ repair jobs for a greatly reduced or even free rent. If you live in an area that sees significant snow, you could also offer to handle your own snow clearing in exchange for reduced rent.

8. Make a Takeout Pact

One of the best ways to save money for rent doesn't have anything to do with rental expenses. A tried-and-true method for saving money is to cook most of your meals at home. While advice to "stop eating out" can seem unappealing and stale, the truth is that restaurant meals and takeout food are big money wasters. While there's no need to deny yourself the occasional meal out, the goal is to be intentional about it and not rely on it as part of your main meal plan. Cooking at home costs less and typically results in much healthier meals.

9. Find the Most Affordable Renters Insurance

While your current apartment may not be your forever home, it still holds your valuable possessions. That's why you need renters insurance as part of your financial protection plan. Wawanesa members enjoy robust renters insurance coverage for personal property, loss of use, personal liability, and medical payments for others when they opt for basic coverage. Extended coverage can also be applied for jewelry, watches, silverware, money, firearms, electronic equipment, and more. Many tenants are surprised to discover just how much is actually covered under renters insurance.

Finding creative ways to save money on rent allows you to put away more money for your future plans — whether that’s buying a home of your own, traveling the world, or any other big dreams. Protect your personal belongings regardless of where you currently live. Get a renters insurance quote online to discover how much renters insurance you really need today!

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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.

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