Rent is a significant monthly expense for many people. Since it is a recurring monthly cost, keeping your rental costs low can be a big help for your overall financial situation. It can free up money for fun things, like going out to eat, or help you increase your overall financial security, such as by allowing you to contribute more to your retirement account each month. This article will present five ways you can save money on rent.
Choose a less desirable location. Location is everything in real estate, so the more desirable the location, the higher the average rent will be in that area. This doesn’t mean that you have to live in an unpleasant or unsafe location, though. By living a few miles away from the nicest or trendiest areas, you’ll often save significantly.
Get a roommate. The price difference between a one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartment will almost always come out in favor of the apartment that allows for the greatest number of residents. In the same building, for example, a one-bedroom apartment might cost $700, a two-bedroom might cost $900, and a three-bedroom might cost $1100. If you live alone, your rent will be $700, but if you have a two roommates, it will only be $366.67—almost half of what you’d pay to live alone. If you don’t want to compromise on location, maybe you can make the high-priced location affordable by living with a roommate or two.
Consider a work/live arrangement. If you’re willing to work as a nanny or personal assistant, it may be possible to get free or greatly reduced rent by living with your employer. The downside, of course, is that you can never truly get away from your job, and if your employer doesn’t respect your personal time or space, you may end up working more than you bargained for. If your financial situation is particularly tight or if you like your employer enough, though, this arrangement can be a real money saver.
Get reviews and recommendations before you sign a lease. What seems like a good deal may not be so hot if the landlord is awful, the location is unsafe or the building has problems. Breaking a lease is expensive—it may involve losing your deposit, which is usually about a month’s rent. Then you’ll not only be out your existing deposit, you’ll have to come up with a new one to get another apartment.
Look long and hard. If you’re not familiar with an area, it can be easy to overpay. The more you look around, the better idea you’ll get of what quality of apartment you can get for what price. Landlords will often charge as much as the market will bear regardless of the quality of the housing they’re offering, so shop around to make sure you’re getting a good value.