It just so happens that the biggest expense in everyone’s budget is also the most overlooked. Yes, I’m talking about shelter. Whether you rent or own, it is often times the largest, least flexible expense on the financial statement. This one is for the tenants.
So, you’ve decided to rent for a while instead of buying a house. Maybe it’s because the market is really high. Maybe it’s because you’re trying to get your credit up first. Or, maybe you’re just not ready. Whatever the reason may be, there are a few ways to save money while you’re renting:
1) Move during the winter months
Just like other areas of life, winter is less active than other times of the year. This means landlords have a harder time filling vacant spaces. Because of this, they are more likely to offer deals to generate income rather than allowing apartments to sit empty.
2) Negotiate with the landlord
When signing a lease, try bending the rules a bit. You may be able to get a slight decrease in rent with a longer contract. If you know you’re not going anywhere any time soon, it’s worth a shot!
3) Offer the landlord to do some work around the apartment
They may agree for convenience. Crunch the numbers and make sure it is worth your efforts before asking.
4) Stay long term
Rent tends to increase over time. When good tenants decide to stick around, landlords will refrain from raising rent. On time payment and communication go a long way!
5) Rent near your workplace
Look around to live local to where you work. Though the cost of commuting could be considered a separate expense, it is dependent on the location of where the renter chooses to live and where they work.
6) Buy out your lease
If you have to make a sudden move or you find a place to rent that is significantly cheaper than where you’re at, the landlord may let you buy the lease out in order to move while under contract. The landlord may not be familiar with the idea, so make sure you present your case with that in mind.
For example: If your rent is $1,000 a month and you find a place for $700 a month that you don’t want to miss out on, offering to pay two months rent to move will save you money. It may take a few months to make that money back, but it will be worth it if you know you’re not buying a house any time soon. If you live in an area where there is low vacancy, the landlord may agree to sell your lease if they know they can fill your spot quickly.
7) Have someone move in with you
Even if it is in your contract that you are not allowed to do this, they may be willing to negotiate if you ask. Let’s say you pay $800 a month. Offer your landlord $1,000 a month to have someone move in, lowering your bill from $800 to $500. Everyone wins.