Whether it’s your very first apartment on your own or you’re moving for the tenth time, there are a few ways to cut down on costs. Not all of them will work for everyone, but it’s a good list to get you thinking about how to save money while renting.
If you know you aren’t going to be using public transit, choosing a place that’s not particularly close to a stop or a line might make for slightly cheaper rent. Do the math, though! You might be able to save quite a bit by swapping to public transit.
Know Where You’re Going
Make a list of all the places you’d be going to on a regular basis. For most people, that’s work, school, grocery shopping and to visit family or friends. How many times a week do you go to each of those?
Avoid Putting the Cart Before the Horse
Are you still not quite sure of what job you’ll have? If you make the wrong call on where to live, you might be paying for that mistake for 12 long months. Breaking a lease can be very expensive.
Aim for a Longer Lease
Landlords are often happy with longer leases because it means that they won’t have to spend time searching for new tenants while the place sits unoccupied. Plus, they generally aren’t able to raise your rent over the length of your lease. Note that this only works if you’re certain that you want to live in that area for a long while, otherwise you run into the expensive situation of having to break a lease again.
Want to know what’s expensive? Having to replace a laptop that was stolen out of your apartment or your car. Renters insurance can help pay for things like that, and it’s pretty much dirt cheap to get.
Start Looking Early
If you leave apartment or rental house hunting until the last minute, you’re not going to be able to comparison shop very effectively.
You might not think of renting an apartment as being a seasonal thing, but it may very well be depending on where you live. Areas with plenty of college students will see a huge surge in people renting right before the school year starts. Try to avoid competing with them.
Save On Bills
If you’re eco-conscious, you can find ways to trim all your utilities. However, if you’re just trying to save cash, focus on the ones that you pay directly. For example, water is included in some people’s rent while electricity isn’t.
Aim for Roommates
In most places, you’re going to pay less per person on a two bedroom place than you would on your own renting a studio.
Depending on the type of place you’re renting and the market, you may be able to ask for slightly lower rent. If you’re getting a rent hike when you renew a lease, ask for a smaller increase, too.