Traditionally, renters attempt to set aside some of their income to fund future home purchases, travel, schooling, or entertainment. Saving money while leasing has become increasingly difficult, yet remains imperative for a healthy financial future.
Customary money-saving strategies such as finding a roommate or living outside of the city center can help to eliminate costs, but they aren’t the only opportunities to save money while leasing. Consider the following, less obvious, strategies to save money on rent this year.
In competitive rental markets, landlords tend to benefit financially from high demand and low inventory. Cities such as New York and San Francisco usually top the list for expensive apartments, but other metros aren’t falling far behind.
To combat expensive living costs, offer to prepay rent by a few months or, if possible, for the entirety of the lease in return for a lower rent. If prepaying isn’t practical, ask about lease extensions. Usually, renters who sign for 18 months instead of 12 receive discounts that diminish their monthly rent. Landlords, in return, benefit from extended tenant commitments by reducing their overall vacancies.
Apply For Emergency Grants
Now more than ever, many Americans are facing eviction. Renters are behind on their rent due to the massive layoffs at the beginning of 2020 and the landlords are unable to foot their own bills. Check your state’s website and see if they’re offering rent relief. If the application deadline passed, there are other organizations and charities providing emergency grants.
Decorate on the Cheap
Renters (and homeowners) sometimes underestimate the costs associated with hiring a professional interior designer. In reality, the average hourly rate for an interior designer runs from $75 to $450 per hour.
Many online resources assist inexperienced individuals with low-cost apartment décor. Amazon, Wayfair, Overstock, and Etsy feature affordable home décor.
Do-it-yourself enthusiasts can look for garage sales to refinish old furniture independently. Use online resources like Pinterest to find interior design tips or opportunities to recreate lavish looks on a budget.
Watch Your Utility Usage
Many renters forget to budget for utilities when predicting their expenses. However, renters shopping for apartments in northeastern cities with dramatic seasonal climate shifts should factor in the cost of both air conditioning and heat. Due to increased electricity usage, temperature regulation typically costs more in colder climates than in mild-temperature cities.
Renters nationwide should consider investing in LED bulbs, which only require 25 percent of the power of incandescent bulbs. Other installations to consider include low-pressure faucets, insulated windows, and freestanding fans.
To further save on electric and heating bills, small lifestyle changes such as turning off lights when they’re not in use or keeping the heat turned off while at work can make a surprisingly dramatic impact.
No matter where you’re looking to live, creativity is a huge part of keeping rent affordable. Just remember, if you’re negotiating price, keep everything documented in case of discrepancies.
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