What separates the children from the grown-ups is the ability to pay and continue to pay rent –on time and in full. Being able to conjure up the funds to keep you and your belongings under a solid roof is one of the facets that declares success in adulthood, but just because you have to pay rent, doesn’t mean that you are stuck paying those exuberantly high prices every month.
Although complaining to get your monthly rent lowered via a heated chat with your landlord is not advised, there are other ways that you can diminish the number you are currently putting towards your rent, whether that be for a condo, a townhouse, an apartment, or even a rented room above your aunt’s garage.
Below are a few ways that you can decrease the cost of your monthly rent bill.
Moving around to a less expensive neighborhood.
One of the best money saving ideas that you can partake in –but probably not the first that you would think of– is to simply move out of that expensive neighborhood you currently live in and move into a cheaper one.
This swapping of neighborhoods is best suited for the individual who is looking to save more money on rent over the long term rather than the short, as moving costs can add up if the distance is large or if the amount of belongings that need to be moved is competing with that a “Hoarders” episode.
- Consider the cost of the commute when you move…
If you are focusing on staying close to work, then factor in what will save you more money: A) Moving closer to work and being able to walk, or B.) Moving farther way into a cheaper neighborhood.
If you move into a cheaper neighborhood, then check to make sure that the amount of funds that you use on commuting to work from your new location is making you come out on top in terms of costs. If you will wind up spending more on transportation due to your move into a cheaper neighborhood, then maybe you can solve the issue by omitting transportation costs entirely and move closer to work.
If you think that you have found a real estate sweet spot that is right in the location that serves you best, but you still want to cut back on your rental payments, then C.) Consider moving into a smaller unit. Less square footage means less you have to pay for.
Consider the high cost of living per state.
If you are in the position to hit the refresh button on your career or are even just being relocated to an out-of-state branch of the company you already work for, chances are that the state you are currently living and working within now has a higher cost of living than the state you are moving into.
For example, if you live in California, more specifically in Los Angeles or San Francisco, the rent needed to call a one bedroom apartment in the city your own is roughly the same rent cost as a two bedroom house in North Carolina.
The cost of living spikes and drops as you move from state-to-state across the country, so if you are looking for a radical overhaul in your living expenses, consider the very root of your problem: your home state is just too expensive.
A solution? Switch states. Cheaper living and a completely different lifestyle awaits. Sometimes it pays to branch out.
Good ol’ Mom and Dad.
Almost an expectation of millennials is living with your parents. Moving back in with (or never leaving) Mom and Dad’s house used to be a mark of shame or failure in the olden days, but now it is nothing more than an expected answer to the question “so how about you– where do you live?”
Living with your parents for any amount of time during your professional life, or even just before, can be a great help to your financial situation. So much of your weekly and monthly finances will go towards your rent, where it goes in and will never be seen again. Staying with your parents –if that is an option for you that both Mom and Dad are on board with– can be a great help to your situation. Whether it be a way to save on rent so you can eventually save up to purchase a home of your own, or just soften the blow of the cost of monthly rent, moving back in with Ma ‘n Pa is a solid option to help cut down or even eliminate your monthly rent.
Switch to a job that offers lodging.
If you are looking for a complete shake-up in your life that will allow you to experience a change of pace while also shaving down on the cost of lodging, consider switching to a line of work that offers lodging in exchange for services rendered.
Jobs like that of a park ranger, cruise ship worker, groundskeeper, full-time nanny, or for those seeking more structure in their lives, a role in the military all are jobs that potentially offer lodging as a part of the deal if you sign on to work.
Share the load.
One of the most obvious and popular methods of saving on rent every month is to sublet the space you are living in and taking on a roommate.
Adding another rent payer to the mix will help take the sting off of a high monthly payment and make the monthly bill breakable into portions. Why would you want to take on a roommate? A smaller bill, even if smaller by just a hundred bucks can leave you with extra cash to spend on other necessities that you otherwise would not be able to purchase due to pretty much all of your paycheck usually going towards rent.
Spread the weight.
If your landlord allows the option, try to bargain your way to stretching the monthly across a longer period of time. By committing and locking yourself in to a longer lease, you gain the possibility to bargain your way into a lower monthly rent. This may not be an option given by all landlords, but it’s worth a shot to bring up the next time contracts need to be discussed and renewed for your living situation.
Barter for room and board.
A less common method of saving on rent is to bargain with your landlord about exchanging services for a reduced rate. Options that you can barter in exchange for a little of your rent being shaved off are responsibilities like working as a tenant manager, or an onsite landlord representative to deal with other tenants immediate issues like repairs or other quick-fix needs.
Find out if your landlord is willing to be flexible on the rent, and then poke around to see if there is anything you can take off of their plate that could earn you favor with them. Besides just helping out another human being in need, you could just wind up lowering your rent cost if your landlord takes a liking to you and your helpfulness. It’s worth a conversation and investigation to save a couple hundred bucks a month, wouldn’t you say?