How To Save Money On Rent (17 Simple Ways For Renters)

How to save money on rent
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Expensive rents can eat up a big chunk of people’s monthly earnings. 

According to Redfin, the average monthly listed rent in the U.S. was $1,877 in December. On top of that, rent prices are expected to keep climbing across the U.S. this year.  

So, if you wonder, “How can I save money on rent?” you are NOT alone.

In this post, you will find 17 simple ways to save on rent.

How To Save Money On Rent

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Ways To Save On Rent
How Renters Can Save Money

1. Find Out How Much You Can Afford For Rent

Rent expenses (e.g., rent, utilities, and parking) seem to account for the biggest part of the monthly budget for many people.

If you are one of them, it’s wise to have a firm budget before searching for an apartment. So you can avoid setting your heart on a place that is over budget.

New to budgeting? I’ve got you covered. Check out this post first to learn how to create a personal budget.

2. Negotiate Your Rent 

Landlords usually don’t enjoy constantly looking for tenants. And it takes time for them to look for the next renter when the current one moves out. 

Meaning: They are losing the rent money during the vacancies. 

So if you can pay the full lease upfront (say a 1 or 2-year lease), you might negotiate for a monthly discount and avoid rent increases during the full lease term. Other perks like free gym access or parking space are also negotiable.

Note that it’s easier to negotiate with an independent landlord instead of a property management company. 

Signing a long-term lease is a big financial commitment, but if you have your heart set on the rental unit and can save some money per month, why not?

🌟 Important: Make sure you have enough cash on hand to cover the expenses as you don’t want to max out your credit card for a discounted rent. 

It’s not worth it because you might end up paying more on the debt and interest rate down the road if you can’t pay your monthly balance in full.

Also read:

Should I Pay Off Debt Or Save First?

Which Payment Type Can Help You Save The Most Money?

How To Save Money While Renting

If getting a discount on your initial rental agreement is not possible, you can still try to negotiate a rent reduction on your next lease. 

πŸ’‘ Note: Be prepared that your landlord might increase the rent when the lease is up because of the rent supply and demand in the market, especially if your area is popular.

That said, if you have been a model tenant, you have the leverage, as landlords love stability (consistent money coming in monthly).

Make sure you research the market prices of similar-sized apartments in the neighborhood and the local rental market.

So even if you have to move out because of higher rent, you know where to get the best value.

3. Choose The Cheapest Time Of Year To Sign An Apartment Lease

Similar to weddings, the real estate market also follows a seasonal trend.

Investopedia reports that you should move during the summer months (May through September) if you want the best selection or move during the winter months (October through April) if the price is your top concern.

Few people enjoy packing and moving on the cold winter days, leading to the smallest demand for housing and the lowest rental rates.

Landlords who have difficulty finding the right renters during a slow time of the year would be more open to negotiating.

You might get other perks like upgrading appliances or free parking spots as well. It’s also wise to ask for an extended lease that ends in summer.

So if you want to save on rent, avoid the busiest rental months and move during the winter months.

4. Rent Out Or Give Up Your Parking Space

If your rent includes a parking space, consider renting it out and put a couple of hundreds (like $100+) into your pocket every month.

Don’t forget to talk to your landlord before doing this.

If this is not allowed, you might negotiate a lower rent by giving up the parking space.

5. Cut The Middleman

Although it’s convenient to use the help of a real estate agent, the commission is costly.

If saving on rent is your top priority, avoid the middleman by researching yourself.

You can find individual landowners or discounted apartments online. Try to avoid regular real estate sites.

Apart from saving in a commission, there are other benefits of looking for an apartment yourself.

You can talk to the landlord directly and possibly negotiate the rent.

Besides, if there is any problem (e.g., house maintenance) with the apartment or you have other requirements, it’s easier to discuss with your landlord.

6. Live Close To Work

If you are a car owner, a longer commute means you need to pay all the auto-related expenses. 

For example, you can expect to pay

  • fuel costs
  • monthly car payment
  • auto insurance
  • parking expenses
  • registration fees
  • maintenance costs
  • and more

On top of that, getting held up in traffic during peak hours can increase stress levels.

On the other hand, living within walking distance of work comes with multiple benefits. 

The most obvious advantage is to save money on vehicles. Say if you spend $600 on vehicle expenses every month, you can live near your work to keep the $600 in savings. 

Even if the rent is higher (like an additional $450 per month), you can still have $150 saved. 

Imagine the time and money you could have saved by choosing a shorter commute. Plus, walking is good for your health and the environment. 

7. Keep Your Options Open To Save You Big When Shopping For An Apartment

It’s no secret that you will pay double, triple, or more when living in the downtown of a big city (like London and Toronto) than in a less popular neighborhood or a cheaper zip code.

Although you might have a longer commute to work, you can lower your rent costs and put more money into your savings account.

Moving around shouldn’t be a problem if you already have a car. You can also find a place with good transport connections.

Plus, you might not need to compromise the space most of the time when living farther away from the city center.

8. Consider A Basement Apartment

If you don’t fancy living outside of the city or giving up your car, consider renting a basement apartment to save hundreds of bucks per month. 

Although a basement unit offers affordable rent in a nice neighborhood, it has its downsides (e.g., little natural light, noise, severe temperature shifts, and flood risk).

So take all these points into account when making a decision.

🌟 Important: Make sure to check the building’s “Certificate of Occupancy” to see if it’s legal to rent a basement apartment.

9. Share The Costs With A Roommate Or Multiple People

Wondering how to save money while renting an apartment?

Try sharing your rent with another tenant(s) to cut your rent in half or more. You can also share utility bills, kitchen supplies, groceries, and toiletries.

For example, if you currently pay $1,600 for a two-bedroom apartment and are willing to share with a roomie, that’s about $800 a month and $9,600 a year in savings. That’s a lot of cash you can use for other financial goals (like building up an emergency fund).

And if you rent three bedrooms, you can put a significant amount of cash in your pocket provided that you take the smallest room.

It’s a great option if you have a busy schedule and are often not at home (e.g., recent college grads).

This option might not suit everyone as you will need to compromise your privacy and split cleaning duties. However, it is one of the best apartment hacks to save money.

Once you decide to split the cost, don’t forget to review your rental contract. If the terms require the subletters to co-sign the lease, you will need permission from your landlord.

Read on: How To Prevent Lifestyle Inflation

10. Live Rent-Free

Wondering how to live rent-free for a year? Here are three ways to save on rent.

Live With Your Family Member

Living with your family (parents and siblings) is a viable option when you’re struggling financially.

You can offer help with home chores and small jobs. That could be cleaning the house, running errands, or fixing things up while living rent-free.

Sublet Your Rental

If you wonder how renters can save money, try this tip.

The idea is similar to finding a roommate to share your rent, but you may charge full price or more than you pay monthly to create a surplus.

Make sure you choose a reliable subtenant as you are responsible for any damages/problems to the apartment caused by the subtenant. 

You can check the potential renter’s credit background and ask for a security deposit to minimize the future risks of unpleasant surprises.

πŸ’‘ Note: Remember to ask your landlord if subletting is allowed before going through the process. Also, you want to find out if the type of apartment you are living in can be subject to subletting under the local laws and rules.

Consider Working Abroad

Have you thought about working abroad to gain an incredible life experience?

It is one of the most appealing ways to save on rent.

Depending on your job, you might get a free apartment along with other benefits (like airfare allowances and free meals).

For example, if you teach English in some Asian countries, free housing is usually one of the perks you can take advantage of.

Plus, you can travel on a budget while working overseas.

If you like the idea, you can look for overseas jobs and employment opportunities online (e.g., goabroad.com).

11. Work Online

If you make money online, you have all the flexibility to choose where to live.

Whether it’s moving to a less expensive city or country, you are bound to save a good chunk on rent. 

Here are some of my favorite ways to make money online. 

These money-making ideas can also boost your income and help you save money while living in an apartment.

Also read: How To Quit Your Day Job Gracefully

12. Reduce Your Monthly Utility Bills 

On average, apartment renters should expect to spend at least $240 per month on utilities. And this budget doesn’t include internet, cable, and streaming services. (Apartment List)

I usually go for places where the utilities are included in the rent, so I only pay one lump fee every month.

But if your rent doesn’t cover utility bills, try the following energy-saving tips to save money on utilities.

– Upgrade inefficient/dated appliances 

– Turn down your thermostat

– Take advantage of natural sunlight

Use energy-efficient light bulbs

– Cold wash your clothes in bulk

– Downgrade your cable package or cut the cord and look for cheaper streaming services (like Hulu)

– Turn off and unplug devices when they are not in use

– Install a water-efficient showerhead

– Make repairs around the house (talk to your landlord for major changes beforehand)

– Have a meal plan and cook in bulk

– Contact your local utility company for a free energy audit

Negotiate Your Wireless, Cable, Internet, And Phone Bills

Want to know how to save money for rent each month?

Reduce your other bills.

Did you know you can negotiate your wireless, cable, internet, and phone bills and put FREE money back into your pocket?

If you don’t want to negotiate yourself, you can take advantage of Trim (a smart personal finance bot). Trim users save an average of $620.

Not only can he help with bill negotiation to save you money, but also he can track your spending and cancel unwanted subscriptions.

With the help of Trim, you can better understand your finances and save more money.

Sign up for Trim for FREE here to improve your financial health in no time.

13. Earn Referral Fees 

Leaving a rental property vacant is not economical yet inevitable. 

That’s why some property management companies have tenant referral programs. 

It also doesn’t hurt to ask a private lender with more than one property to see if there is a referral fee. 

By referring a new renter, you might get a monthly rent for free or other gifts in return.

For example, say your monthly rent is $1,500 on a 12-month contract; you can get your monthly rent down to $1,375 with one month free of rent.

Calculation: 

$1,500 x 12 = $18,000

$18,000 – $1,500 = $16,500

$16,500 Γ· 12 = $1,375

14. Opt For An Unfurnished Apartment

An unfurnished rental property usually doesn’t include furniture (e.g., beds, sofas, wardrobes, and tables). However, the apartment might have some built-in appliances like a fridge or an oven.

Depending on the geographic location and the type of property, renting an unfurnished apartment might be cheaper than a furnished property.

If you already have your own furniture and are looking for a long-term rental contract, this could be a good option to save money on rent. Plus, your landlord won’t charge you extra on wear and tear.

15. Build A Good Relationship With Your Landlord

Maintaining a great relationship with your landlord would benefit your monthly budget provided that you have a good landlord.

If you are having a difficult financial time, be upfront about your current situation with your landlord.

Not only can you have a better chance of lowering your rent, but also it’s easier to seek help when something is wrong in the apartment.

16. Move In With Your Partner

If you are wondering how to save money while renting, consider moving in with your partner. You can lower the monthly cost of living immediately.

However, do it with caution, as cohabitation can break or make a relationship.

Make sure you have honest money talks with your partner and keep your finances on track on a regular basis.

Related: How To Avoid Money Fights With Your Significant Other

17. Look For Affordable Housing Apartments

Want affordable rental housing in your area?

Low and moderately low-income families and individuals may be eligible for income-based housing through government programs.

Feel free to search the type of program online and contact the related department for further assistance.

How To Save Money When Rent Is High (#1 Works Like A Charm)

How To Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck In 9 Easy Steps

Don’t Waste Your Money On These Things (Save Over $10,000 Every Year)

Do You Have These Bad Money Habits? (Learn How To Break Them)

– How To Get Free Starbucks

Take Your Savings To The Next Level

Want to save more? Don’t forget the FREE money. The following resources are 100% free to join.

Trim: Do you want to save on your bill (e.g., internet, cable, and phone bills) painlessly and say goodbye to unwanted subscriptions that you almost forget? Don’t like bill negotiation? No worries. Trim can do all the heavy work for you. So you can sit back and watch your savings grow. Sign up here for free within 2 minutes and start saving money for rent each month

Survey Junkie: This legit resource allows you to earn extra cash or free gift cards by taking simple surveys online. It’s free to join and easy to use. Join Survey Junkie here and start making extra cash in your free time. Earn up to $50 per survey.

Swagbucks: Do you like shopping online, watching entertaining videos, playing games, answering simple surveys, or searching the web? Did you know you can earn cash or free gift cards from top retailers (like Amazon, Walmart, and Starbucks) by doing your favorite activities online? Yes, Swagbucks makes it possible. 

Sign up to claim your FREE $5 bonus from Swagbucks here and start saving money for rent today! Don’t forget to verify the email from Swagbucks in your inbox to receive your $5 bonus.

Honey: This free browser extension can save you money whenever you shop online. Not only can you save money applying coupons, but also you can earn cash back. Make your online shopping easier and cheaper by joining Honey today (US). Check here for Canadian users.

MyPoints: Want to get paid for shopping at your favorite stores online? Hello, MyPoints! You can also earn more by watching fun videos, playing games, reading emails (yes, you read it right). MyPoints have awarded over $236 million to its members. 

Sign up here for FREE and earn a $10 Amazon card with your first purchase and earn $5 after completing 5 surveys.

Final Thoughts – How To Save Money On Rent

With the steadily increasing rent in the market, finding a place where you prefer to live with affordable rent can be challenging.

However, your apartment hunt can go a lot easier with these money-saving tips mentioned in this post.

And if you are willing to do more market research, you should be able to find the desired apartment at a reasonable price and save money on rent each month.

Enjoyed this post? Don’t forget to spread the love. Your share might help others save big bucks on rent. πŸ’•

Want more money-saving hacks? Come and follow Create Earn Live on Pinterest.

How to save money on rent
Ways To Save On Rent
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