One huge expense that millennials typically struggle with is the monthly rent payment that takes your bank account from bloated to shriveled in the click of a button. Unfortunately, thanks to an increase in market demand and stagnant (or low) salaries, renting has become increasingly unaffordable.
If you’ve found yourself stuck in the rent-exceeds-my-income conundrum where you’re barely scraping by, then it’s time to make a change. Let’s take a look at how you can save money on one of your biggest expenses: Rent.
Five Ways to Make Rent Affordable
Rent is easily one of the biggest expenses millennials face, which is why a number of us choose to move back in with our parents after graduating from college. It doesn’t have to be that way. Try these tips to cut your living expenses down:
1. Get a Roommate
I know, you want to be independent and live on your own, but a roommate could cut your monthly rent payment in half. $500 is much more affordable than $1,000, isn’t it? If there’s a certain area in which you’d love to live, but can’t afford on your own, a roommate is the best solution. Plus, you can split utilities in half. Getting a roommate can also make renting a whole house feasible. The more rooms to split, the cheaper it will be, and you’ll have a larger living space to share.
2. Shop Around for Service Providers
Speaking of utilities, if you happen to pay for yours (and they’re in your name), you should shop around to see if a better deal is available. Paying $50 for internet beats paying $80, and it only takes a phone call to negotiate price.
3. Be Mindful of Using Resources
Don’t waste electricity or water. Turn off the lights in empty rooms, unplug anything that’s not in use, and don’t leave the water running constantly. Additionally, pay attention to when you use resources. Some utility companies have peak and off-peak times, so be strategic about your usage.
Don’t think you can negotiate your rent payment? Depending on where you live, you can. I did when my lease was up! I hadn’t been happy with the service provided, and I had made timely payments throughout my lease. I asked for a discount based on that and received one. Can you pay in advance or sign a longer lease? That might give you some leverage.
5. Here’s a Bonus Tip:
While this doesn’t help you save money on rent specifically, it can help you save in other areas. If you live in an apartment complex or community where amenities are offered, can you take advantage of them for free and save elsewhere? For example, you could cancel your gym membership and use the fitness center on site instead.
By using these tips to save money on rent, you’ll save where it matters most. At the very least, don’t make yourself the equivalent of house poor with your apartment. Determine what you can afford before looking at what’s on the market, and be realistic. Granite countertops and wine racks sound fancy, but they don’t add any real value to your living space.
Do you have any tips to save on your rent payment? Share your ideas in the comments below or catch up with us on our Facebook page.