Rent can be expensive.
But it is often more affordable than a mortgage, and allows you to relocate if necessary.
Most people are doing everything they can to cut costs. Rising gas and food prices are making it more difficult for people to pay their bills on time and save for retirement.
Rent is often one the biggest monthly expenses, making it even harder to save.
Here are five ways to save money on rent for your apartment.
Work At Your Apartment Building to Save Money on Rent
Many apartment buildings have jobs that need to be done. They have maintenance people, people that show apartments for rent, security, and more. Talking to your apartment manager or owner about doing a job around your apartment complex may get you reduced or even free rent in exchange for working a certain number of hours per month.
You may even be on call while you are at home and put in your hours only if necessary. Apartment complexes benefit by having workers that care about the building and the people that live in it. The workers are also usually available if needed in an emergency.
Shop Around or Move To A Smaller Home
Apartment complexes and buildings may be variable in price, even in the same neighborhood. For instance, if you were looking for Calgary apartments for rent, you would need to make sure that you call and/or visit at least three apartment buildings to get an idea of the price variations in the area you want to live.
Using a real estate agent will help you quickly narrow down the options for apartments that meet your criteria and make appointments for you to view many apartments on the same day to save time and gas.
Fortunately, there are many rental options available. According to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the vacancy rate for rental housing in 2017 was an average of 3.1%. This rate went up from 1.7% in 2015.
Moving to a smaller apartment can save money on rent and utility costs. You can also have a garage sale to sell things that won’t fit into your smaller place and make some extra cash. A studio apartment can be a great option for a couple with no children or a single person.
There is also less space to clean and decorate, a plus for busy people. Getting rid of things you don’t need can help simplify your life and help you feel more organized and in control of your space. A small apartment that uses space well can actually feel more spacious than a large apartment with poor use of space.
Some people with larger apartments get roommates to help with costs, but not having to depend on another person to pay the bills on time can be priceless.
Be Energy Efficient
Utility bills are an often unpredictable expense, but fortunately they are something the tenant has control over. According to the United States Department of Energy, the average electricity costs for a home in the US is $1300 per year.
Simply turning off lights and electronics when not in use can save you money on electric bills. Installing energy efficient CFL light bulbs are a great way to save energy. Compact fluorescent bulbs consume about 65%- 75% less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than regular bulbs.
Using less water is also is good for your pocketbook and the environment. According to the American Water Works Association, if all households in the US installed water-saving features, water use would drop by about 30%, saving an estimate of 5.4 billion gallons every day.
This measure would translate to about $11.3 million per day, more than $4 billion every year.
Make More Money
It is easier for many people to make more money than spend less. Shopping at thrift stores and reselling items is a way that some people make more money. People often have hobbies that can make them extra money, such as playing a musical instrument.
If you play, you may be able to play your instrument at weddings or corporate events to make extra cash. Teaching others how to do your hobby can also bring in money. If you are talented, you can make jewelry or crafts to sell to others.
Many people have done well selling their items online, but they can also be sold at local craft shows for a more personal feel. Parents are often grateful for a night out and babysitting is a great way to make extra money. The job isn’t easy, but it can be great fun to play and pretend you are a kid again for a short time.
Pay Bills On Time
Paying your bills on time is a great way to save money and it also improves your credit score. According to the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances, the number of credit card holders that incurred fees caused by late payments of at least 60 days increased from 4.8% to 8.0% from 2010 to 2017.
These fees are expensive and add up quickly. Credit cards aren’t the only bills with late fees. Utility, rent, and most other bills include late fees if they are not paid on or before their due dates.
You are also less likely to get a positive recommendation from companies that you have consistently paid late. Due date are usually clearly listed on your bills and they should not be ignored.