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5 Practical Ways to Save Money When Renting an Apartment

Renting an apartment can be quite a challenge. Whether you are moving out of the house for the first time, trying to cut housing expenses, or simply looking for a short-term housing option, there are many things to consider. Perhaps front and center of all the considerations is price point. How will you fit the apartment expense into your monthly budget?

renting an apartmentLiving on a budget while renting an apartment requires planning and dedication. From drafting the monthly spending plan to minimizing your expenses, there are many details to finalize if you want to save money. 

However, with careful planning and a touch of financial savviness, you can save money without sacrificing your lifestyle. To help you with that, here are 5 practical tips that will help you save money when renting an apartment. 

Choose a Commuter-Friendly Location

Factor in the distance between your home and the places you’re visiting the most throughout the month before signing the lease. Whether you’re renting an apartment in Atlanta or you’re moving to Philadelphia, the rule stays the same: the shorter the ride to work, the more you’ll save. 

Take into account the average commute time and accessibility to major highways. Also consider the cost of public transit passes compared to the cost of gas. Choose a less popular but well-connected neighborhood if your employer is on the outskirts of the city.  Rely on public transportation if you’re living in a busy area.  

Consider the Financial Implications of a Lease Renewal

The longer the lease, the cheaper it gets. Landlords tend to increase the rent with each renewal. Therefore, it’s best to limit the number of times you’re going through that process. Two-year contracts are usually the most advantageous. However, you can opt for a one-year lease for more flexibility. Always think through your long-term plans before making a decision.

Remember, when breaking the lease, you risk paying extra fees or losing the security deposit. This counteracts the whole purpose of minimizing costs. 

You should also negotiate your lease renewal. If you’re in good standing with the landlord, you might be able to settle for a lower rent than the one typically asked upon renewal. While communities adjust their leases periodically to keep up with the rental market, it’s cheaper to keep a resident than to search for a new one. Always assume they might be willing to negotiate. 

Prioritize and Compromise on Amenities and Services

Communities with fewer amenities usually demand lower rents. You should prioritize your needs over your wants and decide which features are indispensable to your well-being.

Make a list of all the commodities and services you want to have. Then trim it down to the ones you’re going to use. Once you know which are the conveniences you’re not willing to give up on, you can start searching for a home that meets your requirements. 

Related Content: The Ultimate Guide on How to Make the Best Monthly Budget

Save on Utilities

Reduce your energy consumption to cut back on expenses when renting an apartment. Turn off the lights when exiting a room and cook more at home. Fully load the dishwasher or the washer and dryer before running a cycle. Wear warmer clothes in the winter to minimize heat usage. Take shorter showers to save water. And don’t sign up for premium services like trash removal or valet parking. 

Another option is to choose a community that includes part of the utilities in the rent. Depending on their policy, they might cover basics such as water, sewer, heat, and trash removal, or provide additional perks such as cable TV or high-speed internet. Be sure to read the lease terms carefully. Some landlords might charge more than it’s worth for these conveniences. 

The 50/30/20 Rule When Renting an Apartment

The 50/30/20 rule is an easy-to-follow guideline that can be applied even when living in a rental apartment. You should allocate up to 50% of your income for basic needs such as rent, utilities, groceries, health insurance, and other mandatory expenses. Another 30% should go to day-to-day activities like shopping, dining out, going to the movies, and vacations. The last 20% should be reserved for savings. 

Related Content: How to Save One Thousand Dollars in a Month

These tips should help you save money from the earliest stages of looking for an apartment to rent. The vital thing to keep in mind is that the more time you spend on planning and researching, the better the outcome will be. 

Leave a Comment or Answer a Question Below: What other advise would you give to someone about renting an apartment? 

About the author: With a background in communication studies, Teodora Demian joined the RENTCafé team eager to uncover the secrets of real estate. She has a BA in Journalism and an MA in Public Relations and Advertising. She is a passionate writer, researcher, and marketing specialist. 

Photo courtesy of Bench Accounting on Unsplash

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