If you are currently living as a tenant, you will already know that, in addition to the monthly rent, there are many other expenses to consider. Being independent is great, and sooner or later we have to do it. However, frequently we forget that paying rent is not something trivial. Think about it: how much money from your income is earmarked for it? Also, if you are a beginner in renting, you may feel that you are spending more money than you should. Saving money is important, and nobody likes to “throw” it away, right?
Surely more than once you have thought of leaving aside things you like in order to save money. However, it is all about optimizing an rationing. The first thing you have to do is to know which your expenses are, and how much you are spending on them. Then you can go further and explore other ways to optimize your bills. Take a look at our tips to learn how to do it!
Commitment to energy efficiency
There are very simple upgrades that can quickly have an impact in your wallet, such as improving the lighting system. For example, using LED bulbs, as they are more efficient and long-lasting that the incandescent ones. Apart from being obsolete, these ones consume a lot which, according to Energy.gov, means throwing the money.
Another very simple way to consume less is to insulate the house well. Make sure that the windows and exterior doors close correctly, that they don’t have any cracks, and repair them or place weatherstripping if necessary.
If you want to invest a little more to save money in the long-term, one of the most important economic improvements is the use of condensing boilers. Unlike the conventional ones, they take advantage of the residual heat for the water and thus to increase the yield, saving in heating and hot water.
Take care of maintenance
It is quite normal that, over time, some things in your house will break or deteriorate, and needs renovations. It is true that you have already paid a home-deposit and that the lease already has clauses on repairs. But, if you are able to fix or maintain yourself any of these flaws, you can actually save money. Not only that, you can even ask for a discount on the rent by doing this favor.
Negotiate the rental price
There are perfect moments to put the price of your rent on the table. For example, when your contract ends, when there is a serious problem that prevents you from enjoying some service in the house, or when prices in your neighborhood decrease, as explained by En Naranja.
If you like your apartment but the homeowner wants to raise the price, try to negotiate to, at least, keep it like it is now. If you have been a good tenant, explain that you can not afford a higher rent. Think that it is cheaper for him to keep you there than to risk anyone renting his property for months, or meeting with delinquent tenants.
Buy second-hand furniture
If you have just moved to your first rental home, beware of impulses! Spending a fortune on new furniture may not be the best option for your wallet. Use those already included in the house, if possible. If not, look for secondhand furniture. Today on the Internet you can find great bargains at a very low price.
Also, if you do not mind, you can also ask family or friends if they have something they no longer need, or borrow it for a while. At least until you have fully set up your new home!
Be updated about market prices
Investigate the average prices of houses in your neighborhood to find out if you rent is reasonable. If you see that you are overpaying and the homeowner doesn’t want to adapt it, do estimations and evaluate whether it is worthwhile to continue there or move to another place. I am sure you can find something better for less money!
If the price is slightly lower, it may not be necessary to move heaven and earth. However, it is always good to know the market and make sure that the owner knows you are aware of it. Just in case!
Share your apartment
Dividing your rent with another person will always be cheaper than paying for everything on your own. Yes, living alone is great and you may not want to lose that much appreciated independence. However, you can actually save quite a lot. Not only for the rent, but also for other expenses that are not included such as water or heating. If you have common tastes, you can buy the food and cook together to distribute these bills as well.
Talking about food… did you know that cooking and preparing your own meals can save up to 70% of your food expenses? You do not have to be a chef to make healthy and delicious menus! Also, think about all the money you are saving compared to eating out.
Saving through responsible consumption
Changing some daily habits that you may have overlooked can have a big impact on your bank account. For example, opening the windows instead of putting the air conditioning; turning the heating on only when necessary; turning off devices such as the computer or the TV that you are not using at the time; or washing the clothes at night and letting them dry in the morning (if there is night rate).
Although you don’t realize it, you waste a lot when you don’t made a good use of the installations and electrical appliances. Besides, being responsible is not only good for your bills, it is also good for the environment!
In this article you can find many examples to know how to save energy and optimize consumption.
Calculate your monthly expenses
Saving money is not possible if you don’t have under control which your expenses are and how much you are paying for them. That is why it is essential that you review weekly or monthly which your main purchases or bills have been. This way, for the next period you can optimize more and see which the saving margin that you can afford is.
There are many apps that allow you to track your expenses directly from your mobile. Therefore, I recommend you to do some research so you can find the one that best suits your needs!