Renting is a common occurrence for many of us and it’s so easy to overpay or spend too much. Consider these 5 easy ways to help renting not be as expensive.
There are so many options out there for finding your next rental. Many of us are used to the main sites online (Zumper, Apartments.com, Zillow etc), and those are certainly great options. Often times you can find the rental (house or apartment) right from those sites. I love those sites because of their ease of use and extensive inventory. Many of them also let you submit applications and contact the landlord online! However, to get a good deal it’s always wise to expand your search and search multiple sites. In addition to the main websites, you may also want to check out non-traditional rental sites, like Craiglist or even the newspaper. Word of mouth amongst friends can also give you an advantage as you’re looking for the ideal rental. While you may find one right away, shop around a few other sites to make sure you’re finding the right rental at the right price!
Let’ face it, moving sucks! But what sucks more than moving is paying top dollar for movers! If you’re a young professional, chances are you have friends, and chances are those friends can be tempted to help you move with a 6-pack of beer and pizza as a thank you. Alternatively, you may be paying for movers and they don’t come cheap! When my wife and I recently moved, we paid $200/hour for movers. Thankfully they came with 4 movers and a truck and it only took 2 hours. Make it easy on yourself and your friends by a) tossing/donating stuff you don’t need and things and b) being pretty much packed in boxes. Your friends are probably happy to help you move, but not pack! Get a U-Haul for like $19.99/day. Finally, don’t forget to buy pizza/beer and also repay your friends when they eventually move!
Get renters insurance
No one likes insurance until you need it, but renters insurance is definitely something you should get. I’ve had several friends experience a loss and because they didn’t have renters insurance, they had to pay for it out of pocket. One friend’s apartment complex burned down, one friend’s car was broken into (their car insurance didn’t cover theft of what was inside) and one friend’s apartment flooded after the sprinklers went off. All of these friends could have been reimbursed for the loss if they just had renters insurance. The good (and maybe surprising news) is that renters insurance is cheap! Like $5/month cheap. We all pay more for Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime etc then we would for renters insurance. Seriously, call your auto insurance company and inquire about renters insurance. After you get it, take pictures of your stuff and save them on your DropBox, Box, GoogleDrive account. That way, if you experience a loss, you’ll have documented what you lost and your insurance can easily cover you.
Pass on TV
Cable is expensive, and one of the hottest trends amongst millenials right now is to cut the cord (ok maybe I made that up but I know a lot of my friends have done so). Paying for TV can cost $50, $75, $100, even $150 per month! That’s insane! A lot of times service providers try to bundle cable in, because it’s a moneymaker for them. Cancel your cable and get Netflix/Hulu or even better; YouTubeTV. It’s $40/month and you can split it with 4 friends. 4 buddies and me split it so I pay $10/month for basically all the TV I could want. I can watch it on any device no matter where in the US I am. Definitely a great deal!
Keep the thermostat to a minimum
Did you know that according to the Department of Energythat you could save 10% on your energy bill by keeping it a little cooler in the winter and a little warmer in the summer? You don’t have to freeze or live in a sauna either, but keeping it at 68 in the winter and mid 70s in the summer can help you save money! So, wear a sweatshirt around the house or just a t-shirt as appropriate and cut back on your heating/cooling bills!
By making a few smart decisions each month as you rent, you can easily save money each month! These decisions aren’t drastic and won’t get in the way too much. Make a smart call and your future well-off financial self will thank you!