Housing is by far the biggest expense most people encounter each month. If you are spending too much on housing, it is very difficult to reach the rest of your financial goals. The good news is that if you manage to find a way to cut down on your housing costs, it can put a lot more money in your pocket quickly and the savings will continue month after month. So, what are a few ways you can save?
Get a roommate. Whether you take on an extra roommate for a month or a year, you have a lot to gain by splitting costs. Not only do you save on rent, you can split utility and cable bills. It’s tempting to want to live alone but before you commit to that decision, make sure you run the numbers to understand exactly what you’re giving up in terms of savings.
Relocate. We all know location is the key word in real estate. That means that you are going to pay for living in a popular area or a spot that is convenient transportation-wise. On the flipside, if you are willing to move to an area of the city that is less desirable, you have the opportunity to save considerably on rent and get more for your money in terms of quality. Even if your lease isn’t up for a few months, you may be able to find someone to sublet your place (check with your landlord to make sure this is ok) and relocate more quickly than you anticipated.
Negotiate. The rental market is heating up a bit but you never know what you can accomplish by talking to your landlord about either a rent reduction or about avoiding a rental increase. If your landlord knows you are a good tenant, chances are he would rather keep you around than have to go find a new renter who he is taking a chance on. That could mean he would be willing to keep your rent stable just to keep you in your unit.