Renting is a great option. It allows you flexibility for adapting circumstances, will allow you to live in places where buying a house is too expensive to be a viable option at this point and it can provide an opportunity to save money. Here are a couple of tips on saving money while renting, inspired by Angela Self’s article on Globe and Mail.
Asking for discounts is not a skill that comes easily to me- confrontation is certainly not something that figures high on my list of skills. And I am financially poorer because of it. Learning to negotiate is a crucial skill in long-term financial strategy. People expect it, so it’s time I got over my reserve and started asking questions. Work out what a reasonable rent for a similar place would be- are you paying too much for rent? If you feel you are, discuss it with your landlord. Suggest you extend your lease as compensation. Ask for a reasonable amount off. It might not seem huge at the time, but add it up at the end of the year and you’ve made a significant saving.
Have a parking space you’re not using? Think about renting it out. It’s easy to publicise on Domain or Gumtree and, especially if you’re in a city, people are desperate for a parking space. Again, there’s no need to charge an exorbitant amount. As Salt mentions- $50 a month is $600 a year. A cousin of mine had an extra room, and rented it out to a woman who travelled for most of the year. It meant she could keep her space for most of the time, but was able to supplement her rent. Salt suggests you could rent out your space to a traveller if you travel a lot- they would be looking for a short-term rental and you’ve got someone to cover you while you’re away.
Think Through The Move
Yes, living a couple of hours away from a capital city will have significantly cheaper rent. Tempting, yes. But if you’re commuting, you might end up spending a similar amount on petrol every week. Sit down and work out what are essentials are when it comes to a rental property. What would cost you money if you moved further away? Could you use public transport as opposed to your car and save money that way? Once you’ve worked it out, if it will save you a lot of money to move further away from the city centre, it certainly can end up being a significantly cheaper rental price.
Not a money saver in the short-term and then one night you put your foot through a wall while having an innocent wall climbing competition (true story) and you realise how important that insurance is (or would have been). It makes it easier to get a rental property, as nothing makes a landlord sleep easy like a solvent and insured tenant. Save money by collating your forms of insurance, ask for discounts or install security features which might lower your premium.
Fine Tooth Comb
Before committing to any of the above decisions, it’s a good idea to get the landlord onside and understand your lease agreement. There’s no point jeopardizing your home in order to make some extra money. If the landlord is in agreement, you could stand to make significant savings with your decision to rent.