Cut Your Rent Costs

cut your rent costs

Easy-to-follow steps to lower your rent bill

For most people, rent is the priciest bill that you pay each month. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a budget buster. Yes, you could move to a cheaper locale – that’s the most obvious fix. But moving costs money, too. Here are a few other ways to try to reduce what you’re spending on rent. 

Negotiate Your Lease. Don’t accept the first offer, try to negotiate for 10% percent less (if you get a no, try 5%). Your landlord may be more willing to work with you if you offer to pay several months upfront in cash or if you’re willing to sign for a longer term.

Look for Deals. If you’re not able to negotiate the rent itself, a landlord may be willing to give you a few free weeks or a month which can effectively reduce your monthly rent. There may be other perks that could save you as well – for example, if there’s a gym you can use, you can cancel your pre-existing gym membership, and if there’s parking and you currently pay for it, that’s a saving as well. Internet, cable, and utilities built into the monthly cost can add to your savings.

Share Your Space. Splitting rent with a roommate can cut your costs significantly. But you can also save by trying to rent out your place via Airbnb when you’re on vacation. (Just make sure it’s permitted in your lease.)

Downsize. If you don’t want to move across town, how about moving into a smaller space within your building? That minimizes the cost of a move and represents significant savings.

Trade Time For a Discount. Is your building in need of part-time super, maintenance, or landscaping services? By offering to take on those chores you may be able to save 10%, 20% sometimes even more on your monthly tab. Talk to your landlord about opportunities.

Jean Chatzky

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