How renters can save money

Renting and saving don’t usually go hand in hand. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. We’ve pulled together a few tips to help you save money while you’re renting.

couple-renting-new-home

Budget before you sign

When looking for a rental property, ask “could I live here comfortably?”

Work out how much it will cost you in rent, bills, travel etc if you lived there – before you sign on the dotted line. And don’t tell yourself you can cut ‘fun’ costs to afford a nicer place – it’s much easier said than done!

 

The 50/30/20 trick

Ever heard of it? You can use this trick to budget your monthly, post-tax income.

  • 50% goes towards ‘needs’ – any rent, bills, food shopping etc.
  • 30% of your income is just for you and whatever you want to spend it on.
  • The final 20% then goes into savings.

If it suits you, learn to budget your income this way. And make sure the rent payments could comfortably fit into that 50% before you sign the contract.

 

Look at location

Living in the city centre or five minutes from work can be ideal. But it could bump up your rent.

Rentals further away from town and city centres can be cheaper, even with the added cost of a public transport pass. Price up the cost difference of travelling to work from a further location, versus living just around the corner.

commute-work-public-transport

 

Check for faults

Make a note of any minor faults when you’re viewing properties. You could use them to negotiate for lower rent. You could even offer to fix them yourself – for lower rent. Even if the landlord knocks just a fiver off the monthly rent, and a tin of paint costs you £10? You’ve saved £50 by repainting a marked wall yourself.

Don’t sign for properties that have any major damage eg damp, a broken boiler, or condensation – unless the landlord has said they’ll fix it in writing, within a given time frame.

 

 

Consider unfurnished

Unfurnished properties are usually cheaper than furnished. Landlords have to pay more for the furniture – and the cost is passed onto you. Plus, furnished properties have a higher risk of wear and tear – so you could lose more of your deposit. There are plenty of websites and apps where you can get furniture cheaply, or for free. Kitting out an unfurnished rental with cheap or free furniture could save money in the long run.

Even if the property’s furnished, you could save money elsewhere. Replacing electrical fittings with more energy efficient models could lower bills – whether you swap the light bulbs or the microwave. Just remember to put the originals back when you move out.

couple-renter-empty-apartment

 

Bargain for bills

Ask the landlord about any included bills and the providers. It may be cheaper to pay for bills outside of the rent agreement – work out the costs before you sign a contract. If bills are included, you can still ask the landlord to switch providers. It could save around £400!

Don’t forget: check the meter on the day you move in and the day you move out. Even better? Take photos with the date on it. Make sure you don’t get charged for energy you haven’t used.

 

Live there for longer

If you’re comfortable to, sign a longer lease. Only do this if you know you can afford to live in the property happily. Overall, it could be cheaper for everyone. The landlord can save the fees (and effort) involved in finding new tenants. Plus if you can prove you’re a good tenant, you could negotiate for cheaper rent next time.

 

Knowing more about the property – and what you’ll be paying for – from the beginning can help you save in the long run. Make sure you can afford to live there comfortably before you sign for it. And find out where you can make savings while you’re there.

Use our Budget Buddy tool to help cut even more expenses. Or call the Buddy Loans team on 0161 850 4141 to talk about your finance options.

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