How to Maintain Your Financial Well-Being While Renting
For some people, renting is the best option. If you have little job security, know you might not stay in the same place for two years, or you’re not financially ready to buy a home, renting is probably the best option. Just because you’re renting doesn’t mean you can’t use that time to improve your credit or save up for a down payment. Here are 5 tips to increase your financial well-being while renting.
(Not sure if you should rent or buy? Read our helpful post on renting vs. buying a home before making a decision.)
Understand Your Security Deposit
All rentals require a security deposit, with the idea that if you keep your rental in good working order the deposit will be returned in full when you move out. When moving in, make sure to meticulously document the condition of the apartment before moving in any of your belongings. This includes taking pictures of any damage that existed before your arrival as well as writing them down and having your landlord sign off and agree on the pre-existing damage so there can be no disputes when you leave. Make sure to have any repairs necessary made prior to your move-in date so you are not stuck living in an apartment with current or future maintenance issues.
Negotiate for Lower Rent
Rent is arguably your largest monthly expenditure, so it is worthwhile to ask your landlord or rental agency if there are ways to lower the monthly rent. Often a rental agency or landlord will lower the rent if you sign an extended lease. Some places might lower the monthly rent, or they may give you a free month for every extra year you agree to lease. Another option is to pre-pay your rent. Many lessors will accept a lower total amount if you are able to pay six-months up front rather than at the first of every month.
Find a Roommate
One of the most straightforward ways of saving money on rent is by splitting the total amount. Websites that act as classified ads often have a shared housing section where you can find a house looking for a roommate. They often have other individuals looking for someone else to find a place with. The added benefit of having a roommate is that you can often live in a larger place than you would be able to on your own.
- Make sure you know what you’re getting into — roommates can impact your life in a positive or negative way. If you don’t know and trust the person, it’s probably not a good idea to invite them to move in with you. Safety first!
Design on a Budget
Thrift stores, dollar stores, discount stores and community websites can help you save a bunch of money outfitting your home with all your furniture and decorating needs. You can also find a lot of tutorials on YouTube and Home DIY blog sites that can help you easily decorate your home on a budget.
Consider Other Financial Obligations Besides Rent
When choosing a place to live, try to find a place within walking distance to shops and close to your place of work, cutting down on gas and car maintenance. Pay attention to what the landlord or rental agency is offering in terms of paying water, trash or other utilities. Sometimes you can find a rental with a work-out facility which can help save money on gym or other fitness fees.
When it comes to your debt payments, keeping your budget in check is paramount. If you’re currently behind on your payments, you’re not alone. Call CreditGUARD today to learn about our consolidation programs that don’t require any new loans. Our certified credit counselors can help you take the next step toward a better financial tomorrow. Call 800-500-6489 today!