While it’s always good to be smart about how you spend your money, this is especially important if you’re still renting. Tracking expenses and being able to save will keep you on track toward being able to afford your own home in the future.
Make the best use of your hard-earned money when renting an apartment with these 10 tips:
Save for your security deposit ahead of time
Create the habit of managing and saving money even before you start looking for an apartment or house to rent. Set your security deposit as an early target to build up a fund for all your rental expenses.
Set aside some extra money for application fees, too
Before you even sign a lease agreement, landlords will need to do background and credit checks on you. These screening processes cost the landlord money, so be ready to pay fees as early as the application stage.
Look into renter’s insurance
Renter’s insurance is optional to most tenants, but it’s great to have if you want greater peace of mind over the personal belongings and valuables you keep in the property you’re renting.
This insurance will help you repair or replace any possessions lost or damaged due to theft, fire, or other events covered by your plan, so it’s worth shelling out some money for.
Choose a long-term lease
Landlords are inclined to offer longer term leases at cheaper rates because they won’t need to renovate the property and search for new tenants too often. If you plan to live in your area for a few years, negotiate with your landlord toward a long-term lease contract to save on rent.
Consider renting with a roommate
Want to lighten the load of your monthly rent payments? Get a roommate or two – preferably someone you know and trust well enough to follow through on their share.
Be ready to downsize
Learn to embrace minimalism, or at least a more practical lifestyle, if you are renting. More belongings require larger living and storage spaces – and these cost more money to rent.
Don’t miss any due dates
Pay your rent on time will prevent you from incurring costly late fees. Being a responsible tenant also helps you maintain a good relationship with your landlord.
In the long run, keeping payments on schedule boost your credit rating. This is an important factor that lenders will look into when evaluating your qualifications for a mortgage.
Track your expenses
In addition to your monthly rent obligations, know where the rest of your regular income goes. Keep track of the cost of basic utilities and your service subscriptions. Find out how much goes into your meals, transportation, and entertainment and recreation.
Being mindful about your expenses should help you curb any excessive spending habits that cut into the money you’re supposed to pay for your essential regular fees and payments.
Build an emergency fund
Do you have spare money to use in case something unexpected happens? On top of renter’s insurance, you should also have your own money in reserve for any unforeseen events or developments – from getting sick, to dealing with natural calamities.
Keep saving for your future home
Even if you already have a roof above your head, set your sights on the long-term goal of buying your own home. Use this major milestone as motivation to stay disciplined with your budget over the long-term.