7 ways for renters to save money
If you're living in a rental property, it's no secret that saving money while paying off rent every week is no easy task. However, you'll be happy to know that there are ways to get a little extra going toward your savings account. So whether you are saving for a home deposit, a holiday or simply for a rainy day, here are 7 tips to help you.
1. Location, location. location
If you are living close to a city centre, you're probably paying a lot more per week for this convenience, however if you move a bit further away from the city, your weekly rent will normally drop, meaning more money for your savings account. Further away from the city fringe there is less competition for housing and therefore better value for your money.
2. Sharing with a roomate
Splitting the rent with someone will always be cheaper than paying for a place on your own. If you are currently living by yourself it may hurt to lose some of that prized independence you get from living alone, but adding an extra person or people to your living space means you can share the cost of the rent around. You'll find your costs fall in other ways, too. A split bill for utilities, as well as being able to buy food and cook together, will make things much easier on your bank account.
3. Downsize your rental
It may be a good idea to take a good hard look at where you're living and ask yourself: "Do I really need this much space?" Sure, it's nice to have a lot of room, but downsizing to a studio apartment could be the key to getting your finances on track. These apartments have a kitchen, lounge and bedroom all in one room, and are designed for one person - though if you're a couple, there's no problem with making things cosy.
4. Save electricity bills
It is estimated that households now have on average up to 70 electric devices, with as much as 40 per cent of all electricity being used when the products are turned off or in standby mode.
- Unplug appliances at the source - if you’re not going to be using an appliance for more than 30 minutes, unplugging it at the source is the surest and most cost-effective solution.
- Plug appliances into a power board - using a power board means you can easily switch off a number of appliances when you’re leaving the house, while sleeping, or going on holiday.
- Consider investing in FutureSwitch clever plugs - these sit between your appliances and the mains socket and are controlled by a wireless remote for convenient shutdown of power to all devices. They are easy to install (no electrician required) and easy to operate
- Select energy efficient appliances - large models use more energy than smaller ones with the same star rating. The energy label will provide information about the kWh (units of electricity) dispensed yearly. Select appliances that are the right size for you.
- Plug cube-shaped transformers into a power board - power transformers such as those found on phone chargers, electronics and computers use a lot of standby power when plugged into the wall; instead plug them into power boards that can be switched off.
5. Don't spend a fortune on furnishings
If you are moving into your first rental home don't be tempted to spend a fortune on furniture, as you'll find you'll end up throwing a lot of it out as your earning and needs change. It is worth looking on Gumtree, eBay, Facebook community groups or visit your local Salvation Army store as you'll be able to find a bargain and in some cases freebies. Also ask your friends and family if they have anything they want to get rid of, or if you could borrow an item for a while. This can save you an enormous
amount when you are setting up a rental home.
6. Move closer to public transport
You can save a lot of money if you choose to live near public transport or in a location that doesn't require you to own your own car, or drive it very often. When looking for somewhere to live consider its proximity to public transport, restaurants, supermarkets, entertainment, schools etc. The less you have to drive or take the train, the more you can save.
7. Eat in more often
Did you know that if you cook and prepare your own food you will save between 50-70 percent of the cost of take away. You don't need to be a great chef to pull together delicious and healthy homemade meals and almost anything you cook at home will save you money over eating out.