5 Proven Ways to Pay Less Rent Next Month

If you need help paying rent, talk to your landlord and try one of these five ideas. There are multiple ways to save money on rental payments, even after you’ve signed a contract!

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This post was originally part of my 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses series, which has been completely revamped and updated for publication. It contains over 70% NEW content not found anywhere on the blog! Learn more about the book your budget has been waiting for.

My rent is crazy high and I really needed help paying my monthly bills. I was able to cut it almost in half by following this advice! #4 was a lifesaver but if all else failed I could have done #5 if I had to!! #saveonrent #rentsavings #housingsavings #savingmoneytips #budgeting
I’m a pretty picky person when it comes to apartments.

They need to be located in a good part of town {doesn’t have to be great}, and super clean when I arrive on scene. The small apartment we moved into via our relocation to Florida was neither, and ooh did I regret it!

But the price was pretty reasonable compared to apartment complexes and condos that provided oodles of services we didn’t need. So…we dealt with it, and thankfully survived. Although there were some pretty close calls every now and then!

Even though we desperately wanted to buy a house as soon as possible, we needed this rental to help us through the transition period while we figured out exactly what house we wanted, and where we wanted to buy it.

As a renter, you might be in transition too – whether it’s saving towards a down payment, or allowing yourself the flexibility to get-up-and-move in case a job takes you out of town. Or you might be completely content to be free of those added repairs and expenses attached to any home.

But rent isn’t always cheap, and if you live in a highly developed area where rental units are in high demand, it’s even worse. So how do you lower an expense that literally has nowhere to go except up?

Let’s experiment with a few of the following ideas!

How to Reduce Your Rent:

1. Do Your Research – Don’t ever ever ever take a rental amount as the Bible. You are responsible for doing your own research in the rental market, but don’t let that intimidate you! If you’ve been looking at a few rentals already, you probably already have an idea of what’s out there and for how much. Note: Spending 30% of your budget on housing is a good rule-of-thumb, but the lower you can go, the better.

2. Sign an Extended Lease – This doesn’t work all the time, but if you plan on sticking around for a while, try to negotiate a 2 or even a 3-year lease for less. Speaking from first-hand experience, it is tough trying to find a reputable person to rent, and we would much rather have a great tenant with a great credit score renting for longer at a lower price, than experience weeks and months of vacancy without pay.

3. Offer Some Sort of Assistance – How awesome would it be if your landlord was the one that gave you help paying rent? It’s possible! Ask your landlord if there are any projects he’s been wanting to get done, or if he needs assistance with yard work and daily maintenance in exchange for a discount on the rent. Be sure though to save any receipts used to repair or maintain the property and communicate that the discount is only after reimbursement. You definitely don’t want to end up losing money on this deal!

4. Bring in a Roommate – If you need help paying rent, you should check with your lease or landlord to see if you are allowed to bring in a roommate to lower your costs. Some landlords might add on an extra fee for extra utility usage, but the benefits might just be worth it. Think about friends that are in transition, family members, etc, that might need a place to crash for a few months. Just make sure your spouse or significant other is on board!

5. Find Another Place –  If all else fails, start looking for another place, even if it’s only temporary. I know how much of a pain it is to move, but if you can save $100/month and plan on renting for another year….that’s $1200 in your pocket or toward a down payment! I’ve found that the best places to look for apartments are Craigslist, Trulia, Zillow, and word of mouth.

Need to Reduce Even More Monthly Expenses?

Whether you crave extra room in your budget, or want to save towards a future goal, 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses is your must-have resource to tackle both.

This book is jam-packed with practical advice to slash costs, lower monthly bills, and put more money in your bank account every month!

Get a peek at the Table of Contents and download a sample chapter HERE. Or, if you’re ready to take the plunge, you can purchase this guide directly on Amazon.

How do you plan to reduce your rent?

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  1. You make some really great points, Lola, and you’re definitely right about there being drawbacks to everything. No housing will ever really be perfect — it’s more about what you can live with that still comes in under budget! 🙂

  2. This is a tough one. Yes you can save money — but NOT if you want something really clean or perfect. Or in a great area, or close to work. (Or if you do, it’s a 1 in a million break — like the gal who gets a free apartment with her job!)

    Some ways to cut costs (and they ALL have drawbacks you must consider):

    1. Rent a big house with several roommates. Drawback: less privacy for your family. A landlord who permits this probably has a hard to rent property in a dodgy area.

    2. Rent in a dodgy area. Drawback: crime, bad schools. Might work if you are a single guy with no kids.

    3. Rent a trailer or mobile home in a trailer park. This is super cheap — but usually in a dodgy area (see above) and trailers can be grungy. But it’s about the cheapest thing short of moving in with the folks. Drawback: they are small and poorly insulated, which can mean heat is expensive in winter. And many don’t have laundry hookups.

    4. Move in with the folks, or siblings or friends — anyone who will take you in. Drawback: lack of privacy and space. But paying little or no rent means the cash piles up quick.

    5. Oddball rentals — basement apartments, third floors, industrial spaces not zoned for residences. If you don’t have kids, this can work. Drawback: they can be very hot or cold, lacking cooking or laundry facilities and very small.

    6. Smaller spaces: a studio is cheaper than a 1 bedroom. A jr 1 bedroom is cheaper than a 3 bedroom townhouse. And so it goes. Can you squeeze 2 adults and 2 kids into a 1 bedroom? They do it in Manhattan! Drawback: might mean putting stuff in storage, which is not free.

    7. Find a landlord with a very rundown house or apartment and offer to do repairs or paint yourself — in exchange for low or free rent. Also look for situations where you can be the onsite manager — collect rents, deal with tenants, do small repairs. Drawback: really good quality landlords won’t go for this; they fix things themselves and offer nice units at market value. There is also a risk that once the apartment looks good, the landlord will boot you out and raise the rents.

    In short: this is not as simple as it sounds. And your home is your REFUGE. Most folks will be miserable miserable coming home after a long day at work (or raising kids at home in) a shabby, miserable windowless basement unit — their old room at home! — or a skeevy trailer in a bad neighborhood. And for how long can you do this? a year? 2 years? because in most desirable areas, a down payment is tens of thousands of dollars and will take YEARS to save up.

  3. We rented from my parents for years–I think those are the best kind of landlords to have! Now our jobs provide housing, and we love that we don’t have to pay anything for rent, I think this job might spoil us!

    1. Would LOVE to have a job that provided housing – it’s so nice to take advantage of something like that while you can! 🙂

  4. Some places also have variable rates that fluctuate depending on when you rent – fluctuating daily, weekly, monthly or may offer one rate for a top floor, back of the complex unit but a different rate for the exact same floor plan on the ground floor or at the front of the complex. If you don’t mind noise, living closer to the street may get you a slight discount on rent.

    Also, if the unit has been upgraded or not makes a difference. At our current complex, I purposely chose the UN-upgraded unit as it is all carpet and tile with NO hardwood/laminate as we have dogs and I don’t want to get dinged on move-out due to scratches in the flooring from their claws. Our unit is due for recarpeting in the next year or two but the carpet is clean and without major flaws – it does its job and is perfect for our two-dog family.

    The entire rest of our unit is super nice and we love the complex. By choosing the non-upgraded unit, I save $30/mo on my rent and the location of our unit within the complex also saves us another $10.

    1. $40 a month is great! I never knew that about upgraded units vs not, but it definitely makes sense. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. We no longer rent as we bought our home 7 years ago. But the going rate to rent a home or apartment is probably around $650 – $700 a month. That is considered high for our area, but this is a small town with a state university, so they charge more because of that.

  6. Love #3. We own a rental, and I would gladly negotiate a break in rent if he/she was willing to help with some of the maintenance. Great suggestion.

  7. I can relate to this post, even though we no longer rent. My husband and I owned a home before making an out of state move for his new job back in 2009. When we first made this move, we chose a two bedroom apartment for ourselves and our girls that was new construction and in a very nice area. After a couple years, however, we decided to move to a cheaper townhouse that didn’t have all the amenities (pool, fitness center, etc.) and was not big by any means (1000 sq. ft) but was still in an area that we were very comfortable and safe in for a short term transition. This saved us an additional 200 dollars per month on our rent for the next three years while we saved and waited for the right time to buy our house. It essentially gave us the time to really search for what we wanted so that when we were ready to buy we knew exactly what was out there and we were able to more easily stick to our priorities.

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