How can I save money now that I'm renting?
Updated: Sep 26, 2019
We all like to save money, that's for sure! But how do you go about saving money once you are on your own and renting? Check out these tips:
Really think before you buy. Is something a want or is it a need? If you don't absolutely need something, don't buy it.
Think about buying multi-purpose objects rather than single-purpose objects. For example, can you sleep on a pull out sofa sleeper rather than purchasing a bed and also a sofa? Can you use an ottoman for propping your feet up and for storing items? That's what I mean by multi-purpose objects. Why would I buy an ottoman that doesn't offer storage? To me, it doesn't make sense if I'm going to need storage devices anyway.
Shop around as much as possible. Rarely will the first place you see something you want (need) be the least expensive.
If there's something you won't use often, ask around. Someone may be able to lend it to you. Why buy something if you don't use it all the time?
Everything you own doesn't have to be brand new! A great way to save money is to purchase used items. This might include used furniture or small appliances. In the area where my Leesburg rental properties are located, there are a lot of great options for buying used. Some include Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity Restores, local mom and pop thrift shops, and consignment shops. The Sheriff’s Ranch Thrift Store has all sorts of items that come in handy when setting up your home. A friend of mine loves the challenge of finding things used - as long as you can wash them and make sure they're clean, what's the difference? Why pay $3,000 for a living room set when you can find one in great shape for $300?
Do everything you can to keep your utility costs down. Check out our article titled, "How can I save money on my electric?" for tips on how to reduce your monthly electric bills. If you live in a cool place and need heat (we're lucky in Florida!), try to get used to setting your thermostat a little lower, especially when you aren't at home.
Decide if you need all available utilities. Can you survive without having cable TV or DirecTV? Probably if you have Internet service. Do you need a home phone line if you already have a cell phone? Try to think about which utilities you can do without.
Limit the amount you spend dining out. Do you stop at Starbucks every day for your morning coffee? That really adds up! Make coffee at home and bring it with you in an insulated thermos. Do you go out to lunch every day when you are at work? Start packing your lunches most days. The best advice is to decide how much you are willing to spend weekly on dining out (remember, that includes Starbucks runs, grabbing items out of machines, hitting McDonalds, stopping for a drink after work with friends, etc) and stick to it!
If you hate the thought of having to come home from work each day and cook, plan ahead. Use a crock pot and make a meal on the weekend that you'll be able to continue enjoying for a few days. Think about preparing your meals for the week in batches and freeze them if necessary.
Try to cut your food costs down. If you live in Florida or someplace warm, chances are you can grow food in containers. Rather than buying spices, grow your own herbs like basil and parsley.
Cut your transportation costs if you can. Any chance of carpooling with others for work? Can you take public transportation rather than driving yourself each day? Try to find ways so you won't have to use your car as much - you'll save on gas, tolls, parking, and vehicle maintenance.
Cut back on memberships if the property you are renting has amenities. Why pay for a gym membership when the condo where you're living offers an exercise room and a pool? Take advantage of what you are already helping to pay for.
Don't skimp on buying renters insurance. Should something happen and you're not insured, you risk losing everything because your landlord's insurance covers them as the property owner, not you as the tenant. For less than a few hundred, you can be sure you won't be starting at square one if disaster strikes.
Saving money becomes easier with time. Develop good spending habits and really think before you spend money. If you don't absolutely need something, save your money!
If you are looking for the perfect rental in Lake County, visit www.leesburg4rent.com to see our rentals in gated communities.