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With rents going higher and higher nationwide, these 7 strategies to save money on rent can lessen the financial blow. These days, many people I know are struggling with expenses. Many young people I speak with wonder if they will ever own their own home. In this article, I share a number of strategies that I have used in the past to reduce my rent. You may be able to find yourself opportunities to pay little or no rent and be able to work towards a big goal. Sometimes you have to make radical changes to change your life.
#1 Get a roommate or two
I had always had my own apartment in my adult life. When a difficult time came for me financially, I saw the writing on the wall. I chose to rent part of a home with a good balance. I had the main floor to myself, and two roommates lived downstairs in the basement. We all shared the kitchen and the bathroom upstairs. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed one of my roommates. This was a good experience for me.
I have a friend who got her own apartment in a nearby small town. She loved her apartment, which was a one bedroom. She hit a difficult time money-wise and decided to get a roommate. She found someone who worked at the same factory she did. This wasn’t simple with a one-bedroom apartment, but she made it work.
#2 Trade your time to save money on rent
There are opportunities everywhere to trade your time to pay or reduce your rent. However, sometimes it takes some initiative and creativity to find what might work for you.
I mentioned that I was renting the main floor of a house above. As time went on, I developed a good relationship with the family that owned the home. Once, the pipes had frozen in the basement and I was able to call a cousin who was a plumber to come and save the day. They were grateful and saw me in a different light after that. One day, I got a phone call. They were quite busy with another project. Would I be interested in collecting the rent from the other two tenants in exchange for a reduction in my rent? That was a great opportunity for me when money was tight!
#3 House and pet sitting can be excellent strategies to save money on rent!
In another case, I answered an ad to rent a room in a house that had a built-in exchange. The owner was an avid traveler and thought it would be best to have a tenant in the house while he was away. As a result, the rent was much lower than the local market rates. I was delighted when he also paid me cash to care for his cat while he was in India. The cat and I ended up bonding tremendously. Overall, this was a great opportunity for me and also helped my traveling landlord. Did I mention that the house was also on a stunning river in kayaking distance of two national parks? Yep!
#4 Senior care and companionship
Another opportunity to save money on rent is when a senior may need some extra assistance, or just some companionship when they live alone. I once explored this as a possibility when considering a job in another city. A long-time friend of our family had a mother who lived alone in that same city. I could have rented a room downstairs and would have had reduced rent for helping with tasks like shoveling the driveway and taking out the garbage. She was a lovely lady. In the end, I didn’t take the job in the city, but I knew I would have enjoyed her company.
You may be wondering how to locate opportunities like those above
The rentals where I helped my landlords were just found on the usual online sites, like Kijiji or Craigslist. I used word of mouth to find the opportunity with the mother of our family friend. These days, there are specific websites where you can register as a potential caregiver/helper for seniors. I would also say, “Don’t be shy!” If there is a certain location or region where you would like to find an opportunity like this, you could always post a “Looking for…” ad where you state what you are offering and what would be ideal for you. I’m a big believer in sending things out to the universe. You never know what could come your way in the form of some great strategies to save on rent.
#5 Seasonal trailer or campground living
Many years ago, I bought a 24-foot trailer with my savings and was able to locate it in a beautiful conservation area on the outskirts of the city I was living in. At that time, the fee for the entire season was around $1,000. I was able to live from May until October in the park and give up my apartment. Many landlords still want to ask for a year-long lease. I had to get creative to find a seasonal/winter place, but I did it for five full years. This literally saved me thousands of dollars.
When my tiny house was being built, I gave notice on my apartment. However, construction on the tiny house was late and I had to leave the apartment! What was I going to do? I ended up living in the campground where I was planning to place my tiny house. Yes, in a tent, for three months! It wasn’t ideal, but I got through it. As it turns out, I was not the only one. There were others with housing struggles living in the campground, which was only a few minutes outside of a city of 120,000. That only cost me around $200 per month. So, I saved money while waiting for my house to arrive.
#6 Tiny house living
Tiny houses are becoming more popular. I used my tiny house as a tool to stop paying rent so I could save to build my permanent cabin. I lived in my tiny house completely off-grid for five years, even without running water! This was not always easy, but it was worth it.
I have kept the tiny house in three different places: the campground (around $200 per month), our family farm (free), the land I bought to build on (free). Over the past five years, I estimate I saved around $50,000 compared to paying rent on a one-bedroom apartment. Here’s another article about tiny house living for those of you who are also preppers.
#7 Family and friends
In our rural area, many people are struggling with housing, and can only make ends meet by staying with friends and relatives.
There is no shame in this. People who care about you usually want to help. It may help to keep in mind, in many cultures in the world, people live with their parents their entire life. Moving in with family can help in a crisis when you can no longer afford to pay rent. However, it can also be a proactive way to reduce your expenses to work toward a financial goal. For example, buying a house or saving up cash for an emergency fund.
In other countries, living with family members is absolutely normal and a way to share the burden of caring for a property, taking care of elders, and managing finances. It’s a way to save money on rent that can help you bond more closely with loved ones.
A rent penny saved is a rent penny earned
Like many others, you may be in a situation where you need to pay rent. Could you see yourself trying any of these strategies to save money on rent? Do you have one you can share with us? Please tell us in the comments below.