How to Save When Renting in Today’s Economy
The affordability of rent is quickly putting many people in precarious positions. Renters are being hit with a reality check when applying for apartments or entering into lease renewals. In some of the most competitive markets, tenants are seeing rent increases of up to 50%. While salaries are struggling to catch up to the cost of living, people are also finding themselves grappling to stay afloat.
As a nation, we are largely dependent on the state of the economy. Since we’re ruled by capitalism, the free market determines how much money we can make and subsequently how we spend it. People are paid in accordance with the value they provide in the scope of the work that they do. Attaining a sustainable income here in the United States has a cost.
It comes in the form of college degrees, continuing education or childcare. When you tie that into day-to-day expenses that include food, utilities and basic upkeep— you are on the continuum of spending money to survive. When you add in inflation and constantly rising costs, Americans alike find themselves underwater.
If you are renting, you still have options to lighten the load. Here’s are some ways to help mitigate your costs of living.
1. Find a Roommate
If it’s possible (dependent on lease stipulations) find a roommate to help cover the cost of rent and utilities.
2. Relocate to a City That Has Rent Ordinances
Typically states do not set limits on what can be charged for rent. However, municipalities can set their own limits on how much the rent can increase per lease renewal. Here in New Jersey, most municipalities have ordinances that do not go above 5%.
There’s always room for negotiation. The landlord has the right to set rates within the ordinance provided but many are willing to compromise depending on your situation. A simple conversation may offset the immediate repercussions of non-payment.
4. Lock in a Rate
Ask if you are able to sign a multi-year lease to lock in the proposed rate. If you know that you are planning to stay in that area/apartment, this is definitely a great way to slow down the rate of increase.
The speed at which the cost of living is increasing, doesn’t show signs of slowing. Finding ways to maneuver through all of the options available can keep you from being in between a rock and a hard place.