DO: Find a Roommate
Consider sacrificing a little privacy for the sake of your wallet. Splitting the monthly payments with someone, or a few people, is an obvious way to cut expenses drastically when renting. Instead of moving into a 1-bedroom apartment for $700 per month, you could share a $1,000 per month 2-bedroom and pay only $500 per month. Although sharing your living space with others might not have been something you were originally planning on, you may be enticed by having the budget to rent a larger property, significantly lower rent payments, and people to keep you company or help you in case of an emergency.
DO: Utilize Referral Programs
Many apartment complexes offer referral programs in which tenants are rewarded with a discount on rent for helping fill vacancies. Call around and find out which places have the best programs, as they can save you a pretty penny.
DO: Be Energy Efficient
Take advantage of 21st century technology. There are plenty of ways to save money (and reduce your carbon footprint if that’s the kind of thing you’re in to) by investing in making some eco-friendly changes to your house or apartment. Use LED bulbs instead of traditional light bulbs. Replace your shower heads and faucets with low-flow fixtures. Insulate windows with plastic insulation film. These are all relatively simple tasks that are guaranteed to save you decent money in the end.
DO: Share the Internet with a Neighbor
Your neighbor may be willing to go in with you on an internet plan. There’s potential for a lot of money to be saved here, although you might want to be careful about who you share your internet with. It is recommended that you, at least briefly, get to know whoever it is you choose to split the service with, as malicious activity done online by your neighbor could possibly be traced back to you. Also, if the person is a heavy internet user, they could slow down your internet connection by taking up too much bandwidth.
DON’T: Be too Quick to Settle on a Price
Renters will too often pay the original asking price set by property owners even though prices of rent are, for the most part, pretty negotiable. Save some money on rent by trying to haggle the price a little. You’ll have better luck finding a middle ground on price with someone renting out their own property than at an apartment complex run by a corporation, but a better deal is always possible so you might as well ask. After all, unless you ask, the answer will always be “no.”
DON’T: Be Unprepared for the Weather
Anyone who lives in the Louisville area knows the weather is always predictably unpredictable. Be weary about renting an older property, as it may not be up-to-date on modern amenities such as central A/C and proper insulation. As you check out your potential home, be sure to walk through all the rooms and make sure there aren’t any extreme temperature differences between them because this is often an indicator that the property doesn’t have proper temperature control, which can turn out to be VERY expensive. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a lease on a property that you’re paying more than you need to be on the upkeep.