Developing good money habits: Save Money, Saving Money While You Rent
Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

Saving money for a home deposit, a new car or a holiday can be tough. If you’re renting your home, paying the bills and trying to save at the same time, developing good money habits is key.

No matter where you’re at in the renting journey, here are a few tips to get your finances in order and save as much as possible.

Set aside money for bills

Your social life may change each week (and budget with it), but one thing you can accurately estimate is how much money you need to cover your rent and recurring bills. Think about setting up a separate savings account that pays for both of these, along with any additional costs that crop up like car insurance and your Netflix subscription.

Money hack: Remember you need to put in a certain amount to pay everything off, but occasionally think about putting in a little extra. This will beef up your savings for any of those miscellaneous bills that have a funny way of popping up 😉

Cut down on daily spending

Dedication pays off. You’ve committed to sacrificing your usual spending habits to save money for that thing you want and you’ll be surprised at how much it adds up. It’s often the little things that make the biggest difference: buying a coffee, purchasing a bar of chocolate every few days or going out for dinner each week adds up every month.

Money hack: Saving money every day doesn’t necessarily mean physical purchases. It could also be something as simple as reducing your electricity, water or heating consumption to drop your utility bill down at the end of the month!

Put money aside to cover your rental bond 

If you’re about to move into a new property, the agent/owner will ask for a rental bond, ‘bond’ or ‘security deposit. This amount is usually equal to one months’ rent, but it varies from state to state. You will need to have this money ready when you sign the lease, so think about putting a little money aside now to cover the costs of paying that upfront, or making repayments on a RentBond loan if you want to forgo that initial expense. 

Budget for man’s best friend

If your future home is pet-friendly and you live in WA, you’re likely to come across the pet bond. This is a one-off $260 payment to cover any costs incurred as a result of damage from your pet during the tenancy. You can include the pet bond in your RentBond loan, but if you want to get this sorted separately, make sure you assess your finances before you incur the extra cost. 

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Reassess your need for storage

If you are planning on downsizing to a smaller rental property, you might be tempted to throw a stack of items into storage for a later date. But think about it this way – a lot of that stuff will lose value over time, and if you don’t need it now you’re probably not going to need it down the track. So think about selling or donating your stuff. It’ll help make you some money on the side and you’ll save on any unnecessary (and recurring) storage fees.

Your location 

Most people want to live (relatively) close to where they work. In many cases, doing this is going to drastically reduce how much money you spend on petrol and car maintenance. When you start your next property search, think about how far it’ll be from the places you visit regularly. Would moving to that slightly fancier suburb add 15 minutes to your gym commute? Is it really worth it? Finding a place that’s close to your go-to haunts will help reduce wear-and-tear on your car (or bike!).

Pay your rent on time

Budgeting for your rent should be at the top of your monthly ‘good money habits’ list. Paying your rent on time will not only keep your property manager/landlord happy, but you can stay in your property and enjoy the benefits of your good financial habits.

Reap the rewards of your good money habits

When your lease agreement comes to an end, you’ll be faced with the question of ‘where to now?’ You might start a search for a new property on Rent.com.au, or see how far you’ve come with your home deposit savings. Whatever you decide, the extra money you’ve saved by cutting back on expenses will go a long way.

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