Saving money on rent while living your best life

If you’re like most people, rent is one of your biggest expenses – and it’s a cost you can’t easily reduce once you’ve signed a lease. Thankfully there are a few painless ways to save money on rent so you can keep living the life you love.

Here are a few tips to making renting work for you without breaking the budget – and saving a little cash on the side.

Pick up some housemates

If you can live with a few mates who share the facilities, your share of the rent goes down. If you can cope with 3-4 others living with you in a bigger space, this is a great way to save some cash. It won’t just save you money on rent; bills like internet and streaming services will also be cheaper the more people who use it.

Rent a studio apartment

Studio apartments usually have a kitchen, living room and bedroom in one open-plan space. These are typically built for solo living but could accommodate a couple. Rent is often much cheaper than other single bedroom apartments. Studio apartments are frequently centrally located, so you can live in a good spot without the hefty price tag.

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Pay less for a smaller room

Are you moving into a rental property without housemates? Let them take the bigger room and suggest they pay a little more rent for the privilege (while you pay less). If you can fit your bed, wardrobe, desk and maybe a small TV into your room while leaving enough space to navigate the area, you should be all set.

Sign on for a longer lease

Love your rental and keen to stay on for a while? Finding a good tenant isn’t easy for landlords – it can take time and money, and extra vacancy time means lost rent. Try negotiating a longer lease in return for a slight rent reduction. If you can commit to an 18-month to 24-month lease, the landlord might be willing to knock $10 off your weekly rent.

Check out a few properties (before you choose one to rent)

Viewing a handful of places can help save you money on rent. The first rental you see might seem like great value, but how do you know if you haven’t seen any others? Take the time to attend a few viewings if you can, and – if you have time on your side – don’t settle until you’re comfortable with what you’ve picked.

Studying? Seek out rentals further from your university

If you’re studying and have access to a bike or a sweet public transport link, look for rentals a little further away. Student houses that are close to unis are often far pricier. See if the nearest bus stop is within walking distance, or, if you’re a keen cyclist, why not ride into your lectures each day?

Give up your parking space

Don’t have a car? You won’t need your parking space. To save some money, offer to give it up in exchange for discounted rent. Your landlord may be able to sell the space to another tenant who could need the extra parking.

Exploit off-peak rental periods

There are times when rents go up, and properties become harder to find. Try to pick a quieter time of year to look for a rental property to give yourself more pricing choices. If you’re the only person applying, you’ll have more bargaining power than competing with 20 other renters.

Hot tip: Keep your Renter Resume up to date, so you’re ready to pounce on a great rental property as soon as you see it!

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Consider renting in the ‘burbs

The further you live from the city, the cheaper your rent may be in many cases. Think about your lifestyle, travel habits and social circle, and then pick a cost-effective suburb that lets you live your best life. Don’t discount any area – the housing market is constantly changing, and suburbs are regularly transformed with new builds. Do your research.

Factor in building amenities

Are you comparing apartments? Take advantage of any included extras. You could save money generally by picking up an apartment with an included gym – no more gym membership required! An apartment with a car space is a great way to save money. You won’t need to worry about permits or costly parking.

Compromise – for now

You won’t be locked into your rental forever, and with some savings under your belt, you can always opt for a more swish apartment down the road. Consider renting an older apartment rather than a modern, inner-city condo. Character goes a long way in a home, and older and often cheaper places have their charm.

Aim to get your full rental bond back

This one might not save on the cost of rent specifically, but it should soften the blow when it comes to finding your next home. Getting your rental bond back isn’t that difficult. Try to leave your home as it was when you first moved in and be super thorough with the Property Condition Report. Our moving checklist will help you keep track of all the key things to do before moving out.

Lauren Vardy

Lauren Vardy was the Content Marketing Manager at Rent.com.au between 2015 and 2023. Formerly a journalist at Fairfax Media and Rural Press, Lauren's expertise extends to various media groups in Australia and internationally, including the Esperance Express, Southeast Asia Globe, Colosoul Magazine, The Sunday Times, and more.

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