Tips to Save on Housing Costs | theSkimm
tips to save on housingtheSkimm

The Story

Sometimes trimming your budget doesn’t cut it. If you want to save a lot of money, you’ve got to go big...by going home.

Huh?

We’re saying look at your housing costs. They probably take up more of your budget than anything else. An easy place to start is trying to lower your utility bills. Some ideas: using advanced power strips, only running the dishwasher when it’s full, washing most of your clothes in cold water (then air-drying them), and hanging up blackout curtains for better insulation.

Easy enough. What else?

Before signing a new apartment lease, level with your landlord. If you’re an A+ renter who pays on time and takes care of your place, they may be willing to give you a break on your monthly rent. You can also ask to pay less for extra expenses, like parking, pet, and amenity fees and security deposits. Pro tip: offering an incentive – like agreeing to sign a two-year lease – could help seal the deal.

If you’re a homeowner, refinancing might save you money. Especially now that the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates to essentially zero. Translation: you may be able to find a better rate than the one you have. And lower your mortgage payment. Heads up that refinancing typically means you’ll have to pay closing costs again. Run the numbers to make sure this move works out in your favor.

What if my bank account's still sad?

It might be time for a drastic move, like downsizing. Kinda annoying. Aaand a lot more complicated to coordinate in a pandemic. But if it’s doable, it could save you a lot. On top of a lower rent or mortgage payment, less square footage could mean you’ll spend less on utilities and upkeep.

One more idea to save for later: find a roommate (besides your dog) to split costs. If you’re a homeowner, that could mean renting out unused space, like a spare bedroom or finished basement.

theSkimm

Making small changes to your spending habits can add up to a lot of savings over time. But targeting your biggest expense can potentially save you a lot all at once.