Renters burdened with rocketing monthly housing costs are limited in their ability to save for emergencies, a down payment on a home, and retirement. It is possible, however, to control costs, even in the current rental market, says Steve Trumble, president and CEO of the national non-profit American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC).
“As the cost of rent continues to increase, it’s becoming more difficult for many individuals and families to afford housing and other basic necessities,” said Trumble in a statement. “The good news is that there are tips and considerations that can help renters better manage rent-related costs and ease this major financial burden.”
These tips are to:
Set a rent budget—and stick to it. Keep to a realistic and reasonable rent budget, even if it means compromising with fewer amenities or a less-than-ideal location. Take time to tour a variety of rental listings before signing a lease.
Consider adding a roommate. If the lease and space allow, consider getting a roommate to offset the rent burden. Those savings can be allocated toward student loan debt or a down payment fund.
Cut back on spending. Rent is a fixed cost, but other expenses are not. Cut back on spending in areas like activities, clothing and entertainment, and use coupons as often as possible.
Look for ways to trim costs, too. A lot of renters are burdened by energy costs. Trim the expense by turning off air conditioning and lights in unused rooms, and turning off the faucet while brushing teeth.
Make a move. Rents are often less in areas outside of a city. Consider making a move to an outlying town—if it has access to public transportation, all the better. Call upon the assistance of a real estate professional to make the transition from renter to homeowner as smooth as possible.
Source: American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC)