Money-Saving Tips For Tenants: 25 Ways to Save Your Budget

We’ve all been students and we all know how tough is it to get those dollars on your first job. Being tired of spending too much money on your current place may be the reason for you to limit your budget and start looking for the ways to cut your spendings.

We say: Go for it!

So here is our extensive list of tips on how to save money while renting a place.

Choose Your Location Wisely

When you start apartment hunting you should be sure about the locations you choose. There are a few factors to keep in mind while determining the right location:

  • Where is your job or college located
  • What daily route time is acceptable for you
  • How far is the street or neighborhood located from the public transport

First of all, you should never rent without having a job figured out and that’s not only about the ability to pay rent. I’m talking about having an understanding of where your office is located and what locations you can cross out right away.

Ideally, when you try to save some money, you should consider renting a place that is located further from the center part of the city, yet has a great transport hub around.

It is always profitable to rent a place that is located far from the fanciest places and if you have a subway/bus station within the walking distance from your apartment – you’re perfectly fine.

Balance Your Wants and Needs

When you have to cut your budget while looking for a new place to rent, there is a chance you’ll need to cut your ‘wants’.

Of course, we all want to have all the amenities near our place, but when you try to save some money on rent, you should pay more attention to your ‘needs’, not wants.

list your needs

For example you may dream of having a great view out of your window, but you really need a place with a washing machine, a microwave, and a good bathroom without damaged plumbing system.

Stop dreaming too much and start being reasonable.

Long Term Lease Is More Preferable

When you negotiate the lease agreement with your landlord they usually offer you to choose the length of the lease.

Make sure you understand that the longer your lease, the cheaper it might turn out

There are plenty of reasons behind that, but the most obvious are:

  • Landlord won’t need to renovate the place, paint the walls and change the furniture for the new tenant too often
  • He/She won’t have to waste time and money on a new tenant search and open house scheduling

Usually, the two-year lease is the cheapest option for you, but that’s a serious decision that you should review in details prior to jumping into the two-year deal. So the most reasonable term will be a year and the most expensive option is getting a month-to-month lease.

Negotiate Your Rent

First of all, let’s review the most obvious part of rent negotiation. I’m talking about the lease renewal negotiation.

It’s a frequent landlord habit to demand a higher rent when you renew the lease agreement after a year or so. There are plenty of justifications for that like the fact that the market have changed and the median rental price went up in your location or your landlord simply got a few new application for this place.

This is where you should negotiate with your landlord and try to reach the agreement so both of you could benefit from it.

As for the initial rental price negotiation, that’s where things tend to get a bit tougher. Usually, when you rent involving the real estate agent or working with any other middleman broker, you’ll not be able to negotiate the rent in any way, cause the broker will not care about any of your ideas and offers.

Thankfully, nowadays there are plenty of ways to work with the landlords directly. Here at Rentberry, we work on uniting the landlords and tenants and giving them a uniquely useful platform to work the lease agreement out.

We created our custom offer feature and our internal studies reveal that this tool benefits all the participants In most cases, the tenant saves around 3% of the apartment price and the landlord simply rents out his place faster. That’s a win-win situation, and you can check out by yourself how exactly it works.

Choose a Place Closer to the Public Transport

Your new place can be located even in the weirdest neighborhood and can even be situated near the city border. But when you have a bus stop or a subway station near your house – it’s still a good place to stay.

Rent near subway

Usually, apartments that are located further from the downtown or any other premium districts can be rented much cheaper. The trick here is that when you have a public transport available there and you can get to the center part of the city in 20-30 minutes, consider it a win.

Do Your Own Research

People tend to hurry and grab one of the first offers they get. That’s the biggest mistake you can ever make, especially when you are trying to save some money or simply rent a place in a big city like Chicago, for example.

There is no way to rent a cheap place when you don’t make a deep research of the available apartments around and choose wisely.

Set yourself a reasonable time frame and don’t rush yourself into renting the first place you bump into.

One of the key aspects of market research is about knowing the real demand for a place. On our platform, you can review the applications that the landlord had already received for the particular place and see the real demand for his property. This way, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and make your offer when you decide to apply.

Save Money on Energy Consumption

One of the best ways to cut your spendings is saving money on the energy consumption at your place.

The obvious advice will be simply trying to watch your TV less and stop forgetting to turn off the lights in the bathroom when you leave your place.

Save energy

But here is what you should also consider doing: don’t forget to turn off all the devices that can consume the energy in a passive way: like your internet router, TV set or a microwave that shows you what time is it on its screen. Your water heater is also the one that you should consider turning off.

Also, don’t forget to switch to the LED bulbs, this is a must.

Get Yourself a Roommate or Even Two

One of the easiest ways to save some money is getting yourself a roommate. There are plenty of pros here, but the most important thing is that you can split your rent.

When you use online rental platforms it may seem inconvenient for you to apply for a place together, but we’ve worked on making this experience easy as a pie.

Invite your roommates to apply via Rentberry. They will receive your invitation link and submit the application directly to the landlord. Once everyone is approved, each can set up an independent account for paying each portion of the rent.

Don’t Buy Premium and Expensive Furniture

There is a thing that you should understand prior to starting furnishing your new place. All these beds and coffee tables are not gonna be with your forever.

I’m now saying that you should simply buy cheap stuff with a crappy quality, no. But some people believe that buying a very expensive coffee table is an investment for life, but that’s simply not true.

Buy cheap furniture

You grow up and you move on with new apartments, new challenges, and new ideas. That’s the point where you start selling your furniture and decide to upgrade your place, so there is no need to invest in furniture like it will pay off later in life.

Buy non-exclusive and minimalistic furniture from the stores like IKEA, Target or H&M Furniture department. Yes, it’s not fancy enough, yet it’s practical and has a reasonable price tag on it.

Stop Using Cable

There is a chance that you use cable and pay for it every month, so when you move to a new place you feel like this is a crucial thing.

Frankly speaking, having cable is fun, but when you want to save some money – there is a chance that you may spend your free time in a productive way rather than watching TV, right?

Especially if you have a limited budget and have to work a lot, so cable TV will only distract you from your work, hobby or homework.

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Cook Your Meal at Home

We know that for some of you it may sound weird and too time-consuming, but not going out for a dinner is a pretty great way to save money.

Go to the farmer’s markets or visit the Chinatown to get some fresh fruits and vegetables, find the supermarket that fits your budget and meets your quality requirements. So basically, you should do a meal supplies research in your neighborhood.

Cook at home

Then you’ll be able to buy fresh food and cook your meal at home, saving some money for your next month rent or utility bills.

Avoid Real Estate Agents and Middlemen

Using Real Estate agents and any kind of a middleman nowadays is a suicide mission, especially when you try to limit your budget.

In most of the cases, they only care about getting their interest out of the deal and they’ll make you pay for their services anyway, so it’s not the best idea to work with them when you try to land an affordable deal.

The best way to interact with your potential landlord is applying online for his property directly through an online platform, get in touch with him and make your offer based on your budget.

Use the House’s Minor Flaws to Lower The Rent

While looking at the place during the open house, you should be very attentive and take a look at every corner of the place.

Finding some minor flaws in this place like chipping paint on the wall of the bathroom or too old plumbing system can be used as a reason to discuss the final rent price.

Offer Your Landlord to Fix Something

But there is also another way to utilize the flaws of the house in order to save the money.

When something gets broken or the paint on the walls gets too dirty, you can offer your landlord to fix it, repaint the room or change the leaking sink and deduct the maintenance cost from the price.

Since you can do it yourself, you can save money on getting a handyman to deal with it.

Consider Unfurnished or Partly Furnished Properties

Apartments that are advertised with no furniture are usually cheaper than the furnished ones. Some of them may be partly-furnished, like having only one chair and a table, no bed and no shelves for your books.

unfurnished apartment

Anyway, there is a slight chance that getting the unfurnished place and buying your own furniture is a good way to cut your spendings.

For example, you can get furniture at a flea market or get a used bed from your friends almost for free, etc.

Look for a Place Further From the University

If you are a student, you should understand that all the places near the university will cost quite a lot.

As we’ve already described in one of the tips above, living further from the university or your job is not that bad if your transport hub is good.

Feeling good about a longer trip to your university is important, cause this is a really good way to pay less for a place.

Choose a Smaller Room and Pay Less

When you leave alone and you don’t want to look for a roommate, there is still something you can do to pay less for your property.

Consider renting a smaller room. It would be really weird for you to wish a big flat with a huge terrace and an additional bathroom when you have a limited budget. Simply find a small, yet comfortable room with a bathroom and a kitchen. Yeah, you’re good to go.

Make Sure You Get Your Security Deposit Back in Full

You should act like a responsible tenant, keep the apartment undamaged, clean and save the initial look of the furniture. This is a perfect scenario to ensure that you’re getting your full security deposit back.

Of course, some landlords will try to cut your security deposit in half for some minor thing or just because they want to, that’s why we believe the smart contracts technology should come handy for the real estate market.

Be Polite with Your Landlord

I know plenty of examples when being simply polite and acting friendly with a landlord helped a lot.

If you have a good relationship with the landlord, there is a huge chance that he won’t decide to review your rent when you’ll have to draft a new lease agreement. He will value you as a tenant and will understand that having you on board with this particular rental price is much better than looking for someone else.

Be polite with your landlord

Also, make cute gestures to appreciate your landlord’s time and money. For example, offer him to receive rental payments online. Scheduling the payments will help him receive the money on time and feel safe due to the security level of the ACH payments.

Paying rent is easier with Rentberry. Learn how to pay for your apartment inside our platform and sign up today to find your dream home.

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Review the University List of Approved Landlords

There might be a list of approved landlords in your university. This is a great place to start your search for a property with a reasonable price.

On top of the fact that these landlords usually set an affordable price, it’s simply safer for you to get a place from a checked source.

Check the Meter Readings When You Move In

This is something many of you may forget to do.

When you move in, you should check the meter readings and make sure that you’re not being charged for the services that you haven’t used

Review Your Lease Agreement Carefully

The lease agreement should be clean from shady payment details and regulations of the security deposit disputes.

Also, some of the landlords that want to scam you will write down a higher rent than the one you discussed with them.

Sign a lease agreement

Basically, your rental agreement should be signed by you only after the most detailed review and securely stored after.

The best way not to lose your contract and have a chance to review it attentively is offering your landlord to e-sign your agreement. You won’t need to run around the city with this contract or worry about losing it. Everything will be encrypted and stored in your private profile on our platform.

Use Your Old Subscriptions

It’s obvious that we all have our personal accounts opened with the internet providers or any other services.

The best way to avoid wasting your money for no reason is using the same accounts further when you move to a new place. Some service providers make you pay an additional fee for starting new accounts, but why should you waste this money if you already have one?

Don’t Be Afraid of Asking Your Landlord to Change or Fix Something

Sometimes we need to fix or change something at our place. Some of you may think that asking your landlord to change the lightbulb in your apartment is something weird and will prefer to buy it yourself.

Basically, keeping the apartment functioning is the obligation of your landlord, so asking him to change the lightbulb or fix the leaking sink is okay and will help you save the money.

The best way to avoid back and forth calls is to send the maintenance requests online. It gives you an opportunity to set the priority issue, describe it and send to your landlord. He/She, on the other hand, will receive the notification shortly and will be well-informed regarding your problem.

It’s Not Always Great When Utility Bills Are Included

You may fall for the ‘utility bills included’ ads but hold your horses. Seriously, not so fast.

Just think about it a bit and review the actual price that the landlord offers you to pay for his/her property. There is a chance that renting a place with an opportunity to pay your utility bills separately will be more profitable (in summer for example).

And when you’re so tied to the particular sum, there is no way for you to cut your spendings on energy saving or something like that. That wouldn’t benefit you, mark my word.


  1. Oliver says:

    I believe this is the most important piece of knowledge I’ve ever received. And reading your article made me happy. Thank you so much for putting this information out there!

  2. Kalpataru Vista says:

    Thanks for sharing such an amazing article. After reading the article, I feel it your article will definitely help me a lot to save money to choose best house for rent.

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