If you’re single it can seem impossible to pay for all your monthly expenses on your own. The fact that rents are getting more expensive by the day, means it is even more difficult. So, it wouldn’t be surprising if you are asking how to afford rent when single. The good news is you can do it. Here are 11 tips to help.
How to Afford Rent When Single
Even though it can seem difficult to pay for an apartment these days when you’re single, you can do it.
Check out these 11 tips to get you started.
1. Move-In Specials
One way to cut your monthly rent as a single person is to keep your eyes open for move-in specials.
Some apartment buildings will give you your first month free or you can move in without a security deposit.
If you do get your first month free that will be a big saving over the course of a year and help you reduce your housing costs.
2. Forget the Bedroom
While most people want a place big enough to make them feel comfortable, the truth is, you need a lot less space than you think.
While a bedroom is nice, if it is just you, then it really isn’t necessary.
A studio apartment will save you hundreds of dollars per month and thousands of dollars over the years when compared to a one-bedroom apartment.
If you can find an apartment complex that offers other recreational areas such as a lounge or rooftop patio, you will have more space to stretch out and enjoy yourself.
That way your apartment won’t seem as small.
Besides, you might meet some of your neighbors and make new friends or perhaps even a love interest.
3. Don’t Take the First Place You See
When looking for affordable housing, plan on taking your time.
Don’t rent the first place you see.
Check out different neighborhoods in your city to see where you can rent for less while still being safe and close enough to work or at least public transportation.
Learn the rental market in your area.
Your city’s cost of living will play a part here.
If the whole town is very expensive like San Francisco, then you might want to consider moving to a less expensive area.
5. Skip All the Bells and Whistles
A lot of apartment complexes now come with a bunch of perks.
You might see things offered as a gym or spa or even a coffee bar.
While all of this is nice, it isn’t free.
You’re paying for it with higher rent.
If you’re trying to keep your monthly payments down, then you don’t need all the extras.
You just need a roof over your head in a place you don’t mind calling home.
6. Use a Budget
No one enjoys living on a budget, but sometimes it is necessary.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your rent at 30 percent of your monthly income.
That means if you are making $3,000 dollars per month then you shouldn’t be paying more than $900 dollars a month for rent.
Track all of your expenses including your debt payments such as personal loans and credit cards.
Having a good understanding of what you are spending and what your monthly rent and monthly spending are compared to your income level, will help you determine just how much you can afford for housing costs.
7. Cut Unnecessary Expenses
Once you know where your money is going each month, start to cut some unnecessary expenses.
This will free up some money that you can set aside for emergency funds.
It will also give you a cushion in case your cost of living increases or your property owners raise your rent.
8. Start a Side Gig
If you have the time, consider starting a side gig.
This can bring in extra money each month and make it easier to pay your rent.
Don’t get a second job.
Instead, find something you enjoy doing such as finding things at thrift stores and selling them on eBay.
And do that.
Before you know it, you may be making enough to pay for your rent just with this extra cash.
9. Get a Roommate
If all else fails, you can get a roommate.
I know this isn’t always the best solution, but it can cut your rent cost in half.
You will also save on your utility costs.
So, that is kind of a win-win situation.
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10. Live at Home to Save Up Money
No one enjoys moving back home, but if your parents are open to it, doing so for a few months could be just the ticket.
You’ll have the time to save up money and pay off debts.
11. Check Out Rental Assistance
If you are truly struggling and have a low income, then do look into rental assistance.
You might qualify for reduced rent and even help with your utility bills.
Just Google rental assistance and your town and state.
That will put you in a much better position when you go out to find an apartment.
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To Sum it All Up:
Rent prices are going up each year. It gets harder and harder for a single person to find an affordable apartment especially if you have student loans as well. Even so, there are ways to make it work. Get a studio apartment, try a side gig for extra money, and learn what the rental costs in your area are before selecting an apartment.