Do you feel like all your hard earned money is spent on paying the rent? And there’s never enough left to save?
It’s true that probably 30-40% of your salary goes towards paying the rent - but what about the 60-70% that’s left over? Where does that go? I have bills to pay too I hear you say - like the council tax, gas, electricity, broadband and even my mobile phone bill. So how can you save if all you’re doing is paying out all the time?
Here are our 7 simple life hacks/tips that can help you start the savings process while renting;
1. Use a Deposit scheme
Firstly, a simple and effective way to save money initially when renting is to look at replacing the traditional deposit amount with a deposit alternative scheme. This means paying a little up front to cover the cost of the deposit instead of forking out the normal 5 weeks worth of rent upfront. You can also switch to using a deposit scheme even if you’ve paid your deposit. So you could get that money back - but you will need consent from your landlord to do this. If you’re unsure if you should use a deposit scheme read our blog for more info; should I pay a deposit or use a deposit scheme?
2. Switch and Save
How many times have you seen or heard about people saving money when they switched their utilities? There are so many comparison sites out there that this is a no brainer for anyone looking to save. And it’s not just utilities that you can save one - Anything that has an alternative supplier probably has a comparison site - for example things like credit cards, insurance (for car, travel, contents etc), mobile phone, TV and broadband. If you haven’t tried this yet it’s well worth it.
But don’t just be satisfied with doing it once - become a serial switcher! Make a note of when your contract is coming to an end - and make sure you take the time to compare and get the best deal possible.
3. Automate your savings
A really easy and simple way to start saving is to automate the process. So set up a direct debit to move money into a savings account after each pay day, so you don’t need to remember to do it each time. And of course ‘out of sight is out of mind’. You don’t miss what you haven’t got and you’ll soon see the amount adding up. You can always start small and up the amount if you can afford to in the future. And as with switching and saving make sure you’ve got the best rate of interest on your savings too by comparing providers.
4. Make your property more energy efficient
The average household spends around £1,250 a year on heating and power, according to industry regulator Ofgem – making energy one of the biggest yearly costs. Therefore, it’s worth thinking about how you can make your rental property more energy efficient. From switching to a lower washing machine setting to lowering the heating a few simple changes can start adding up.
5. Give up the takeaway
While it may be tempting to order a take out or go out for a meal (when lockdown allows!) it can seriously put a dent into your savings pot. In 2018/19, an average of £14.48 was spent per person per week on food and drink purchased for consumption outside the home. Whilst that may not seem a lot. If you add it all up - that’s £752.96 a year! So consider dropping the take away for a month or 2 and save a little extra.
A simple and effective way to see how much you’re spending on non essential items is by using a budget tracker. The Canopy renter app has rental insight and budget tool which you can use to stay on top of your spending and save money.
6. Consider a house share
Another way of saving while renting is considering moving in with other tenants. As well as helping you save on rent and household bills it also has some other added benefits too - like being able to make new friends or have someone else to talk too. Which can help boost your mental health.
The current coronavirus pandemic should not put you off moving into a house share as long as you follow the correct guidelines.
7. The side hustle
Finally, when you feel like you exhausted all angles and ways of saving money and you still need a few bob to hit your savings goal then why not consider getting an extra job ( Easier said than done in the current climate) - getting a delivery, babysitting or cleaning job at the weekend could be simple enough.
Alternatively if you’re more the creative type and are handy with tools you could always turn your hand to upcycling which you can sell on. Think furniture, jewelry, paintings - if you’re in need of some inspiration check out these upcycling ideas.
Remember that this is a long term goal, so try not to work yourself into exhaustion. Looking for a better-paid job, even if that means getting further training or qualifications in the short term, might be better than adding in extra employments.