4 ways to save money on your rent

two hands holding a little house

It should come to no one’s surprise that the cost of living keeps going up. And headlines left and right don’t want you to forget it.

If you’re like me, that sort of news can quickly become disheartening, especially when it is about rental prices increasing. Depending on where you live the amount you pay may drastically vary. For instance, the average weekly rent for a house in Adelaide is $450, while in Canberra it’s $675, according to Domain’s quarter rent report.

Many people say that buying a house is an expensive endeavour, but it is easy to forget that the same can be said for renting–especially for those who are moving out of home for the first time. 

I remember when I first moved out, stressing almost every single day, because it was difficult to find a decent apartment within my budget and a reasonable distance from uni and my part-time job. Yes, this is a necessity of life that we all must journey through–unless you plan on living with your parents rent-free forever.

So, if you’re looking for ways to save money on rent, check out the tips below on how to keep some extra money in your pockets.

Ideas to try to save on rent

For starters, when renting be sure to keep in mind the 30% income-to-rent rule of thumb. Of course, this rule might not be possible for everyone. For example, if you're a uni student working part-time, you might want to make your income-to-rent closer to 25%-20% so you don’t become financially stressed. 

Here are our main tips to save:

1. Get housemates

While living alone has its perks, it doesn’t come cheap. Sharing a home with a roommate can help you save on rent but also bills. With lower rent and living expenses you could look in areas you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford before. Just be sure you screen potential housemates so you don’t wind up living with an axe murderer.

If you’re not keen on the idea of getting housemates, there are other ways to save money, including:

2. Downgrade

If you’re saving to potentially buy a home in the future, downsizing might help you get to your home loan deposit faster. A house that is a little older and smaller with a daggy bathroom straight from your nana’s house might be annoying … but the downgrade is only temporary to get you one step closer to buying your own home!

3. Negotiate for a lower rent

Finding good tenants can be a painful process for a landlord – it also doesn’t help that vacancies mean they’re losing rent. You might be able to negotiate for a reduction in rent in return for a longer lease. Or if you’ve lived in the same place for a couple of years, you can also ask for a rent reduction. 

For example, I’ve been living in the same apartment for the last four years and in the third year of my lease renewal, I asked for a $30 reduction off my weekly rent. I didn’t think it’d get approved, but they were happy to reduce my rent with no issue. I think it helps that I have been an issue-free tenant, and as mentioned above, vacancies mean losing money. That rent reduction has made me not want to move out of my current place anytime soon, so it is a win-win for everyone involved.

4. Rent out your car spot

By renting out your car spot, you could earn some money every week that can go towards your rent. However, if you are living in an apartment complex, be sure to double-check your lease as there may be restrictions. For instance, my brother-in-law has a car spot in his apartment building, but since he doesn’t own a car it always sits empty. However, it’s an underground car park that requires a swipe pass to access, so only residents can use it.

If you’ve saved up enough money that putting down a deposit is on your horizon, you’ll want to find a home loan that has low fees and handy features that suit your financial situation. To find your mortgage match start comparing with the home loan options below.

Home loan comparisons on Mozo - last updated 13 August 2022

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* WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate, loan amount and term entered. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

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