How to Save Money While Living in the City

We all want to find ways to save money when we choose which place to rent. At HomeShare, we pride ourselves at offering the most cost effective options when it comes to offering rental choices to our clients.

This is why we wanted to compile this guide and share 5 ways in which you can save on rent that most people aren’t aware of.

We believe that everyone deserves access to the city and its opportunities regardless of personal financial circumstances. Most people know that their choice of location and square footage are going to drive the overall cost of renting the place. But the dollar amount of your rent payment is not everything.

While cheap rent may be attractive at first, there may be either hidden expenses or you may have to spend more money on other services because you chose a lower-cost rental.

Also, there are many benefits to renting a better place that can make up for the higher rent amount, such as better neighbors, a more vibrant social life, and even business opportunities.

Finally, we believe that #togetherisbetter. People are the most important aspect of living in a city.

That being said – here’s our guide to saving actual money when renting a place.

A TYPICAL RESIDENT CAN SAVE $37,580 ACROSS 5 MAIN CATEGORIES

1.LIVE WITH ROOMMATES

HomeShare research shows that people vastly underestimate the cost savings that can be had when living with roommates. Most people surveyed thought they could save $9000 a year by living with roommates, when the actual figure is more like $18,000 on average, per year. If you want to make the best possible decisions as a renter, you need the facts about the real trade-offs you make by living alone versus with roommates. As we will see next, there are many other cost savings that can be had that go beyond splitting the rent.

2. MINIMIZE YOUR COMMUTE 

Academic research shows that a long commute is killing your productivity, hurting your pocketbook, and deeply affecting your happiness. In fact, adding 20 minutes to your commute makes you as miserable as getting a 19% pay cut (1).

Most people assume the neighborhoods near their workplace may be too expensive, but on average walk-to-workers save between $1,200 and $8,400 a year just by choosing to walk (and that doesn’t count all the time they
save!).

Imagine that you are living in San Francisco, and debating on whether to own a car and rent an apartment farther out, or living in the city financial district and walk to work.

On average, owning a car can cost $700 a month or more, if you expect a $250 car payment, $100 for insurance, and $350 in parking.

Even these fairly modest amounts amount to $8,400 in costs per year before you even factor in gas!

At the same time, imagine that you are losing an hour a day to commuting vs walking. With as much as 300 hours a year for your commute. If you are making the median SF salary of $50/hour, and can monetize that time by working more or getting a promotion, you are bringing in $15,000 of value per year just by walking to work and having more productive hours.

All the while, you are having a better quality of life, which can lead to untold benefits in creativity, sleep quality, and pleasant feelings about your life in general.

3. A COMFORTABLE WORK SPACE

For those who can work remotely, having an excellent apartment may mean having access to the amenity of a co-working lounge with comfortable furniture & fast wifi.

A good coworking space costs around $400 / month, so being able to work from your apartment complex can save you lots of money and also make you more productive.

Research shows that an hour of working from home is way more productive than working from an office, which can translate into more money you can make per hour.

Also, the benefit of only having to commute a few seconds from your front door will also be built in, and you still get the comfy couches, desks, and wifi promised in the trendiest coworking space.

4. COOKING AT HOME & SHARING MEALS

If your place has a good kitchen and people to cook with, it’s much easier to be motivated to cook delicious meals at home.

Cooking together with roommates saves you a lot of money and makes it easier to prepare batches of your favorite meals, which also saves time.

Picking an apartment that has easy access to a grocery store is another great way to save money. You’ll find yourself less tempted to order in take-out, which is generally less healthy and cannot put you on the path to savings the way that home cooked meals do.

Choosing a high-quality apartment, in other words, may seem more expensive until you factor in the extensive savings of homecooked meals, and also, breaking bread with fun people can be an extremely fulfilling experience.

Eating at home is much more cost effective, and it can be more fun if you cook together with people you like.

 

5. SHARE UTILITY BILLS

Living in community doesn’t only reinforce your commitment to save money by cooking together;
it also can save you serious money on utilities, which are often negligibly different whether you have one or two or four people in
your apartment.

Internet, for instance, gets much cheaper when split amongst your roommates, and sharing it rarely has an impact on your speed.

Also, heating up an apartment costs the same regardless of how many people live in it.

Finally, entertainment services like cable, netflix, hulu, amazon prime and others allow you to share an account with multiple people that live with you. Some of them even offer individualized profiles for free, so you don’t get your roommate’s recommended movies as recommended for you…

(1) https://www.inc.com/business-insider/study-reveals-commute-time-impacts-job-satisfaction.html

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