Money is great. But let’s be real, saving money is always a good thing.  If you’re a renter, you’ve probably become familiar with the spectrum of costs and options available in your city via a previous apartment search. Housing costs aren’t cheap; and cutting costs to save money on monthly payments can make a major difference in your overall housing budget.

Here at Homies, we’ve given some helpful hints for those of you looking to save some $ without compromising on a healthy living situation:

1. Location, location, location.

Location has the power to sway your monthly housing costs from one end of the spectrum to another. With that being said, where you choose to live is a really great variable for driving down costs! Neighborhoods

2. Long Term Lease=Cheaper.

Another trick to scoring lower prices on an apartment is extending your commitment up front. This strategy is a great option for those looking to live in apartment buildings run by a private landlord (as opposed to those rented out by a property management group). Indicating your commitment upfront, landlords may be more likely to give you larger discounts on rent. Buildings want to maintain occupancy, and they might cut you a break for making their jobs a little easier in doing so. Worth a shot to ask, right?

3. Negotiate Rent if you have a PRIVATE landlord (~5%).

If you have a private landlord, work to negotiate your rent. One of the reasons renters choose private landlords over buildings run by property managers is because the rent tends to be lower. But you need to do your homework. We’ve previously rounded up information on How Much Should You Pay for Rent in Baltimore – and we want you to use it! If you’re looking for a private landlord, you need to know both city averages as well as your budget before negotiating a good deal.   

4. Luxury Lease-ups.

If you are looking at a high-rise apartment building, check out the lease-ups in your area. Lease-ups are new buildings that just open and as such offer incentives such as one or two free months of rent in order to fill the building up quicker. Keep in mind that these specials will only be included in your first lease, and whether you can stay when rates go up should be factored into your decision.

5. Get Yourself a Roommate.

Obviously! If you’re looking to cut spending, let us help you find some new homies. Roommates often make everything cheaper – rent, utilities, groceries, etc. They also offer other great benefits, in addition to saving money (that we’ve discussed in more detail here). We could go on for hours about this one, but we won’t. Co-living definitely will help you save some $, though. Trust the Homies.

6. Cut Cable.

This sounds drastic as first glance, but the choice to cut cable has become popular amongst the renter-generation. Think about it: with internet access and in-home Wifi, do you really need cable? Technologies like AppleTV, Roku, and Google Chromecast, in combination with streaming services (Netflix, Hulu), make it really easy to get your fix on both news and tv shows. If you’re really trying to cut costs, this may be a viable alternative for you. Add up the costs of just Internet and subscription services – and compare!

7. Cook at Home.

Whether for convenience or pleasure, dining out can really inflate your monthly expenses. The simple solution is to do a bit more grocery shopping and a little less GrubHub-ing. Honestly, you’d be surprised how far $15 dollars can get you at the grocery store. The trick to cooking at home is discipline and motivation; but once you get into a groove, it’ll save you time and money!

8. Don’t Hesitate to ask your landlord to fix stuff.

Many renters make the mistake of incurring expensive repair costs because they don’t approach their landlord/building manager for maintenance work. As a renter, you should be familiar with your lease as well as what is (and isn’t) explicitly covered. If you need repair work – or a new part for your dishwasher – ask your landlord or property manager. It’s their jobs to provide you a functional living environment – so don’t spend unnecessary money on costs already built into rent!

Looking for other ways to save money? We’ve got additional tips for those of you in college looking to save money and  those of you looking to decorate your apartment on a budget.