cheap rent http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10091/all en-US 5 Ways to Score Cheap Rent — Without Annoying Roommates http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-score-cheap-rent-without-annoying-roommates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-score-cheap-rent-without-annoying-roommates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-man-reading-couch-Dollarphotoclub_70838329.jpg" alt="young man reading couch" title="young man reading couch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The United States is in the midst of a rent affordability crisis. While financial advisers will tell you housing should cost no more than 30% of your income, the reality for many people is that rent is commonly much, much more. In fact, half of all renters across the nation <a href="http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/jchs.harvard.edu/files/jchs_americas_rental_housing_2013_1_0.pdf">spend well more than 30%</a>&nbsp;of their gross income on housing.</p> <p>Yet, finding a cheap place to rent isn't pure fantasy. We've all heard of a friend or loved one living in an expensive area for a fraction of the neighbors fork over in rent. So how do they do it? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-haggle-your-way-to-cheaper-rent?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Haggle Your Way to Cheap Rent</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our cheat sheet of the best ways to score cheap rent &mdash; without having to live with a stranger.</p> <h2>1. Seek Out Properties Under Renovation</h2> <p>Housing construction makes a racket, stirs up dust, and jeopardizes parking &mdash; all of which are turn-offs to most potential renters. To compensate, rental offices commonly offer up price concessions, including discounted rents, waived fees, and lower deposits. New renters can usually enjoy these benefits for a full year, even when renovations only last a couple of months.</p> <h2>2. Scope Out an Ugly View</h2> <p>No one fantasizes about <a href="http://www.timeout.com/newyork/style-design/how-to-find-a-cheap-apartment-in-nyc">bedroom window views of highway ramps</a> and abandoned parking lots. But it might be better for your bank account. &quot;Proximity to generally undesirable transportation facilities can be a money saver,&quot; says Ryan Harris, a New York City planner and a representative of the local American Planning Association, told Time Out New York. &quot;Look for areas near elevated train lines, highways, or bridge and tunnel entrances to be more affordable than those even one or two blocks away.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Wait for Winter</h2> <p>Fewer people move in the winter, so landlords are usually ready to cut a deal. New York City resident Susan Goldstein, a designer, says she saved big bucks by planning her most recent move between Thanksgiving and Christmas. &quot;We looked at buildings that offered incentives.&quot; Her broker, David J. Bucci of A.C. Lawrence &amp; Co., said Goldstein was able to get one month of rent free, and the building paid the broker's fee. &quot;The majority of leases turn over during the summer, so the inventory is high, but so are prices and the number of people looking increases dramatically,&quot; Bucci told the city guide. &quot;If you are looking for a deal, the winter months are the way to go.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Become a Live-In Caretaker, Nanny, or Pet Sitter</h2> <p>These opportunities are hard to find. But for those who are lucky enough to score a caretaker gig, the payoff can be astounding. Namely, free or deeply discounted rent in what's typically a fully furnished home. What's the catch? Typically, there isn't one, which is why these living arrangements are so hot. Often it will be a well-to-do couple who wants someone clean, quiet, and reliable to walk the dog and water the begonias while they're away in Europe. Sound like your cup of tea? Check Craigslist, coffee shop bulletin boards, and the classifieds in your local newspaper for potential opportunities.</p> <h2>5. Offer to Sign a Longer Lease</h2> <p>It never hurts to negotiate. In fact, it's rather silly not to try, at the very least. So if the landlord asks for a 6-month commitment, offer up a full year in exchange for a knock-down on the monthly price. If he or she wants you to agree to a year-long commitment, say that you're willing to up the ante to 18 months if they're willing to throw in some extras &mdash; like free parking or a gratis gym membership. Landlords often offer discounts to long-term tenants, but your commitment saves them on turnover expenses such as lost rent during the search for a new tenant, advertising costs, and cleaning fees.</p> <p><em>Have you snagged cheap rent? Share your tips and tricks with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-score-cheap-rent-without-annoying-roommates">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-7-things-when-living-with-roommates">Avoid These 7 Things When Living With Roommates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-3-cut-spending">Getting by without a job, part 3--cut spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/renting-is-cheaper">Renting is cheaper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-important-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-housing-market-in-2016">6 Important Things You Need to Know About the Housing Market in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent">8 Smart and Fun Things You Could Do if You Paid Less Rent</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Real Estate and Housing cheap rent rent roommates Tue, 23 Dec 2014 18:00:09 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1271113 at http://www.wisebread.com Re-Nesting: Tips for Moving Back in With Your Parents http://www.wisebread.com/re-nesting-tips-for-moving-back-in-with-your-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/re-nesting-tips-for-moving-back-in-with-your-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5038779339_54d44b282d_z_0.jpg" alt="student and parents" title="student and parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In nature, when an animal&rsquo;s offspring are old enough to leave the nest, the children are gone for good. With human beings, however, particularly in a rough economic climate, going back home to live with your parents in your late twenties, thirties, or even forties has become a somewhat common occurrence. In some cultures, it is completely normal to live with multiple generations in the household, but many people who are not accustomed to such living arrangements often feel a sense of failure or embarrassment when moving back home. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent">The Benefits of Having a Roommate &mdash; Besides Saving on Rent</a>)</p> <p>My advice? Don&rsquo;t feel that way. Financial stability is crucial to your mental well-being, and if your parents are willing to take you, then this can be a great opportunity to get back on your feet. Here are some tips to keep in mind before making the transition.</p> <h2>Draw Up a Contract</h2> <p>It may just be your parents, but this first step is important for everyone&rsquo;s peace of mind. They aren&rsquo;t obligated to allow you back in their home, so it is necessary for them to lay out the rules and determine how much you&rsquo;ll be paying for rent, utilities, and food. If they&rsquo;re letting you stay rent-free, then consider yourself extremely lucky.</p> <p>It would also be wise to set up an exit plan, giving you a motivation to move out by the given deadline and assuring your parents that you&rsquo;re not going to stay with them forever.</p> <h2>Expect Diminished Independence</h2> <p>Yes, there are bound to be rules and restrictions, and even though you&rsquo;re no longer a child or teenager, you ought to respect them to the fullest extent, even if you don&rsquo;t agree with them. Perhaps you won&rsquo;t be able to stay out until three in the morning or have alcohol in the house (again, these matters should be outlined in some form of a contract), but even a lessened sense of independence shouldn&rsquo;t get in the way of your path to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-freedom-of-the-independent-yeoman">financial freedom</a>. Again, there&rsquo;s no shame in living with your parents (temporarily), and if you decide to rejoin the nest, take this as a valuable opportunity to build up your own savings (perhaps for a down payment on a home of your own), even if it comes at the expense of your social life.</p> <h2>Help Out</h2> <p>Showing your appreciation &mdash;<em> especially</em> if you&rsquo;re living rent-free &mdash; is practically a must when you&rsquo;re living with your parents past the regular 18-year-old limit. This could entail <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-delicious-healthy-and-cheap-bean-recipes">preparing a meal</a> one night (and paying for the food yourself), cleaning up around the house beyond what is already expected of you, and yard work.</p> <p>During the economic recession, children have been rushing back into the comfort of their parents&rsquo; homes in record numbers. If you&rsquo;re considering this move, you are just one of many that are seeking refuge from a tough job market and untenable cost of living. It will take some getting used to, but with proper planning, patience, and a sense of appreciation for what your parents are doing for you, this can be a very smart decision (so long as it&rsquo;s only short-term).</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/re-nesting-tips-for-moving-back-in-with-your-parents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead">6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Get Ahead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-easy-ways-to-make-your-home-safer">15 Cheap, Easy Ways to Make Your Home Safer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-on-a-long-distance-move">10 Ways to Save on a Long-Distance Move</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-budget-design-ideas-for-a-kids-playroom">10 Budget Design Ideas for a Kids&#039; Playroom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-affordable-cities-to-start-a-family">The 7 Best Affordable Cities to Start a Family</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Home Real Estate and Housing cheap rent college students having roommates parents Thu, 08 Mar 2012 11:24:19 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 909760 at http://www.wisebread.com Getting by without a job, part 3--cut spending http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-3-cut-spending <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/getting-by-without-a-job-part-3-cut-spending" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bike-wheels.jpg" alt="Bicycle wheels" title="Bicycle Wheels" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's note:&nbsp; If you recently lost your job, take a look at Wise Bread's collection of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">tips and resources for the recently laid off</a>.]</em></p> <p>With the economy tanking, more and more people will be not just losing their job, but will be finding themselves without one for an extended period. When that happens it's not good enough to just cut back a little and use debt to make ends meet until the economy recovers. Getting by without a job is possible, even for an extended period--but it requires taking drastic measures to cut spending, and it requires taking them early, while you've still got some cash.</p> <p>This is part three of a four-part series. Part 1 was on the first <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-1-losing-a-job">things to do if you lose your job</a> and part 2 was on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-2-boost-income">boosting your income</a>. Part 4 is on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">getting what you need without money</a>.</p> <p>Despite the fact that it's kind of hiding here as number 3 in a four-part series, this is really the kernel of how to get by without a job--you need to get your expenses low enough that you can cover them with just the money you can earn though casual labor plus whatever you can realize from whatever assets you've managed to hang on to (interest, dividends, rents, etc.).</p> <p>Last year, when I suggested that it was possible to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/our-high-high-standard-of-living-1">get by on a minimum wage job</a>, I drew a considerable bit of mockery, so I'm expecting much the same when I suggest ways to get by without a job at all. Let me restate what I said then: We have a name for the standard of living that results from living on a minimum wage income. We call it &quot;Living in poverty.&quot; Getting by with no job at all does not result in a higher standard of living--it is though, to my mind, an improvement. Minimum wage work is often difficult or dull (or both), and is too often dangerous as well. Eking out a meager existence on what you can earn through casual labor has the huge advantage of allowing you much greater choice in just what that labor is.</p> <p>The biggest problem when it comes to surviving without a regular job is that most households have a terribly inflexible cost structure: Their bare minimum fixed expenses exceed any income that could be earned with casual labor. There is no getting around this except to completely change the cost structure of the household.</p> <p>Most people resist this step until they've done permanent damage to their finances--run up debts that they'll never be able to pay back, had the heat and power turned off, or even been evicted.</p> <p>It's a hard step, but you're way ahead of the game if you do this early rather than late.</p> <h2>Cutting fixed expenses</h2> <p>Most of the fixed costs for a household are tied up with housing. There's the rent or mortgage, there's the utilities, and there's the insurance. If you own a house free and clear with no mortgage (or if the payments are very low), then it may make sense to stay there (even though just utilities and insurance can add up to as much as the cost of a cheap apartment). If you're renting or have a mortgage, you need to look seriously at moving to the lowest-cost housing you can find--and start looking the instant you begin to suspect that this period of unemployment won't be the sort of brief sojourn that people can generally expect during good economic times.</p> <p>The most obvious thing to do is to move in with relatives. Many people view this as the sort of ignominious defeat that's little better than ending up living in their car, but it's a step that can turn a catastrophe into just a bump in the road--if you do it early enough. If you wait until your savings are exhausted and you've run up a bunch of credit card debt, you can put yourself into a hole that you may not be able to get out of short of bankruptcy. One thing to keep in mind is that it is temporary. You're not moving in with relatives forever, just until the economy improves enough that you can find steady work again.</p> <p>If you don't have relatives (or they won't take you in), other sorts of house-sharing arrangements are possible, such as splitting costs with a roommate or renting a room in someone else's house. Last year Myscha suggested <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/twelve-ways-to-become-rent-or-mortgage-free">twelve ways to house yourself for free</a>.</p> <p>The other really large expense for a lot of people is transportation. Owning a car costs <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-you-can-afford-more-house-in-the-exurbs-think-again">thousands of dollars a year</a>--and only about half the expense is the purchase price and financing; the rest is just fuel, maintenance, taxes, and so on.</p> <p>If your car is paid off, it may make sense to keep it; it would put some opportunities to earn money within reach that wouldn't be if you had to rely on public transport or a bicycle or walking. But owing money on a car is just about untenable for someone without a job.&nbsp; (Owing money on <strong>anything</strong> is just about untenable for someone without a job; a car is simply one thing that many people buy on credit.)</p> <p>Those are the big ones. If you can reduce your cost of housing enough (and you don't have other debt that you have to make payments on), you can cover your other living expenses at some level, even with a very low income. In fact, if you live in a rich country and can find a place to live for free, you can very possibly reduce your other expenses almost to zero as well, at least temporarily.</p> <h2>Cutting variable expenses</h2> <p>My recent <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-belt-tightening">emergency belt-tightening</a> post covered cutting variable expenses on an emergency basis, and that's a good place to start. If you're at the point of getting by without a job for an extended period, though, you actually need to ease up from those drastic measures. In an emergency you sometimes have to defer necessary expenses simply because you don't have the cash. Doing that, though, often costs more in the long run. If this isn't an emergency, but rather is the way you're going to be living for a while, you need to start taking the long view.</p> <p>Figure out what you absolutely have to have. Then figure out the absolute cheapest way to get it. Things like buying in bulk and stocking up during sales can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/huge-tax-free-investment-returns">yield large returns</a>. Wise Bread is full of tactical ideas for satisfying your needs as cheaply as possible.</p> <p>Even if you don't have a regular job, if you have some income and really cheap housing, you can fund all your needs, and still have a little left over to satisfy a few of your wants. The key is to draw the line before your spending exceeds your income. That may mean that you don't satisfy very many wants at all, but &quot;more than none&quot; is really pretty good, in the grand scheme of things.</p> <h2>Don't screw up</h2> <p>When you're getting by without a job, you have much less margin for error.</p> <p>For one thing, especially in the year after you lose a job, you have to be careful about taxes. If you don't have a regular job, you probably don't have any money being withheld. Looking on the bright side, if you're not making much money, you probably don't owe a lot. However, if you get any severance pay (especially if you get it late in the year), it can make the year in which you lose your job the highest-paid year of your life. Be sure that enough gets set aside to cover the taxes. If you dip into a tax-advantaged plan like a 401(k) or an IRA, be sure you know what the tax consequences are. If getting out of a house you can't afford involves giving it back to the bank, be aware that the IRS can treat any loan balance that the bank forgives as income.</p> <p>For another thing, you probably have a lot less stuff. Some things you sold to raise cash. Other things you gave away or donated or simply tossed when you moved into much smaller housing. Little things like breaking a dish, that used to mean that you had an eleven place setting instead of twelve, now mean that someone has to eat out of a bowl until you can scrounge up a free replacement.</p> <p>A minor car accident that used to mean dining out less for a few weeks until you'd covered the deductible, now means that you've permanently lost the interest that the deductible money would have been earning--if you haven't lost the use of the car altogether.</p> <p>In fact, though, being careful not to break stuff and using things gently so that they last is just good sense--a wise habit that will be worth preserving even when times get better.</p> <h2>Enjoy it</h2> <p>Is there any overlap between living in poverty and living large? Personally, I think there is. Being forced by hard economic times to eke out a meager existence--that's not much like living large. But <strong>choosing</strong> to eke out a meager existence, because it's the best way to live according to your own values?&nbsp; That's living about as large as you possibly can.</p> <p>Most people never think about what they most want to do with their lives. They find something that they're okay at that pays enough money to support them, and then let a rising income drive a rising standard of living with no real thought even to the <strong>possibility</strong> that there might be alternatives. In hard times, though, the alternatives may be all you've got. Fortunately, there's a good chance that one of those alternatives is actually a better choice than whatever you ended up doing.</p> <p>You can get by without a job if you cut your spending enough. And if you do that, you open up a universe of possibilities that most people don't even know is out there. Take advantage of the opportunity to explore those previously uncontemplated choices. If you don't like what you find, you can go back to working a regular job just as soon as you find one. Maybe, though, you'll find the alternatives as alluring as I do.</p> <p>Especially in rich countries, it's possible to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">get a lot of what you need without money</a>, which is the final part of this series.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-3-cut-spending">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-gas-by-safely-following-trucks">Save More Gas by Safely Following Trucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/did-your-car-break-down-check-for-recalled-parts-and-fix-it-for-free">Did your car break down? Check for recalled parts and fix it for free!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-score-cheap-rent-without-annoying-roommates">5 Ways to Score Cheap Rent — Without Annoying Roommates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-a-walkable-neighborhood">The Benefits of a Walkable Neighborhood</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Cars and Transportation Real Estate and Housing cheap rent cheap transport cutting expenses transportation Sun, 30 Nov 2008 22:04:38 +0000 Philip Brewer 2613 at http://www.wisebread.com