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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Money-Saving Tips for Renters


Although you may be renting instead of buying, there are ways you can save money around the house. As a home owner, you are always on the lookout for a method of spending less so you can use the savings for other things that are important to you. Renting is no different. The less you have to spend on household expenses, the more money you’ll have in your pocket. Following are a few money-saving tips for renters.

Electricity
One area where it’s possible to save a little money is on your electric bill. If you’re careful in what electrical appliances you use, and how much you use them, you will be able to save some money. Make sure that the lights are turned off in rooms that aren’t being used. If no one is in the kitchen, turn the lights off. Don’t leave the light on in the bedroom or bathroom when everyone is in the living room. You can also reduce your electric bill by not running the air conditioner when no one is home. If you want the house relatively cool, but don’t want to shut it off, then at least turn it down so it won’t run as much throughout the day. Although it doesn’t sound like much, if you unplug unused items it will save some money because even though an appliance isn’t turned on, it will still draw some energy.

Water
If you take long showers, it will cost more money than if you limit your time in the shower. Compare the amount of water used for a 5 minute shower to that of a 15 minute shower--each and every minute uses hot water, which runs up your water bill. You can also reduce the amount of water that is being used by buying a low-flow shower head. You may want to run the idea past your landlord before making changes of this type--it could violate your lease. You can also save money by being careful of the amount of water you use for washing dishes, and if you have a washer in the apartment or house you’re renting you can save money by only using it if you have a full load of clothes. You can also save money by washing your clothes in cold water so the water heater doesn’t have to run--and save even more by air-drying your clothes instead of using an electric dryer.

Heating and Cooling
If you have a room that you’re not using, you can block it off by hanging a blanket over the doorway, or closing the door to that room so it won’t be heated or cooled. You can also make sure your heater or cooler are operating efficiently by ensuring there is nothing blocking the registers. It is also possible to save money by turning the heat down a few degrees in the winter and keeping the air conditioner turned up a few degrees in the summer. Once you’ve set the thermometer, you should leave it alone, because continuously turning the heating or cooling up and down is inefficient, and uses more energy.

Entertainment
Another way to save money is on entertainment. If you watch a lot of television, you may have to settle for over-the-air TV instead of cable in order to save money. Instead of going out to a movie, rent a couple of flicks and make a night of it. Buy some microwave popcorn and a few sodas and you have an evening’s entertainment for less than the price of two movie tickets. If you’re used to having the TV or stereo playing all day, simply for company, you can save a few bucks by turning them off and enjoying the silence for a change. Instead of paying money for concert tickets you can take a long walk or go for a bike ride. You’ll not only save a few dollars, but the exercise will probably do you some good.

Food
Buying groceries is expensive. There’s no getting around it. Your food bill is probably one of your biggest bills each month, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save some money on groceries if you shop carefully. When you go to the supermarket, buy items that are on sale. If there is something on sale that you eat regularly, it would be a good idea to stock up at discount prices. You can also save money by buying store brands instead of national brands. Eating out is expensive, especially when you compare it to the cost of a home-cooked meal. Cook your own meals as often as possible and save your nights out for special occasions.

Guest post from Chris Black. Chris writes for RentersInsurance.com.

2 comments:

  1. Not sure where the writer lives but where I live renters do not customarily pay for water (not in apartments anyway--in houses it varies). Rooms each have their own vents, so just closing the door to a room will do nothing to save on heating and A/C. However, the rest of the information is accurate and concise for those needing to save money. Many of my clients are getting divorced , so it's important information to have.

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  2. Where I live I do pay for my own water and electricity as a renter. These tips make good sense. It is very hot in summer but I hardly ever use air con - just wear very few clothes. Same for the heating in winter - just wear a lot of clothes. It amazes me to see people in little T shirts or vests with the heating blazing away complaining how cold it is - just put on a sweater or cardigan!

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