Affording your first place isn’t easy. For many people, there are already expensive bills to pay before you even add in rent. There’s student loan repayments, car payments, car insurance, health insurance, and much more. In other cases, people are dealing with bad credit reports. It’s for these reasons that so many people struggle to afford a place of their own. If you’re having a hard time fitting in your own place into a budget, here are 5 tips you can use.
Start Saving Up
First, you should start saving up early. Even if you can’t afford monthly rent at the moment, you can at least put some money away in the meantime. That way, when you finally can afford rent, you’ll have money saved up to help you pay for things like furniture and moving costs. Start looking for ways you can cut costs in your daily life, then add any savings into a separate account that will solely be for your new place. Even if you just add a little bit each month, it’ll make a big difference when the time comes.
Do Plenty of Research
Next, it’s important that you do plenty of research before deciding on where to live. Don’t assume that the first apartment complex you find is your only option. Learn what types of places there are in the location you want to live and compare them against one another. You should also conduct this research regularly, as your options could change. The more options you can uncover, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to find a place that you can afford.
Find a Roommate
A great way to lower the cost of your first place is by splitting the expenses with someone else. For instance, rather than paying $1,000 a month for a large studio apartment on your own, you could divide the space up into two bedrooms, and now you’re only paying $500 per month. Talk to your friends and family and see if any of them are either looking for a roommate or are looking to move into a new place.
A similar option is to rent out a room. If you had a two-bedroom apartment or a home with a spare bedroom, you could rent it out to bring in some income. Of course, depending on where you live, you may not be able to rent out your room frequently, but for some people, this is a great option to make their first place more affordable.
Explore Unconventional Options
When hunting for your first place, it’s not a bad idea to think a little outside the box. Most people searching for a place to live, look for either an apartment or a home, but these aren’t your only options. One option is to buy or rent out the mobile home. These are significantly cheaper and can provide a nice space for a single person. If you do go with this option, be sure to look into a used motorhome warranty like those offered by Good Sam.
Another option is Tiny Homes. Tiny Homes are a new style of home that is much cheaper than regular homes. With a Tiny Home, you just need to buy a plot of land, and then put out the costs to assemble the home. There are some investment risks when it comes to Tiny Homes, but if you’re looking for something minimal, it’s worth looking into.
Find Other Ways to Cut Costs
Affording your first place is about more than just paying for rent or a mortgage. There are many other costs associated with it, and if you can lower these, then you’ll have an easier time affording your place. For example, rather than paying for a cable TV subscription, you could cut the cord. With this option, you could just pay for services like Netflix or Hulu and an internet connection. This would limit some of the TV you should watch, but it would cost significantly less.
Some other ways to cut costs are – eating out less often, using coupons at the supermarket, using energy-efficient appliances, working from home to use less gas or using mass transit instead of driving. The idea is to cut back on the things you don’t really need and to look for cheaper alternatives to the things you do.
Your First Place is Within Reach
If you can follow the tips above, affording your first place should be at least a little easier. It may take some time to get everything in order, and your budget may be tight, but eventually, you’ll get to where you want to go. Just keep at it, and before you know it, you’ll be moving into your first place.