6 legit money-saving hacks for apartment renters


From the moment you start searching for an apartment until your last goodbye to the landlord, there are numerous fees, utility costs and more than can make having your own place a little more expensive than you planned.

RELATED: Don't phone it in: 5 hacks for getting the best mobile phone plan

There are several money-saving hacks to trim some of those added costs, according to frugal bloggers, lifestyle pro's and real estate experts.

Each one of the tips below will help you save a little money so that you can save toward splurges and bigger goals− like homeownership.

Check out rentals in the chilly months.

While November through February offer fewer rental options, you can strike a deal for a lower rent more often and more easily in the winter months, according to Lifehacker. Landlords have to look harder for tenants in these slow apartment hunting months, so they might be more willing to take less rent or a lower deposit, or to offer a few extra services than what you'd get in spring and summer.

Choose floor No. 2. 

While conventional wisdom indicates saving money by opting for a floor that's higher in the building, that cheaper rent could push your other bills higher, according to the Wise Bread blog. Choosing the second floor of a place with three levels of units saves dramatically on the utility bill -- far better than getting a nominal rent break. The best insulated floor of three is the second, which is particularly important if you'll be paying for air conditioning in the sunny South.

Power down on the electric bill.

If you're responsible for the electric bill at the apartment, hack away at it, real estate website Trulia advised. Be sure to identify energy sappers like appliances that use a remote control or an external power supply or have a continuous display, Trulia said. All of them continue to use electricity even after they're turned off. To save as much as $150 on your power bill annually, invest in a smart power strip and plug in such devices as TVs, cable boxes and game consoles to cut off "phantom power" at the source.

Save on renters insurance

You could always save on renters insurance by forgoing it altogether, but that leaves you open to losing all you own, according to The Balance. Instead, get the insurance, but economize by exploring professional discounts if you are in a profession such as police officer, firefighter, teacher or nurse or are a credit union member or retiree.

If you haven't already chosen where to rent, you may want to opt for apartments near a fire station, in a low crime area or in a newer building to further reduce your renter's insurance.

Make a movable bathroom floor upgrade

A lot of the most affordable apartments, and even some of the pricier ones, have unattractive, cold or warped bathroom floors. To keep from losing your deposit by altering the actual bathroom floor, consider making an inexpensive deck tile upgrade that merely rests on the floor and can be used at your next place, too, RentManager.com suggested. And instead of cutting tiles to fit that specific floor, fill in the hard-to-fit nooks and crannies with black river rocks.

Walk through on your way out. 

Make time to schedule a walk-through at the empty apartment before you're gone for good, Wise Bread recommended. Look at the place with your apartment manager, and review any charges you might incur against your deposit and any outstanding bills. While it's tempting to avoid the face-to-face even if you've had a wonderful rental experience, having the supervisor sign off on notes from your conversation lays the groundwork for protests far better than waiting to get the refund in the mail.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Metro Atlanta home prices jump 10.3 percent since last year
Metro Atlanta home prices jump 10.3 percent since last year

The median sales price of a home sold in metro Atlanta last month jumped 10.3 percent from the same month last year, according to a report by Re/Max Georgia. The region’s real estate market slowed as it typically does in the autumn, the number of sales falling from September this year. Compared to a year ago, sales were essentially flat &ndash...
Small Business Saturday focuses on shopping at mom-and-pop stores
Small Business Saturday focuses on shopping at mom-and-pop stores

If Black Friday crowds exhaust you and Cyber Monday feels risky, mom-and-pop business owners in metro Atlanta have a proposition: shop Small Business Saturday. Instead of elbowing your way to that discounted TV at a Big Box retailer this weekend, you should patronize independent shops, where you can slow down, get one-on-one service and perhaps find...
Lawsuit charges Equifax failure is already costing consumers
Lawsuit charges Equifax failure is already costing consumers

Consumers from across the country have joined in a class action lawsuit against Equifax, arguing that the company’s failure to protect their data earlier this year has already led to misuse of the information. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, alleges that data taken from Equifax has been used in a series of frauds, from attempts...
Hartsfield-Jackson to reduce land for hotel, give rent discount
Hartsfield-Jackson to reduce land for hotel, give rent discount

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport will give a $500,000 annual discount on rent to the developers of a hotel next to the terminal, as a concession for reducing the amount of space for the hotel by a couple of acres. The airport on Monday got Atlanta City Council approval for an amendment to its 50-year lease with Majestic Carter Atlanta...
Hartsfield-Jackson preparing for record holiday crowds

With record traffic expected at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport over the Thanksgiving period, crowds are already filling the terminals and concourses of the world’s busiest airport. More than 299,000 passengers passed through the airport Wednesday, based on Hartsfield-Jackson forecasts. Thanksgiving Day itself will be slow at the airport...
More Stories