Learn How to Spend Less on Housing
If you want to know how to spend less on housing or how to save money on rent, just know that it’s a totally possible thing to do. As someone who now has $0 in housing costs, I can tell you that it is possible! If you can save money on housing costs, you now have a powerful tool at your disposal: more income to pay down debt and build wealth.
Could any of these ways to save work for you?
1) Rent Out Extra Space on AirBnb.com
Do you have extra space in your home? A room? A basement? A backyard? A garage? Then you could become an AirBnb host. If you are up for hosting guests from around the globe and earning extra money in the process, it could be a fun way to reduce your overall housing costs! Get started hosting on AirBnb.
2) Get a Roommate
Even though this living arrangement can present a challenge, it is worth exploring. What you are willing to do to attain financial freedom depends on how badly you want it. We were desperate, so we invited my mom to stay with us for a while. (My mom is a very nice lady, so it wasn’t really hard.) There were challenges and tension at times, but for the sake of freedom, we pressed through. She happily helped with rent while I tended to my new business and paid down debt.
3) Be a Roommate
Even if you have a family, don’t rule out this possibility. After my mom moved out, guess what? We moved in with her! Again, she’s a super nice lady so she charged us nothing for rent and we could continue digging out of debt. I tell you, these years of low to no-rent were instrumental in getting us out of debt. Living with others can be difficult, but think about what you gain if you get through it.
4) Couch Surf Your Butt Off!
If I were a single lady, I’d probably couch surf until my net worth was officially one million dollars! I have single colleagues who, in some form or variation, couch surf to avoid paying rent. Sometimes it’s free depending on how you do it (relatives and friends are a good place to start.) Then there are websites like www.couchsurfing.com where you can formally set up such arrangements and not pay a dime to your host. Again, not for the faint of heart, but there are many people using this resource to free up funds for debt repayment, savings and business start-up. If you want something more stable Airbnb.com is a good reliable source for temporary housing($20 credit here.) In fact, I have a close friend who softened the move to a new city by starting off as an Airbnb.com guest then moving in with one of her hosts!
5) Live Somewhere Cheaper
We moved to the heart of the inner-city where real-estate can be dirt cheap. Depending on your tolerance for risk and discomfort this could be a viable option. Again, in my single days, I’d probably opt for a $400 studio in the heart of the ghetto, but that wouldn’t be ideal for our family. Instead, we got a really inexpensive home (because let’s face it, apartment living in the city can be really hard in tough neighborhoods.) If such a home is inexpensive due to size, then you might consider storage options, like those that offer cheap storage services, where you can keep all your other belongings that are just adding to the clutter.
Alternatively, you can move to a state or even countries where the cost of living can be lower. I work with a lot of people remotely who’ve relocated to places in the tropics or overseas so their money can go farther. With the way we can work online these days, this might not be a hard thing to do.
Other options for cheap living include:
- Vehicle Living (this is a thing, Google it.)
- Boat living
- Multi-unit (your tenant(s) pay the mortgage)
6) Buy a Home with Cash
Easier said than done, right? It’s actually very close to possible more so than you would think. In another post, I walk through the economics of saving up $1,000 per month for 10 years for a home versus paying a similar amount for a mortgage for 30 years. Not only do you save more than $150,000 in interest when you save instead of finance, you will have the peace of mind in knowing that you own your home outright forever. You’ll also avoid PMI and the income you’d forgo not being able to invest as you pay interest. Talk about home sweet home!
7) Work for Housing
I remember someone telling me about an RA (resident advisor) position in college to avoid paying housing fees. I almost barfed. The thought of being responsible for anyone or anything while trying to party it up was reprehensible to me at the time. Boy, was I silly!
I wish, to this day, that I had taken that position more seriously. If you can’t go back to your college days and take advantage of this position, there are similar jobs that might be suited for you in groundskeeping or building maintenance. Think about the number of hotels, hostels, youth/senior communities that might require on-site workers. There are also volunteer programs that will provide housing in exchange for work. Work Away is a great resource for these opportunities.
What do you think about these options? Could you try one or two to save you money?