When you rent a home or an apartment, it can feel like saving just isn’t an option.
With annual rent increases, inconsistent utility bills, and many other expenses to consider that are outside of your control, renters often find themselves struggling to make ends meet.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.
You can rent and save money, all at the same time. The key is knowing where you can adjust your spending so you can start to build your savings.
To get you off on the right track, here are 7 simple ways for renters to save on expenses, even when it seems impossible.
1. Figure out your spending habits
Saving money on your expenses starts with understanding your spending habits. If you don’t have a good picture of what you spend money on each month, you’ll have a pretty hard time trying to cut costs.
If you already do a lot of your spending with your KOHO prepaid Visa card, getting a grasp on your spending habits is easy.
When you use the app to check out your spending habits, you’ll also have access to KOHO Insights. These insights give you real-time information on your transactions so you can see where you spent your money and how that compares to your past spending trends.
2. Set a budget for living expenses
One you’ve got a handle on your spending habits, it’s time to get to work.
To prevent yourself from blowing your paycheque, you’ll need a solid budget template to help you manage your money.
When crafting your monthly budget, you’ll need to determine reasonable spending limits for all your recurring expenses. While many of your monthly expenditures, like your rent, utilities, phone bill, and food are necessities, you do have some control over how much you spend on each of these expenses.
As you go through your budget, ask yourself questions like:
Can I save on my food costs, for example, by cooking at home more frequently?
Am I using all the data I’m paying for each month on my phone plan?
Can I lower my utility bills by only doing certain chores outside of peak hours?
These budgeting questions may seem simple and trivial, but tiny cuts to your monthly spending now, can mean big savings in the future.
"When crafting your monthly budget, you’ll need to determine reasonable spending limits for all your recurring expenses."
3. Set up automatic bill pay
When we talk about saving money, we generally focus more on what we’re spending our money on, rather than how we actually spend it.
However, late fees, overdraft fees, and other banking expenses that sometimes come with paying your monthly bills can quickly eat into your bottom line. For example, any fees that your landlord or utility provider charges if you make a late payment.
That being said, your KOHO account can help you save a lot of money each month on late fees and transaction costs. The answer? Automatic bill pay!
If you find that you often forget to pay your bills on time, setting up automatic withdrawals from your KOHO account for recurring expenses can help you save big time in the long run. That means more money in your pocket and less money spent on pesky fees. What could be better?
4. Get a roommate... or two
This tip isn’t exactly an innovative new financial hack, but it’s worth remembering that having a roommate can go a long way towards cutting your living expenses.
Having a roommate can take a huge dent out of your monthly living expenses, since sharing an apartment means splitting the rent, utilities, and other costs.
Once you have a roommate, you can also save time and money on actually paying your shared bills by using the e-Transfer feature in your KOHO account. Send and receive e-Transfers with a short 30 to 90 minute delay, allowing you and your roommate to seamlessly pay your rent and other utilities as they arise. That way, no one is carrying the full burden of any bills that come through monthly.
"When we talk about saving money, we generally focus more on what we’re spending our money on, rather than how we actually spend it."
5. Earn cash back rewards on your necessities
If you’re going to spend money on necessities, you might as well make a little money in the process.
Whether you’re paying your monthly phone bill or you’re shopping for groceries, using your KOHO prepaid Visa card can help you avoid high interest rates all while letting you earn cash back in the process.
Each time you pay for your expenses with your card, you’ll automatically earn PowerUps that you can then put in your savings account to start building up a little nest egg. With KOHO Premium, you can even earn 2% cashback on some of your biggest monthly expenses, like groceries, restaurants, and transportation.
6. Get tenant insurance
Strategies that help you save on your monthly expenses usually focus a lot on your recurring monthly costs. But what about large unexpected costs that can come up out of nowhere in an emergency?
Although we hope you never have to use it, getting insurance, specifically tenant insurance, can help protect you from major expenses down the line.
Tenant insurance is often more affordable than people think, and it can cover the cost of replacing your belongings if your rental unit is affected by a fire, flood, or a break-in. Some tenant insurance policies also cover additional living expenses, like the cost of staying in a hotel, if you have to leave your apartment for a period of time during an emergency.
7. Talk to a financial coach
Sometimes, you just need a bit of extra guidance to help you cut back on your expenses. If you feel like you’ve done all that you can to minimize your spending as a renter, but you still find that you’re living beyond your means, it might be time to talk to a financial coach.
KOHO Premium account holders get access to free financial coaching from an Accredited Financial Counsellor, so be sure to take advantage of their expertise whenever you need a bit of guidance.
Save money while paying rent
Saving money and paying rent at the same time doesn’t have to be an insurmountable task. Use these tips to help jumpstart your savings, so that you’re not feeling bogged down financially every month.
Getting a grip on your budgeting and minimizing your monthly expenses is definitely possible, especially if you take advantage of all the nifty savings features that come with your KOHO account. You’ve got this!