How to rent and save – tips from Canopy

While many of us rejoice at pre-Christmas pay day, we now find ourselves wondering just how we’ll be stretch out £53.21 until the end of January. It can often feel impossible to save while renting, can’t it?

It’s NOT ALL doom n’ gloom chums, Canopy – the experts in Rental Health – have some clever tips and tweaks to make saving while renting that little bit easier…

1. Think smarter about your deposit

Get Living was the first UK landlord to scrap security deposits back in 2016 for those who pass referencing and have a good credit score. Thankfully since then several other rental operators have followed suit, meaning that those hundreds, if not thousands of pounds, you would have been setting aside for a deposit can go straight back into savings. Instant win!

But for rental properties that don’t come with such benefits, you may want to look at replacing the traditional deposit amount with a deposit alternative scheme.

This means paying a fee (usually equivalent to one week’s rent) to cover the cost of the deposit instead of forking out the normal five weeks’ worth of rent upfront.

You can also switch to using a deposit scheme even if you’ve paid your deposit. So, you could get that money back – but you will need consent from your landlord to do this.

However, it is important to read the small print before deciding whether a deposit scheme is the right choice for you, as while this is a smaller upfront cost it’s worth noting that it is non-refundable, whereas a deposit – should there be no damages to pay – will be returned to you in full. While you’re doing your research you should also check out Canopy’s Deposit Free insurance option which also covers you in case of a job loss.

2. Switch and Save

How many times have you seen or heard about people saving money when they switched providers when it comes to things like insurance, TV and mobile phone contracts? There are so many comparison sites out there (cue annoying opera singing waiter) that this is a no brainer for anyone looking to save.

If you haven’t tried this yet it’s well worth it. And don’t just be satisfied with doing it once – become a serial switcher! Make a note of when your contract is coming to an end – and make sure you take the time to compare and get the best deal possible.

3. Automate your savings

It’s always a juggling act when it comes to putting money away for our future selves, while trying to ‘live in the moment’ and even…shhhh… treat yo’self – from time to time. Be rid of that internal battle every month and set up an automated direct debit to move money into a savings account the day after payday so that monies go into savings straight away.

Another good way is signing up to a ‘round up’ app such as Moneybox or other app-linking services through ‘If This Then That’ IFTT which will siphon small amounts away for you, so you don’t even have to think about it or physically move funds back and forth yourself.

And just as you would with your other providers, keep looking at switching savings accounts make sure you’ve got the best rate of interest on your savings too by comparing providers.

4. Make your property more energy efficient

Energy is one of the biggest yearly costs. Therefore, it’s worth thinking about how you can make your rental more energy efficient. From switching to a lower washing machine setting to lowering the heating a few simple changes can start adding up.

5. Give up the takeaway

While it may be tempting to order a takeout or go out for a meal (when lockdown allows!) it can seriously put a dent into your savings pot. In 2018/19, the average person spent nearly £15 a week on food and drink outside the home. Whilst that may not seem a lot. If you add it all up – that’s a lot per year! So, consider dropping the takeaway for a month or two and save a little extra.

A simple and effective way to see how much you’re spending on non-essential items is by using a budget tracker. The Canopy renter app has rental insight and budget tool which you can use to stay on top of your spending and save money.

6. Consider a house share

As well as helping you save on rent and household bills, living with others can be lots of fun. It’s also a great way to meet new people, make (potentially life long) friends, have someone to talk about: The Queen’s Gambit/The Fall/Ru Paul’s Drag Race with.

7. The side-hustle

Finally, when you feel like you exhausted all angles and ways of saving money and you still need a few quid to hit your savings goal then why not invest some time in converting a hobby into a money-earner.

Over lockdown we saw a several residents embrace their entrepreneurial spirit and with the support of their local community launched businesses in food, accessories, design and homeware.

But if you’ve not got a passion project, a house/wardrobe cleanse and an Ebay/Depop session can be surprisingly lucrative – and for not much effort.

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Canopy is one of Get Living’s service partners, helping deliver a smart and simple referencing process that can be done in minutes through its RentPassport™.

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