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For most people, accommodation remains their largest monthly expense. In earlier posts, I have mentioned this point. If you haven’t read, How to Create a Budget That you can Stick to, please read it today. It naturally follows that if you can reduce your largest monthly expense you will have more freedom within your budget to save more and to invest. These are two activities that will move you closer to financial freedom. The focus of this post is to explore 5 ways that you will be able to achieve this reduction in accommodation costs.
Cutting Accommodation Costs
I have spilt this list of five ways to reduce your accommodation costs into two mini lists. The first is for homeowners and the second is for tenants / lodgers who rent accommodation. The resources that I have linked to are for the United Kingdom because that is where I live. If you are reading this post outside of the United Kingdom, there may be comparable opportunities and resources in your country too.
Take in a Lodger
If you have enough room, take in a lodger to live with you at your main residence. Following a UK government initiative first introduced in 1992, homeowners are permitted to earn up to £7,500 tax free as part of the rent-a-room scheme. Technically this does not reduce your accommodation cost but it does reduce your financial burden because of the additional income that the lodger provides. Click here to read more about the rent-a-room scheme.
Move to a Cheaper Area
If you are living in a desirable area, more than likely that desirability comes with fairly high accommodation costs. One possible solution that most homeowners do not think about is this one; rent out your home and move to a cheaper area.
Let me explain with some sample numbers. You are currently living in area A and your home could be rented out for £2000 per month. This is more than you are paying for your mortgage which is £1500 . If you move out of your home and rent in a cheaper area (area B) for a cost of £1400 per month, you will be reducing your accommodation cost plus receiving £2000 in rent for the house that you still own.
An added bonus is the increase in equity associated with your property during the period it is being rented out. Please note, you will need to take all necessary steps to comply with the terms of your mortgage and to ensure that your property is in suitable condition to be rented.
Renting a self contained flat or apartment can prove expensive, particularly in desirable areas. One surefire way to reduce your accommodation cost is to move into a house share. Sharing amenities brings the costs down. This website, spareroom.co.uk caters exactly for the house share market. Once settled into a house share, you can look forward to the positive impact that it will have on your finances.
Team up and Rent
Team up with a friend also looking for accommodation and rent a place that caters to both of your needs. This opportunity is not only available for twenty-somethings, an increasing amount of people find themselves heading one parent households and this is a good opportunity for them to reduce costs too. This website provides a forum for potential flatmates to meet each other with a view to finding a place together.
Move Back Home
This is not an option that is available for everyone for a number of reasons. It could a good temporary solution for some millennials. Moving back in with your parents could allow you time to reduce your accommodation cost and to recover financially. It should not be considered as a permanent solution.
Have you managed to reduce your accommodation costs recently? Which method did you use? Let me know in the comments section below.
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My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only. This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.