We’ve been talking a lot about how rents have been increasing faster than inflation. We’ve mentioned articles in the Wall Street Journal. Now to bring it all home, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has made a similar report in a recent article Households squeezed by high rents.
The article notes that there’s large segments of the population paying 50% or more of their income for rent. That’s going to make it tough to meet other obligations like utilities, car care and food. And it’s a precarious place to be. One missed paycheck and you could be out on the street.
Time for some solutions
There’s nothing you can do about price increases – that’s driven by market demand. But what can you do to make your budget work?
Here are some ideas:
1. What about a roommate? Nothing like cutting your rent in half. Or maybe it’s just an extra bedroom your renting out for a few extra bucks. Make sure the landlord knows what you’re doing.
2. Can you downsize? If you’ve got more space than you need, find a smaller, cheaper space.
3. What about some OT? Does your employer offer overtime? Even if they don’t, maybe you can ask what you might do for some extra money.
4. What about helping out the landlord? We went into that in some detail in The Secret to Some Fast Cash Parts I and Part II.
5. Is it time to throw some deck chairs off the Titanic? Do you have to have cable TV? Make your kids pay for their own cell phone! Bring everybody in the family in on the budgeting process and turn it into a game of who can save the most.
6. What about a side hustle? Maybe helping the landlord isn’t for you and no work OT is available. Do you have a hobby that you can monetize? Can you pick up a second job? Google search “money making side hustles” and get inspired!
7. Go camping. Some tenants have moved out for the summer to live in a tent in a park to save some money! Extreme yes. But maybe you bunk up with family or friends for a while to get back on your feet financially.
8. Ask for a raise.
9. Find a carpool buddy.
10. Take the bus!
11. Sign up to a blast from the past. Maybe it’s time to go back to doing a little baby sitting or getting a paper route.
Send me your ideas on how to combat high rent, and I’ll put them in a later post.