14 Extreme Ways to Save for Your Rent to Own Option Deposit Part 1
Living: The Rent Hack
The rent hack is house hacking before you have the means to house hack. What you do here is you find a 2-5 bedroom apartment or house that you can rent. You rent the entire thing from the landlord and turn around and rent it by the room (or Airbnb it) to other people such that they are covering your full rent payment.
For example, you find a 3-bedroom house for $1,500 on Craigslist. You rent out the entire place from the landlord for $1,500 and then rent out each of the other two bedrooms for $800 each. That way, you are collecting a total of $1,500 from your roommates, paying your landlord $1,500, and effectively living for free. The more bedrooms you rent out, the higher the likelihood that you will bring in money from your living situation.
Note: You need to let your landlord know that you are doing this! This is a new idea so most will likely say no, but it only takes one yes to get started. I would hope that a couple of rejections are worth $800+ per month.
Transportation: Bike to Work & Turo
Ideally, the house or apartment that you find is within walking or biking distance to work. That way you eliminate your need for a car. If you don’t have a car, that’s great! Let’s keep it that way.
If you do have a car and don’t want to get rid of it, then you can rent it out on this site called Turo. People coming into town will borrow your car for a few days and will pay you to use it while you go about your day normally.
This is a very good way to transition your car from a “liability” that takes money out of your pocket to an “asset” that puts money in your pocket.
Food: Grocery Shop & Grocery Shop Cheap
Food is another large expense for many Americans. One of the reasons this is the case is because we so frequently go out to eat where the meals are three times as much. No thanks!
If you want to save in the food department, you need to start making the grocery store a place you frequent. However, grocery stores can be dangerous too! There are a lot of things that are tempting but that you don’t need. Stay strong!
A friend recommended the Mealime app to me. I started using it and it’s great! You can pick what you want to eat, and the app automatically populates the ingredients for you. When you go into the grocery store, ONLY get what is on the list. Once you start to stray from your list, your money starts to stray from your bank account.
I know, I know. That’s really not all that extreme, but I really like it so I wanted to give it a shoutout. Here are some of the extreme tips:
Buy in bulk.
Costco is one of the greatest places in the world to buy in bulk. You don’t need to buy your meat or produce at Costco if you don’t like eating the same thing for a week (though I do it). I’m talking about all non-perishable items: toilet paper, toothpaste, oatmeal, canned goods, etc. Buy these items in bulk, and you’ll save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars over the course of the year.
Go meatless for lunch.
If you’re a vegetarian, this won’t be too hard for you. However, if the meat is the staple of your every meal, there is likely some slimming down you can do (pun intended). Meat is 30%-40% of the average person’s grocery bill. Only eat meat for one meal each day, and you’ll be saving 15%-20% of your total grocery bill AND you won’t get that mid-afternoon groggy feeling. Win-win!
Frequent the “dented can” aisle.
This is something I hadn’t heard of until about 20 minutes before writing this article. Apparently, in almost every grocery store there is an aisle where all of the damaged cans and boxes go. Here, you can pick up cans and boxes for a fraction of the price of the ones that are in “new” condition. The contents on the inside are exactly the same—they just may not look as nice in your cabinets. Unless you’re going to be on MTV Cribs (is that show still on?), I would suggest making a habit of perusing this aisle. I know I’m going to!