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Rent or mortgages are pretty much everyone's biggest outgoings and most of us feel like "rent is rent and there is nothing we can do about it." But there are things you can do to make renting or buying a home a little bit cheaper. These steps are only for those seriously committed to saving money and living a cheaper and simpler life, they might not be easy, but they will save you money.
Take in a lodger.
If your tenancy agreement allows it, take in a lodger. You can earn £7,500 a year tax free under the "rent a room" scheme. And you will also save money on bills as they will all be split. Be sure to get everything in writing in case anything goes wrong and always follow safety precautions. If you don't feel comfortable with someone, don't rent the room to them, it's your house so it is your decision.
If you have a load of spare rooms, but no spare money, then downsizing would be a good option for you. If you are prepared to move into a smaller house, then you could save thousands of pounds per year.
Some areas are cheaper than others, and if the option is available to you, then move to a cheaper area. I understand this isn't for everyone due to work commitments, but if you can, it could really benefit you. The place I live in is pretty expensive; an average two bedroom house is around £850 per month and the place I used to live in, the same type of house, would be about £450 per month.
This isn't really appropriate if you have pets or kids, but if you don't then you could spend no money on rent and get to stay in some stunning places by house sitting. You will have to move around a lot, but if that doesn't bother you then go for it. You need to register on house sitting websites and most of them do a criminal records check, so if you have a record then this isn't for you. But if you don't, just follow the home owner's rules and leave the house tidy and you'll get a good reputation and be able to do it even more.
With rental prices on the increase and owning a home, becoming a pipe dream for most people, more and more people are looking to alternative accommodation to live in. This can include caravans, RVs, mobile homes, and even boats. Once the initial outlay is covered, you will have a space to call your own, and you will save thousands of pounds per year on rent or mortgages. Simplifying life is becoming more and more popular.
Move back home with your parents.
I saved the best for last. I know the idea can sound like hell, but more and more adults are doing it. In fact, a quarter of adults aged 20-34 have moved back in with their parents! You will save money by doing this, but don't be a freeloader, pay what you owe and if they won't let you pay anything, pull your weight by doing chores around the house. It might not be fun and it is the kind of thing you do if you have no other choice, but just be grateful that someone is being kind enough to keep a roof over your head.
You can save money on rent.
As I said, these tips are not for fair-weather money savers, these are drastic life changes, but they can all make a huge difference to your life and to your wallet. You could even have some new life experiences with these methods!