ACCC Offers 5 Important Tips to Avoid Being Over Burdened by Rent

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National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling provides consumers tips on how to save money on rent

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The good news is that there are tips and considerations that can help renters better manage rent-related costs and ease this major financial burden.

It’s no secret that housing costs have skyrocketed in many cities and towns across the United States. To help households avoid becoming financially strained by rent, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling is providing advice for dealing with housing rentals and being smarter about the utilities and other costs that come with them.

“As the cost of rent continues to increase, it’s becoming more difficult for many individuals and families to afford housing and other basic necessities,” said Steve Trumble, president and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is based in Newton, MA. “The good news is that there are tips and considerations that can help renters better manage rent-related costs and ease this major financial burden.”

According to Apartment List, 51.8 percent of renters are feeling the rent-burden by spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent. The average cost for a 2-bedroom rental in the United States increased 4 percent in 2015. Boston has experienced a 2.9 percent rental increase in 2016 with the median price of a 2-bedroom costing $3,190 – pushing it to the 4th most expensive city to live in the United States.

ACCC is sharing some ways to control costs and mitigate the impact of being burdened by rent:
1.    Shop around to find the right house/apartment and stay true to your budget. This is extremely important. It can be easy to compromise on certain factors – whether it’s location or amenities – and make a decision ahead of time about what those are. Make sure that you spend time searching a variety of house and apartment listing websites and communicate with various tenants, landlords and owners before you settle.

2.    Create a budget specifically designed for the household. Creating a budget in the beginning will help you figure out ways to spend less and also save money on current spending items. Because rent is already expensive, it is important to save as much money as possible on things like groceries, clothing and activities. Take advantage of any available coupons to stretch your budget even further.

3.    Get a roommate. Try to find a friend or family member to move into that extra bedroom to help alleviate the many costs that come with renting. Also, consider utilizing websites like Craigslist and social media to get the word out. While this can be one of the most effective ways to mitigate the cost of rent, be sure potential roommates are safe and compatible with your lifestyle.

4.    Be conscious about energy usage. Turn off unnecessary lights, heat, and air conditioning. For electricity, use fluorescent lighting instead of incandescent bulbs. For cooling, use a fan instead of an air conditioner. To keep warm in the winter, winterize your windows by sealing them with plastic. You can also minimize how much water you use by not running it for very long before taking a shower or brushing your teeth.

5.    If possible, move outside of the city. If you work in the city, check out the surrounding locations. Chances are, they will be much more affordable (and easier) than living in the city. Try to stay within the range of public transportation to cut down on commuting costs as well.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  •     For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  •     For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  •     For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  •     Or visit us online at http://www.ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling ( ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx

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