This story originally appeared on SavvySugar.
For a lot of you, a hefty portion of your paycheck goes to rent, according to a SavvySugar survey. In this flagging economy, it's hard to put forward such a big chunk of cash when you're struggling to save.
If the high rental prices are stressing you out, here are a few options you should consider in order to lower your rent. These suggestions might be common sense for most, but it's always good to get a savvy refresher!
Find a Mate
Roomies aren't just a bundle of fun, they'll save you a bundle of bucks as well. Ask a friend or two to move in with you or find some people to room with online through sites like Craigslist or roommates.com. Make sure to do your research and vet your potential living partner properly so that you won't end up with any roommate horror stories.
Lower Your View
The lower you are, the less you'll pay so consider living on a lower floor or in the basement of a building. Before you do, read some of these greatfacts about basement living and some tips from our basement-dwelling readers so you know what you're in for.
Studios make for cozy spaces so don't be afraid to go smaller. It'll bring out your creativity and organizational skills, because you'll be trying to make your items fit into the space. And if they don't? A perfect chance for you to declutter. Remember to read my tips on places you should declutter!
Search high and low for a sublet, which can be a great deal for you since it might be fully furnished which means you won't have to splash money on furniture. Some sublets even cover the costs of bills such as electricity, cable, and Internet, so be sure to be open to the subletting options. Sometimes the best steals can be found through friends of friends. Some people don't list the extra rooms they have because they've never really thought about renting it out or they don't feeling comfortable having strangers live there.
Add Some Distance
Living at the heart of the city or the trendiest spots can rack up prices, so live a little bit out of the way to save a lot. The longer commute will give you time for activities such as reading or even studying a different language. It can also be a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of a crowded epicenter!
Fix It Up
You might be able to afford a bit more space if you rent a fixer upper like Amy Merrick did. She managed to live roommate-free by deciding to go with a place that still needed some work and saved a total of $400 a month. Of course, fixer uppers aren't for everyone, but it might be for you if you're the sort who would see it as a challenge and a creative outlet.
Be sure to do your research on the neighborhood and its price of rents when you're looking for your place. These will be good facts and figures to bring in when you're trying to reach a deal with your potential landlord.
You can also do this while you're renting your apartment to see if rental prices around you are going down. If your neighbor is paying less than you, there's no reason why you can't haggle for a lower price to match that as well. Read this sample of letter that a WSJ reporter wrote to her landlord which effectively reduced her rent by $300.
Show Some Loyalty
Chances are, you can either get or ask for a lower rent if you sign a longer lease. And if you're a longtime resident, approach the landlord for a lower rent citing how long your good track record is as a payer.