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11 People Share How They Saved For Their Future While Renting

Whether you are saving for your first house, your dream car, or a relaxing vacation, these tips will help you manage your money while still making rent. While you’re at it, protect your stuff and your savings from the unexpected with renters insurance from American Family Insurance.

1. Pay yourself first.

"Figure out how much you want to save, when you need to save it by, and what that means per month. Put that much into savings automatically. If you can’t see it, you can’t spend it."

—Jason B.

2. Use credit cards. (Yes, really!)

"Be strategic about opening credit cards with the best rewards for your spending habits. It helps you save and helps your credit score for the mortgage you’ll need."

—Sarah G.

3. Consider living a little further from the center of the action.

"Live in the suburbs and commute to work. Your rent will be cheaper, and there's nothing to do so you won't spend any money going out. It's the hermit savings plan!"

—Cyndi N.

4. Sell your stuff.

"You have to purge anyway before you move, so might as well make some dough while you’re at it."

— Gizelle L.

5. Avoid lifestyle creep, the idea that when your income increases, your standard of living goes up with it.

"Every raise you get, keep your spending on the same budget but add more to savings. You won’t feel the difference. When you have enough money, put some in a high-interest account that you can’t use for a while."

—Michael M.

6. Get rid of your second car.

"Do you really need a car? Before you say 'yes, duh!' really think about it. I sold mine and shared a car with my husband temporarily, but it’s been four years and we find ways to make it work. We saved a bunch of money on insurance and upkeep but also got the money from the car."

—Alison P.

7. Don’t rent at the top of your budget.

"I had friends with rooftop pools in luxury buildings, and I rented a stinky place in an okay part of town. I felt that, but guess which one of us saved money?"

—David G.

8. Ditch your pricey gym in favor of an at-home workout.

"Drop all your unused memberships — especially the gym. There are SO many free online videos, and many studios are offering classes online so you can sign up for a fraction of a gym membership price."

—Ashley J.

9. Don't let debt hold you back.

"Refinance student loans immediately and shop around for the lowest rate. Take advantage of your bank's budget calculator because most banking apps have them."

—Natalie P.

10. When budgeting, don’t stop living — just identify what’s most important.

"Cook more, make coffee at home, and change the way you shop (like outlets instead of full price stores for clothes). Instead of going out to bars to drink each weekend, start buying your own drinks to have at home or take turns between groups of friends hosting get-togethers."

—Samantha M.

11. Learn how to say no to plans you can't afford.

"Say no to being in every darn wedding. And say no to going to acquaintances' weddings if it requires an overnight hotel."

—Emily A.

Images via Getty

Don’t forget the biggest saving tip of all: protect what you have with renters insurance from American Family Insurance, so you don’t have to drain your savings to replace your stuff after a fire, theft, or burst pipe. Get a quote, customize your coverage, and purchase your policy all in five minutes!