Ah renting. It really is a love/hate relationship. On the one hand, we’re stoked to be fully-fledged adults with our own places away from the suffocating (albeit lovely) nest of mum and dad. On the other hand, we can’t help loathing that our money is being poured down the drain every week.
But, in an age where we’re constantly reminded about how we will probably never be able to buy a house, how can we reduce the nervousness around rent and living paycheque-to-paycheque?
First thing’s first, this exact feeling has a name. It’s called ‘rental stress’.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines ‘rental stress’ as when 30% of your income (or more) goes towards rent.
Sounding familiar? Yup, welcome to the club.
A new report, conducted by realestate.com.au, found that 72% of us don’t even question how much rent we’re paying because we think the price is fair. Um, guilty.
Sooooo how do you get out of rental stress, you ask? Well, there are a few options.
1. Find yourself a cheaper place.
It seems obvious, but it may be time to consider some more cost effective digs. If you’ve been hankering for a little shake up, this might actually be the perfect opportunity to check out what else you can get for your money.
Granted, downsizing or surrendering a cool location might not feel appealing, but something’s got to give. Besides, when you’re not constantly stressed about rent, you’re probably going to feel a bit better on the whole anyway.
2. Assess your current relationship.
While we definitely don’t recommend shacking up together (literally) purely for the sake of saving some buckeroonies, it might be worth chatting about if you think you’re in the right place in your relationship.
Moving in together definitely isn’t an easy thing to bring up with your bae, but look at it this way: all things going well, the topic of ‘living together’ will come up some day, right? And who knows, your partner might already be thinking about taking the plunge but doesn’t know how to broach the topic with you. In short, raising it might be an actual godsend.
Worst case scenario? Your partner isn’t keen to move in. Not ideal, but you never know what they’re thinking unless you ask.
Whatever happens, communicating about things like money and your living situation might not sound fun, but they’re both important for a healthy relationship – if only to check you’re both on the same page and looking for similar things in the future.
You could always go for the nuclear option…
3. Maybe it’s time to politely ask for that promotion.
The same report found that, when folk reach six-figure annual incomes, they miraculously find themselves rental stress-free. The catch? $100,000 is almost twice the average wage ($55.6k) – *gulp*.
Sydneysiders, if it makes you feel any better, it turns out your Melbourne counterparts are feeling just as much rental stress as you.
That’s quite a lot of information to process, but the takeaway is that feeling stressed about rent is TOTALLY normal, with heaps of Aussies in the same boat as ya.
The best thing to do is shop around and consider finding somewhere that’s more in line with your budget. That way you’ll have more dollarydoos to save, or spend on the fun stuff like going out, ordering Uber Eats and treating yo’self to some nice bottles of red.