Lifestyle Real Estate

The Rent Is Still Too Damn High, But Here’s Where You Actually Can Save on Your Home

And it doesn’t involve a landlord.
black front door
Photography by David Papazian/Getty Images

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While the real-estate market might slowly be starting to cool off, renters haven’t noticed a break in their monthly payments just yet. On the contrary, rental prices are steadily getting higher at record speeds, based on a recent consumer checkpoint report from Bank of America. According to the data reported for August 2022, the median monthly rate for a leased residence increased by 5.8 percent compared to this same time last year, making it the fastest hike since 1986.

There’s not much you can do to combat rising rates from landlords other than cross your fingers for a better deal. The good news is you can shave off a nice chunk of change over the course of your lease with a few smart home investments.

Ditch the Window Unit

Our style director hasn’t turned on her air conditioner all summer thanks to a personal cooling unit that costs less than $100. The tissue box–size find comes with a handle so you can tote it from room to room, and its quiet hum means it conveniently doubles as a white-noise machine. 

Hang Energy-Conserving Drapes

In case you didn’t know, thermal curtains aren’t just fighting off a frigid draft—the best insulating window coverings can actually keep your home cooler (and your electric bill lower), too. 

Take More Sustainable Showers

You can save up to 40 percent on your water usage with Kohler’s sleek VES showerhead, which allows you to temporarily reduce the stream (though you won’t even notice you’re bathing with less water—it provides strong coverage). Your shower time gets stretched instead of your savings account.