If you've ever rented, you know that finding affordable rental prices can be a strangely exciting challenge. There's so much to consider when searching for your next apartment, from the amenities the complex offers to the square footage and even the normal price of utilities. Finding the right rental property can save thousands of dollars over the course of a year. At the same time, you want to be sure that you're living somewhere you can tolerate and maybe even love!
Ultimately, prices will depend mostly on the city you live in. Some areas will cost over $2,000 for a one bedroom apartment (even $1,800 for a studio!) while others will actually be under $500. What a difference! It can be surprising one singular country can range a large amount in costs and that it mostly depends on the city itself. You also have to consider what's most important to you. Is it the culture of the city you live in, the size of the apartment, the luxury, the amenities a complex may offer, or the general cost of living?
For those of you wanting to travel but also save costs, consider these popular cities and their usual rental prices.
20 Lisbon, Portugal: One of the Most Affordable Cities in the World
Many travelers find it surprising that Portugal is so affordable in general. Lisbon is generally known as the cheapest country, and rent prices here are no exception. Rent can be as low as $375 a month for a great one bedroom! In the best neighborhoods, a one bedroom can be around $1,000 or sometimes even under if you find a steal.
Additionally, utilities are incredibly affordable. Food is fresh but cheap, and transportation isn't bad. A couple can live in Portugal for under $2,000 a month including rent, or a single person for under $1,400. Not bad for someone staying in the heart of Europe!
19 London, England: A Studio in a Prime Location
Many renters are shocked to hear that London actually isn't as expensive as it seems. Sure, you won't be living in the lap of luxury, but you can live in the heart of the city for a decent price. For $1,200, you can get a great one bedroom flat, or a studio for somewhere around $940 if you're looking to keep your price below $1,000.
Renting a flat with a roommate is another good option if you want to be in the city. Just outside of London, prices drop dramatically, and you can get a roomy one bedroom flat for well under $1,000. Many exchange students head to London because of these rates!
18 Buenos Aires, Argentina: Includes Amenities and City Views
In Buenos Aires, you can live in an expensive area in a nice one bedroom apartment for under $700! This is typically for 900 square feet, but for under 600 square feet, you could find a great flat for $450. Utilities are incredibly inexpensive as well, running around $90 per apartment per month.
If you're willing to get a roommate and/or live in an area closer to the edge of the city, you can literally cut the typical rent prices in half! Considering that Argentina is a beautiful country full of massively cultural experiences and Buenos Aires is a fun, invigorating city, these rent prices are over-the-top affordable.
17 Berlin, Germany: Central Location, Walkable to City Center
Berlin is much cheaper for rent costs than many other European cities. Considering the amount of history within the city's walls, this can be great for many one year renters. A full one bedroom apartment with a nice living room and bedroom in Prenzlauer Berg could run somewhere around $800! While there's almost no need to get a roommate, finding someone to share a two bedroom with will bring that cost down just that bit more.
There's almost no need to have a car in the city and transportation is quite easy and inexpensive, so the only other cost is utilities, which is most likely under $100. Berlin is a great bang for your buck if you'd like to live in a wonderful European city!
16 Houston, Texas: Low Rent for Full Homes
If you're a Texan at heart, Houston may be the place for you. The atmosphere is luxurious and warm but still homey. Rent in most areas is also pretty affordable: a typical studio will be under $1,000. You can get a nice duplex (1/2 of a house) with a pool for $1,400. With two bedrooms, you can easily split that with a roommate!
Complexes are super popular in Houston because of the many amenities they offer. With parking, fitness centers, and absolutely gorgeous pools, a one bedroom can start at $870! Houston is a great U.S. based city for renters looking for a deal.
15 Cayman Islands: Gorgeous Surroundings but Small Living Quarters
While apartments in the Cayman Islands are typically tiny, they're also gorgeous, often furnished, and located near the ocean. You can get a furnished one bedroom for just about $1,000 in a normally nice area, but keep in mind that the square footage will be somewhere around 460 square feet. If you'd rather live in an expensive area, the rent moves up to $1,500 on average.
One thing to consider is that rentals are often furnished! With super cute, bright colored upholstery and newer woodwork, a furnished apartment can be a huge savings. Utilities are usually as expensive in the Cayman Islands as they are in the U.S., and will run around $250 monthly including cable and internet.
14 Los Angeles, California: High Rent, High Cost of Living
As expected, Los Angeles isn't cheap. Rent is a huge spectrum, depending on where in the city you want to live. Typically, a nice one bedroom will run you somewhere around $2,500, in almost any area. Even if you were willing to split a small one bedroom with a roommate, you're still out of luck with a budget of $1,000.
It's rare, but possible, to find a studio under $1,000. Most traditional studios are $1,500 and up, while much smaller, less upscale studios are $1,300 and up. Your best bet will be to move just outside the city and get a roommate, but keep in mind that public transportation in LA isn't the best, so you'll want to have a car!
13 Sydney, Australia: A Tiny Studio in Paradise
Sydney, Australia is by no means cheap, but is an absolutely gorgeous destination to live. Many renters feel that the high monthly cost is worth it for the surroundings. You may be able to find a tiny studio for just around $1,000. The kitchen will be virtually nonexistent and you definitely won't have a bathtub.
If you're willing to live a little bit outside the city and get a roommate, you may be able to have a full apartment coming in at just about $1,000. Typically rentals are unfurnished, yet might be slightly cheaper because of this. A lease of about 8 months may actually be cheaper too, if you're willing to jump around a bit.
12 Dubai, United Arab Emirates: A Full Complex of Amenities
Dubai is (unsurprisingly) expensive for renters as well. For a two bedroom in the heart of the city, monthly rent will run somewhere around $3,000, while a very modest two bedroom outside of the city will still average $2,200 per month.
A one bedroom in anywhere is still pricey. To stay under $1,000, you'll most likely need to split a small two bedroom outside of the city with a roommate and get a deal. Keep in mind that annual rent is often due up front in Dubai, bringing the costs significantly up since you'll need to have the money saved beforehand.
11 Paris, France: Live in the City of Romance for a Price
While Paris is the city of romance, it may not feel that way when your pocket is constantly empty because all of your money goes to rent. While most people assume that Paris is expensive, few realize how much so. A luxury one bedroom in the city will cost somewhere around 2100€, which is equal to almost $2,500 USD. For 1900€ a month, or $2,215 USD, you can get a dark, basement one bedroom right downtown.
If you’re willing to move just outside of the city, you may fare better. For $1,000 a month total, your best bet is to rent a room in a house just outside the city, or split a one bedroom (or studio) with a roommate in Paris.
10 New York City, New York: Skyscraper Prices for a Single Room
Typically, anyone who thinks of New York City sees dollar signs. The cost of living overall is astronomical, and apartment rental prices are no exception. Typical rent for a small (under 1000 square feet) one bedroom apartment runs over $3,000. A two bedroom rental is even worse, costing an average of $3,700.
So, what can you get for under $1,000? That’s a tough one. If you feel the need to live right in Manhattan, you can get a studio for exactly $1,000. Unfortunately, this studio won’t include a kitchen, a sink, or even a bathroom, but does offer a shared bathroom in the hall of the complex. If you’re willing to live further out, near Brooklyn, you might have a better shot at actually having your own bathroom, but the total apartment likely won’t be more than 10x12 feet.
9 Tokyo, Japan: Small But Affordable Apartments
For a super low price (under $700 USD), you can get a very small studio outside of Tokyo. While it isn't super luxurious, depending on the price, you can live for virtually a few hundred dollars. Accommodations are generally clean and in good order around the city.
Keep in mind that these apartments tend to be located further outside the city, and can be up to a 4 hour train ride to the city center since Tokyo is so large. If you're looking to live near a bustling city full of incredible culture, Tokyo may be for you!
8 Mexico City, Mexico: City of Smog and Low Rent
Want to live in an incredibly inexpensive city that has a huge nightlife and culture? Mexico City is the place to be. For under $500, you can get a nice, one bedroom apartment in the center of the city. If you're willing to pay a few extra hundred dollars, you can even get a three bedroom in one of the nicest complexes.
If you're willing to live just outside the city, a one bedroom will only cost you an average of $310. Mexico City is definitely the perfect place to live in if you want to keep costs down but enjoy life!
7 Phoenix, Arizona: Economical Paradise
Want to live within the U.S.? Looking for a hot, dry climate that isn't over the top expensive? Phoenix, Arizona is the spot. The average rent is under $1,000! You can get a great one bedroom in most neighborhoods for $860, including amenities (at complexes) like a fitness center and pool.
The most expensive neighborhood, Desert View, is still far below average cities in the US. The typical rent of a (great) two bedroom apartment is $1,216 with a three bedroom only costing an extra hundred dollars.
6 Lima, Peru: Cultural Living for Less
Lima, Peru is another cultural choice, featuring exciting activities and a low cost of living. A typical two bedroom apartment will run anywhere between $500 and $1,000. In the nicer sections of town, an absolutely amazing two bedroom would be around $1,200, but even for this smaller price tag, only the very wealthy residents live there.
Not only are the living arrangements generally upscale, but they're decorated in traditional Peruvian style that makes it an extra enriching place to live. Additionally, while water is not always clean, utilities are extremely inexpensive and barely add onto the rent. For a study abroad program or one year stay, Lima is a wonderful economical choice!
5 Johannesburg, South Africa: Affordable Metropolitan Living
While Johannesburg is definitely cost efficient, many renters are surprised by the amount that apartments actually do cost. Most of the cost depends on where you choose to live. If you relocate just outside the city, costs go down exponentially, but the Sandton area rent can be much more expensive.
A furnished one bedroom apartment in Sandton typically runs around 12,000R, which is the equivalent of $904. These apartments aren’t as nice as you may think. If you’re willing to shell out double that, you can easily live in luxury. Additionally, you can pay just about $1,000 exactly and get a roommate for a two bedroom apartment to live in the most extravagant towers available.
4 Florence, Italy: Sparse but Within Budget
Surprisingly, Florence, Italy is relatively inexpensive compared to rent in other Italian cities (and the rest of the world!). The apartments are small and generally bland, but are located in the city center and often even have balconies or patios. A nice one bedroom will cost about $1200 a month, while a two bedroom only costs a few extra hundred dollars.
If you're willing to split a two bedroom with a roommate, you can get away with paying under $750 a person. Imagine overlooking the city of Florence while eating a tasty breakfast from the comfort of your own balcony!
3 Bali, Indonesia: Low Rent, Low Cost of Living
You could be living in the often Instagrammed paradise of Bali, laying at your pool every day, for under $1,000 a month! Home shares are common here, meaning that you'll get your own living room, bathroom, and bedroom, but will share a kitchen and pool area with a few other residents.
For surfers, these home shares are the dream! Typically, a one bedroom will cost around $800 for a nice setup, and these can come furnished or unfurnished. The one caveat is that housing can be hard to find, because the best places sell out quickly each year. For anyone looking for a tropical destination as a home, Bali is a great choice!
2 Dallas, Texas: Inexpensive Downtown Apartments
In Dallas, you can get the best of both worlds: rent is incredibly affordable, yet you’re able to live in a big city that offers a variety of entertainments. Right now, the average rent for a one bedroom is $979, which is astronomically affordable compared to many other large U.S. cities. Keep in mind that utilities will run you about another $140, but that’s even way below the U.S. average.
If you’re willing to split a two bedroom apartment with a roommate, you can get a nicer, larger, rental right downtown for even less (an ideally located two bedroom could be $800 a person). Additionally, Dallas has a huge amount of things to do for affordable prices. Looking at these numbers, who wouldn’t want to move to Dallas?
1 Toronto, Canada: A Two Bedroom With Parking
Although Toronto isn't crazy affordable, it's one of the better Canadian cities to live in rent-wise. A typical studio will be under $1,000. Keep in mind that studios are usually well-designed, in newer buildings, and come with amenities. A one bedroom could cost around $1,100, if you're willing to spend the extra hundred.
At $1,300 for a roomy two bedroom apartment, finding a roommate may be the way to go in Toronto. Each person would pay under $700 (utilities not included). The downsides are that parking usually isn't included if you need to have a car, and the city itself is pretty expensive.