Affordable Rent Calculator

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Total after-tax pay for a 4 week month: xx
Total per 2 pay period month: xx
Affordable Monthly Rent: xx
Estimated Utilities: xx
Maximum Affordable Housing Expense: xx
Target Savings To Move Out: xx

 

Description of the My First Apartment’s Affordable Rent Calculator:

1.) The above easy-to-use calculator uses the formulas from this post for calculating your maximum affordable rent. (Note: If you are paid hourly, you should also check our post How Much Rent Can I Afford on My Hourly Pay?)

  • If you have a fixed salary, the calculation is pre-tax annual salary divided by 40.
  • If you are an hourly employee and get paid varying amounts on a weekly, every other week, or twice a month schedule, the calculator works from your after-tax take-home pay, by multiplying your monthly take-home by 0.35 (=35%).
  • If you are paid weekly, the calculator uses a 4-week take-home total. Since there are 52 weeks a year, this leaves 4 weeks of pay every year that is not in the calculation and we recommend that you budget those extra paychecks for savings or paying down loans.
  • Similarly, if you are paid every two weeks, we use a 2-pay period take-home in the calculation, leaving two paycheck every year for savings or loan reduction.

2.) The calculator assumes utilities at 20% of rent. This is slightly higher than the average of 18% we found in our recent utility cost survey, but in line with costs in many areas of the country.  However, keep in mind that in high-rent urban areas, utilities typically run closer to 10% of monthly rent.

3.) The third number you get is the amount you need to save before you can move out on your own. We estimate that you’ll need at least three times your monthly rent to cover first month’s rent, one month security deposit, miscellaneous moving costs and some basic furniture.

P.S. Double- check your numbers:

Update: You can download our new Printable Apartment Budgeting Worksheet and use it to estimate your rent and budget for all your expenses.

After you calculate your maximum affordable rent and housing costs, you should double check that you can afford that rent even after deducting from your take-home all your other fixed expenses (car loan, insurance, student loan, credit card, etc.).

We’d love to get your feedback about this calculator. Does it work for you? Any recommendations for changes.

 

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Author My First Apartment
MFA Editors

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Comments (205)

  1. pwningpotato

    Hi!
    I bring home about 1200 to 1400 a month and my partner brings home about 2400 a month.
    We pay about 130 for electric and water, car payment is 360 and we have two insurances which total about 220. Our phone bill is about 120 and Internet is 50.
    How much in rent is feasible for us?
    Thank you for the help!!

    Reply
  2. Marcy

    Hi, me and my friend would like to move into our first apartment. Average rent around my college is 1350. How much would me and my friend need to make to live comfortably? My family will be contributing $200 every month for my half of the rent. Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Meg

    Hi! My monthly take home pay is roughly $2,300. Would $865 for rent (not including utilities) be feasible? I have no debt payments (car loan, student loans, or credit card debt, etc.). My car insurance is $67/month.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Meg,
      Looks like you’ll be fine with $865 rent and even be able to save at least 10% of your take home each month. Double check the math with our printable budgeting worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/. Good luck!
      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $2,300

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent -$865
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$173
      Car loan or lease payment
      Car Insurance  -$67
      Gas -$50
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125)
      Groceries/Food -$300
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
      Health Insurance (See below 3.)
      Cell Phone -$80
      Student Loans
      Credit Cards
      Child care
      Other fixed bills phone $0
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$1,575

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $725
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$230
      Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car $495

      Reply
  4. Liza

    Hi, my take home is $2,600 my son is $800 our cellphone is $120.00 Internet $29.00 monthly, car insurance $162.00 monthly and my church tith is $180 bi-weekly and I have a bi-weekly loan of $65 we are looking into moving into a 2 bedroom that charges $1300.00 monthly. Would this be a smart move???

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Liza,
      It does not look like $1,300 is doable for you. In fact, it does not look like you can afford to move out at all because you have such high fixed expenses, between childcare, loans and tithing. See below. You need to print out our budgeting worksheet and work with that to find out how you could adjust your expenses to find enough money for rent. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Good luck!
      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Annual Salary (see below 1.)
      Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.)
      Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
      Estimated annual take-home pay
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $2,600

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home ?
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) ?
      Car loan or lease payment
      Car Insurance  -$162
      Gas -$50
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125)
      Groceries/Food -$450
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$60
      Health Insurance (See below 3.)
      Cell Phone / Internet -$149
      Loans -$130
      Credit Cards
      Child care -$800
      Other fixed bills Tithing -$360
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$2,161

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $439

      Reply
      • Liza

        Hi, sorry there was a misunderstanding. My son bring home $800 from his job is what I meant to say so it’s both our income together…

        Reply
        • MFA Editors MFA Editors

          Hi Liza,
          That certainly changes the projection. Did you print out the budget planning form and fill it out to see if you can afford that $1,300 rent?
          You should do it. We ran the numbers you gave us below and it does look now that you could afford that rent, though it does not leave you a lot of money for savings. You might be able to live more frugally than our average expenses, and put in some money into savings. Good luck!
          First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
          Your Budget
          Monthly take-home pay (Liza + son) $3,400

          Monthly Essential Living Expenses
          Rent -$1,300
          Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$260
          Car loan or lease payment $0
          Car Insurance  -$162
          Gas -$50
          Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125)
          Groceries/Food -$450
          Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$60
          Health Insurance (See below 3.)
          Cell Phone/Internet -$120
          Loans -$130
          Credit Cards
          Child care
          Other fixed bills – tithing -$360
          Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$2,892

          Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $508
          Savings (target 10% of take-home)
          Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car

  5. Sofi

    Hello,
    My take home pay a month is about 2,200. My car payment is 480, Credit Cards- 50, Loans- 123, Gym-45, and phone bill is about 80. How much can I afford in rent?

    Reply
  6. eli

    Hello

    I just graduated college last December and have been working at my job for the past 4 months. I have an annual salary of $45,000, my take home is about $2,604 after tax. My current bills now are $362 car note, $125 car insurance, and $200 on student loans. I was looking at a two bedroom apartment for $823; with water, trash, and gas included so the only thing I would pay is electric. Would this put me in a financial bind, can I afford this?

    Reply
  7. dragen

    Hi
    I take home 2400 a month +side commission which can range from 75-980 a month
    Rent 550
    Car 327
    insurance 254
    180 student loan
    83 cell phone

    What can i afford?

    Reply
  8. Josh bonilla

    Jbo
    Make 24 an hour 40 hours a week.
    244 car payment
    120 insurance
    100 phone bill
    283 student loan

    Reply
  9. Antonio saunders

    Hi i make $12.00/hr 40 hrs a week my paycheck is $850-870 $1000 if i do overtime . I get a raise in December to $12.50hr. I have a side business also for extra cash tht ranges from $300-600 a month if more . I found apartment with utilities included for $622 one bedroom . My current bills now are car insurance $195 , car note $142 (will be fully paid off in july 2018) phone bill $37.11. Can i afford this ?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Antonio,
      Print out our budgeting worksheet here https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and input all your actual expenses and income from your pay stubs. We ran your numbers (see below) based on the information you shared and it looks like you should be able to carry that $622 rent, because you have a nice cushion from your overtime and the side business that you can put towards savings. The rent probably does not include all your utilities, only water, heat and trash. You probably have to pay separately for electric and cable/internet so we estimated $100 for those expenses. Good luck!
      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Annual Salary (see below 1.) $24,000
      Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -$3,600
      Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) $0
      Estimated annual take-home pay $20,400
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $1,700

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -$622
      Utilities (electric, internet) -$100
      Car loan or lease payment -$142
      Car Insurance  -$195
      Gas -$50
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125)
      Groceries/Food -$300
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
      Health Insurance (See below 3.)
      Cell Phone -$37
      Student Loans
      Credit Cards
      Child care
      Other fixed bills
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$1,486

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $214

      Reply
  10. Taro

    Idk where you guys live, but I live in SoCal. The cheapest rent I can find for a STUDIO that is in an OKish area is from $1,225-$1,350. I work full-time and make $2,300 a month. I have a $170 car payment $35 phone bill and spend around $150 in gas a month commuting. My dad pays for my insurance thankfully. I have had to live off of ramen and $5 pizza in the past so a tight budget isn’t a problem. Thoughts? Can I afford it?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Taro,
      If you get that studio, you probably will be eating a lot of ramen and $5 pizza if you want to have any life outside your apartment. That said, you have to live somewhere. Have you looked into roommate shares? If that is not an option, use our printable budgeting worksheet to estimate with your real numbers what your finances look like with that studio. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Good luck!
      PS. Our bloggers live around the country, including in NYC, so we feel your pain.

      Reply
  11. Alex

    Full time making 17.78 an hour I get an occasional 3 to 5 hours of overtime but I don’t want to count that .. , bills – child support 500 , car 200, insurance 93 , phone 100 , credit cards 100 , looking to rent an aparment that’s 839 a month Am I shooting to high ? I live in Texas if that matter , what do you think ?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Alex,
      Yes, you are shooting too high. We did a rough budget for you below that shows that you could not even cover all your essential expenses, let alone have money left over for such things as clothing. Overtime would help a bit, but you should not rely on that. You can download our printable budgeting worksheet here https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and double check all the numbers, for example, your taxes are probably lower than our estimate. Good luck!
      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Annual Salary (see below 1.) $35,560
      Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -$8,890
      Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) $0
      Estimated annual take-home pay $26,670
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $2,223

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent -$839
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$168
      Car loan or lease payment -$200
      Car Insurance  -$93
      Gas -$50
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125)
      Groceries/Food -$300
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
      Health Insurance (See below 3.)
      Cell Phone -$100
      Student Loans
      Credit Cards -$100
      Child care/support -$500
      Other fixed bills
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$2,390

      Cash shortfall before Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) -$167

      Reply
  12. Nicole

    I make 14.33/hr at 40 hours a week with occasional overtime (each paycheck come out to about 850 not including any overtime). I found an apartment that is 675/month that includes utilities except electric and internet. I have a car payment of 315/month. Can I afford this apartment?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Nicole,
      Use our apartment budgeting worksheet and see if you can afford that rent. You can print out the worksheet here. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
      Just eyeballing your numbers it looks like $675 rent would be too tight because you have that car payment and you must also have car insurance and must pay for gas to get to work. Anyway, input your income and expenses into the worksheet and see if you have enough left over for discretionary expenses and, hopefully, some savings. Good luck!

      Reply
  13. Ferguson

    Hey I would an estimate if possible.

    I make 3440 a month which would equal 42,000 annual before taxes. My car note is 351 and car insurance 100 and cell phone 85. I also pay 100 for IRS payment. I spend about 200 on food a month maybe 250. I would like to know if the calculator above is correct.

    Affordable Monthly Rent: $1,050
    Estimated Utilities: $210
    Maximum Affordable Housing Expense: $1,260
    Target Savings To Move Out: $3,150

    Thank you

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Ferguson,
      Why don’t you download our apartment budgeting worksheet and use that to double check the rent and include all your expenses.
      https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
      We did that below with the numbers you shared and it looks like a landlord would welcome you into that $1,050 apartment, but we are not your landlord. We actually care about your financial future and our advice is to look for something cheaper. With that $1,050 rent you have enough left over to cover your discretionary expenses, but you’ll have little room for savings in your budget. The fact that you have that $100 IRS payment tells us that you have been in trouble, moneywise, at some point. You have high enough income now to start putting some money aside every month. Our recommendation is to save at least 10% of your take-home, but anything is better than nothing. Take a hard look at your spending and work with that budgeting worksheet to find the right rent level. Good luck!
      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Annual Salary (see below 1.) $42,000
      Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -$10,500
      Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) $0
      Estimated annual take-home pay $31,500
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $2,625

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -$1,050
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$210
      Car loan or lease payment -$351
      Car Insurance  -$100
      Gas -$50
      Public transportation monthly pass
      Groceries/Food -$250
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
      Health Insurance (See below 3.)
      Cell Phone -$85
      Student Loans
      Credit Cards
      Child care
      Other fixed bills -$100
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$2,236

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $389
      Savings (target 10% of take-home)

      Reply
  14. Kelly

    I make about $1,930 a month with a $133 car payment, a $47 phone bill and nothing else to pay

    Reply
  15. Mike

    Love this site! This is my first move and I saw the tool, but wanted to ask and get professional advise!

    What is the maximum rent I can afford with my salary? I make about 2200 a month. I have a 480 a month car payment and 60 car insurance. 40 cell phone. About 200 a month in credit card payments. The car is not over a year old so it would not be worth selling, otherwise I would!

    Please give me some of that good advise and numbers! Thank you!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Mike,
      Thanks for your nice words about the site.
      Print out this budgeting worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and you’ll see how much rent you could afford with your actual living expenses. That high car payment and your credit card payments will unfortunately limit your rent options. Our rough calculations below indicate that at the basic formula, 35% of your take home or $770, you do not have enough left over for savings or discretionary expenses. If you find a place in the $500 range, you’ll have about $430 left for discretionary expenses and to put a little something into savings each month. Good luck!
      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget

      Monthly take-home pay $2,200

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent -$500
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$100
      Car loan or lease payment -$480
      Car Insurance  -$60
      Gas -$50
      Public transportation monthly pass
      Groceries/Food -$300
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
      Health Insurance (See below 3.) $0
      Cell Phone -$40
      Student Loans
      Credit Cards -$200
      Child care
      Other fixed bills
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$1,770

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $430

      Reply
  16. kyla

    Hello,
    I make 38,000 a year
    156 phone bill
    and nothing else to pay
    how much can I afford in rent and still have some left over?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Kyla,
      Print out this budgeting worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
      and drop in your actual numbers. Start by testing the basic landlord formula max. rent of $38,000 / 40 = $950. See if after dropping in all your expenses (actual and estimated) and at least 10% for savings, you have $400 or more left over for discretionary expenses, you should be OK. Our guess is that you can save a lot more than 10% and still have that $400 left for discretionary spending. Let us know how it works out.
      Good luck!

      Reply
  17. Joe Goo

    Hi,
    My base salary is $61, 300 plus $1200 bonus each year. Biweekly 2,346 before taxes .usually for the last 12 years I have earned 70k-100k depending on overtime. I am single 0 dependents. I claim single 0 with an additional $50 from federal and $30 from state in taxes. more from added things from my job each year. I usually for the last 12 years earn 70k-100k depending on overtime. I have a $380 car payment , $300. student loan. Tv. $130, utilities $150, Cel phone $120, food $500 ? How much rent can I afford? I was looking at an 1800 a month rent apt. Is this above my means?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Joe,
      Did you see the new budgeting worksheet we just published to help our readers to build a simple budget on their own. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
      Since this worksheet is a new one, let’s work out together how it would look for your situation. We’ll do this without bonuses and overtime, because you have to pay your rent even in months when there is no overtime. Print out the budgeting worksheet and follow the calculations.
      First we estimate your taxes with this calculator https://www.totaltaxinsights.org/Calculator. As an example, we’ll do it for Clark County in Illinois. You’ll do it for your county and state. This is what that calculator says for $61,300 annual income:
      Federal Income Tax $8,754
      State Income Tax $2,965
      Social Security Tax $3,801
      Medicare Tax $889
      Total $16,409

      Next we fill out the MFA budgeting worksheet. It seems that you are missing from your expenses two pretty big ones, health insurance and car insurance premiums, so we have estimated those. You need to input the actual numbers on the worksheet. Based on your listed and our estimated expenses, you could afford our formula rent = 35% of your take-home pay, or $1,222. This still does not leave room for savings, but you can cover those from your overtime and bonuses. If you want to play more with the numbers, print out another worksheet (or even better copy it onto Excel worksheet) and see what happens with that $1,800 rent.
      Was the worksheet helpful? Please let us know. Good luck!

      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Joe’s Budget

      Annual Salary (see below 1.) $61,300
      Less: Estimated taxes (see below 2.) -$16,409
      Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) Insurance -$3,000
      Estimated annual take-home pay $41,891
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $3,491

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -$1,222
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet -$280
      Car loan or lease payment -$380
      Car Insurance  insurance -$150
      Gas -$50
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125)
      Groceries/Food -$500
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
      Health Insurance (See below 3.) $0
      Cell Phone -$120
      Student Loans -$300
      Credit Cards
      Child care
      Other fixed bills
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$3,042

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $449
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car $449

      1.) If you are paid hourly, estimate annual pay by multiplying weekly hours by hourly rate by 50. Example: 40 hrs * $20 *50 = $40,000.
      (Yes, we know there are 52 weeks in a year, but many hourly earners do not get paid sick or vacation days, so we use 50 paid weeks.)
      2.) % varies by income and filing status; use tax calculator at https://www.totaltaxinsights.org/Calculator for better estimate.
      3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
      4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

      Reply
  18. emily

    If I make $541 a week, totaling to $2,164 a month will I be able to float an $800 rent? I own my car, so I just pay $115 for insurance. Also, $184 for student loans, $55 for cell phone and likely $60-100 for utilities (electric and cable). Not factoring in groceries but this isn’t my first move so I’ve figured out how to budget them well. Thanks!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Emily,
      Using our new Budgeting worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/, it looks like you can manage that $800 rent, although it does not leave our goal of 10% for savings. Print out the worksheet and input real numbers for any estimates, so you get a more accurate budget. We’d love your feedback on the worksheet. Good Luck!
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $2,164

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -$800
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$100
      Car loan or lease payment $0
      Car Insurance  insurance -$115
      Gas -$50
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125)
      Groceries/Food -$300
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
      Health Insurance (See below 3.) $0
      Cell Phone -$55
      Student Loans -$184
      Credit Cards
      Child care
      Other fixed bills
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$1,644

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $520
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$120
      Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car $400

      Reply
  19. Sarah

    Hello I make $14.94/hr. working 36 hrs a week. Currently my bills are car payment and insurance about $336, phone $116. I have tried to figure out my potential utilities for an apartment to be about $200 including internet which I need while in school. The apartment I am looking at is $535/mo and i would like to know if this is feasible for me. Thank you.

    Reply
  20. Brenda

    I want to move out but it is sooner than initially expected
    My husband and i both work
    $15 hour 30-32 hrs – biweekly
    And
    $13 hour 35-40 hrs – biweekly
    Monthly expenses including car are 980 and should lower my 200 in a coulple of months
    ….there is an awsome place we want to rent for $1,095(water,gas,sewer included)
    Im kind of scared is been a year since we lived on our own and we will have 2 dependents now.
    Please help.

    Reply
  21. Tish

    Hi! I’m interviewing in a few days for a position in Santa Monica CA. Rent out there is ridiculous! So I’m trying to figure out how much I can afford. I currently make 96k, but plan to ask for a cost of living increase (I’m moving from Philadelphia), so I’m hoping to get in the 125-130k range at least. Of the bills I have that I will be keeping, I pay 550 for car, 175 for car insurance, 1000 for childcare (for my 4 year old but I’m hoping to get that down and that cost will disappear next year when she’s in kindergarten), about 200 for cable/internet, 200 for family plan cell phone (this will also be lowered), plus gas for car, groceries etc. How much can I realistically budget for a place to live in that area?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Tish,
      With your high income you really should find a financial planner to help you plan budgeting for you and your child. Our rough numbers indicate that if you get that $125,000 salary, you could carry a rent in the $2,500 range and still save at least 10% of your take-home and have enough left for any discretionary expenses. After your child starts school, you should continue saving that $1,000 a month because you are already used to not having that money to spend.
      Double check the tax rate we used. Also, add your health insurance premiums to the expenses, unless your employer pays. Good luck!

      Tish’s Budget
      Total annual pre-tax 125,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 30% ($37,500)
      After tax take-home $87,500
      Per month take-home est. $7,292
      Max. rent 35% -$2,552
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$510
      Car payments -$550
      Car insurance -$175
      Gas est. -$100
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$60
      Cell phone -$200
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loans $0
      Childcare -$1,000
      Health insurance $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$729
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $965
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  22. Bunny

    if i make 300 bi-weekly, what would my price range be if i were looking for a 1bed/1bath apartment?

    Reply
  23. Steve

    Hi. I make 32,400 a year after taxes and savings (58,000 annually salary, 600 split between Roth/Traditional 401k, 1496 a month in taxes claiming 0 dependents). Is 1,250 in rent pre-utilities affordable without sacrificing being able to go out for one-too-many drinks and still hiding away some money for some kinda vacation?

    Reply
  24. Jennifer

    Hello,
    I just left my house after getting into a fight with my parents and i’m living with a good friend of mine right now. I make $20 an hour and i’m guaranteed 36 hours every week as a full time employee and i’m paid biweekly. I found a condo that i really like but rent is $750. I pay 320 a month for my car, $190 for car insurance, $60 for my phone, $110 for my credit cards and soon i’ll have to start paying $300 for my student loans. Can i afford rent and utilities with my payments and what do you recommend i do? So far, i’m considering paying less for my phone and getting a second job.

    Reply
  25. Alexis

    Hi!

    I am looking to move out. I make $3,120 a month and my monthly bills are about $1,000. Would I be able to afford rent $1,200 rent comfortably on my own? Thank you. I also have 6k saved so far.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Alexis,
      Assuming the $3,120 is after taxes, you could manage $1,200 rent. Our estimate for utilities maybe high for you, depending on your location and you could save some on groceries by cooking at home and taking lunches to work. Try to keep that $6,000 savings intact, because with that $1,200 rent there is little room for adding to your. Good luck!
      Alexis’ Budget:
      Per month take-home est. $3,120
      Max. rent -$1,200
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$240
      Car payments & all other fixed bills -$1,000
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone $0
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $340
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  26. Anne S

    Hi there,
    I used this calculator to get a general idea, and I think I know the answer but just want to get a second opinion. Could you please help me determine specifics? I’m currently looking at an apartment to be closer to my work for $1,025 monthly (+ approximately $50-75 in utilities per month)
    After I pay for the deposit + first months rent, I would have about $5,000 in savings. Being able to save some money is extremely important to me.

    I currently make $40,560 before taxes.
    I put 4% of this into my 401k (Approx $1,200 per year after deductions)
    Car payment is $220 monthly
    Car insurance is $138 monthly
    Spend about $200 on food for myself and my cat monthly
    Phone bill is $80 per month
    Miscellaneous/entertainment I have alotted $100 per month
    Gas is $90 per month (will be cut down to $45 per month if I move to the $1025 apartment)
    I believe internet typically is $40 per month (Internet is currently covered for me)
    Netflix $10 per month
    No student loans
    Paid off credit card

    Thank you so much!

    Reply
  27. sean

    So, I have two jobs. One job, I make $850 bi-weekly after taxes. On my second job (part time), I make $300-$400 bi-weekly after taxes.

    I have about $800 in monthly bills (car payment, cell phone, insurance, gas).

    I have yet to factor in groceries but it isn’t that much for a single person.

    I am wondering how much I should spend, and whether or not it’d be better to get a roommate or try living alone.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Sean,
      Your monthly bills are pretty high for your income, so the smart thing would be to get a roommate share and start saving some money so you’ll be in a better position to get your own place as your income grows. Good luck!
      Sean’s Budget:
      Job 1 $1,700
      Job 2 $600
      Per month take-home est. $2,300
      Max. rent -$650
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$130
      Monthly payments (car-related, phone) -$800
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $380
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  28. Damon P

    Hello,

    I’m moving from Atlanta, GA to Corte Madera, Ca and I thinking about renting. Don’t know how much I can afford. I make $150K annually and I do own my own vehicle now. I’m single but have 2 dependents. Do you think you could provide me with some advice? I do understand that this is a big move but looking forward to it.

    Thanks
    Damon

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Damon,
      With your high income (all our readers should be so lucky!) you can probably handle a basic landlord’s formula rent or $150,000 divided by 40 = $3,750, but you can probably find a great place for much less in Corte Madera. At your income level and with 2 dependents, you should talk to financial planner to get you set up financially for the long term. To start with, should be saving 10-20% of your income. If your employer offers a 401K, participate in that fully for retirement savings, but also make sure you have a separate emergency fund that could cover your expenses for 3-6 months. And, we must add that because you have dependents you need to get life insurance (term is the most affordable) and make a will, if you have not done so yet. Good luck!

      Reply
  29. Devon H

    I make 2300 a month. What is the most I should spend for rent? My car payment is 319, student loan is $80, car insurance is $100, phone is $75, gym is $25

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Devon,
      You could spend up to $800, but at that level you have little room for savings. Depending on where you live, if you can get a nice place in the $600 range, that would leave you enough room to put some aside for an emergency fund. Good luck!
      Devon’s Budget:
      Per month take-home est. $2,300
      Max. rent 35% of take-home -$805
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$161
      Car payments -$319
      Car insurance -$100
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$75
      Credit Cards/Gym -$25
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans -$80
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $345
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  30. Ddd

    Hi, my husband and I are looking to move!!! His annual salary is about 48k plus 7k for me from social security.
    We have a car payment of 300$ that we are almost done paying off. Only about 5k left to pay!
    Phones are about 120$
    Gas is about 100$
    Cable And internet 170$
    Groceries And food is 500$ because we have kids
    Car insurance 100$
    Health insurance 300-400$
    Other monthly costs about 200$ for little things here and there like clothing, cleaning supplies.
    If we need to we are willing to cut cable tv.

    Not sure how much house we can afford.

    Reply
  31. Jordan S.

    I’m moving from Providence, RI to Atlanta, GA and I think I’m signing a lease which is out of my affordability ($1350). I make $58K annually and plan to purchase (rent/lease) a new vehicle when I move to Atlanta. I’m single with no dependents. Do you think you could provide me with some advice?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Jordan,
      You can afford that $1,350 lease, but verify that our take-home is in the ballpark, because we don’t know your tax bracket or deductions. With this big caveat: keep your car payment + car insurance to 15% or less of your take-home pay. (The car salesman will try to sell you as much of a car as their affordability formulas allow and it will probably be a lot more. Don’t fall for that pitch! Do your research before you walk into the showroom.) If you can do that, then you’ll even have room to save 10% of your income and still have plenty to cover discretionary expenses. Good luck!
      Jordan’s Budget:
      Salary $58,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 30% ($17,400)
      After tax take-home $40,600
      Per month take-home est. $3,383
      Max. rent -$1,350
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$270
      Car payments -$350
      Car insurance -$150
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$338
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $455
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  32. Sara

    I make $15.94/27 hrs per week at my first job and $14.82/20 hours per week at my second job
    expenses
    -car insurance: $90 per month
    -phone: $100 per month
    -groceries/food: $170 per month
    -gas: $90 per month
    My car needs occasional repairs and maintenance so I like to keep money saved up in case I need to pay for that stuff.

    How much can I afford to pay for rent

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Sara,
      As long as you have both jobs, you can easily carry our basic formula rent of 35% of your take-home or $795 (see budget 1.)and still save 20% of your income. (Double check the income numbers against your pay stubs.) However, if you lose job 2, then your max is $502 (see budget 2.) and there is no room for savings. You need to consider how stable the jobs are before you commit to a lease that requires you to have them both. Good luck!
      Sara’s Budget 1 – both jobs:
      Hours Job 1 27
      Pay/hr $15.94
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $21,519
      Hours Job 2 20
      Pay/hr $14.82
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $14,820
      TOTAL jobs 1+2 $36,339
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($9,085)
      After tax take-home $27,254
      Per month take-home est. $2,271
      Max. rent 35% of est. take-home -$795
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$159
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance -$90
      Gas est. -$90
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$170
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$100
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 20% of take-home) -$454
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $373
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Sara’s Budget 2 Job 1 only:
      Hours Job 1 27
      Pay/hr $15.94
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $21,519
      Hours Job 2 0
      Pay/hr $0.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $0
      TOTAL jobs 1+2 $21,519
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($4,304)
      After tax take-home $17,215
      Per month take-home est. $1,435
      Max. rent 35% of est. take-home -$502
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$100
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance -$90
      Gas est. -$90
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$170
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$100
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 20% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $342
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  33. Kk

    I make $9 an hour an work about 30-40 hours per week. I get paid bi-weekly. I found an apartment with waster, sewer an trash paid for. Its 500 a month but im getting a roommate, so id only pay $250 a month. I have no car payment, or any other loans. Am i able to afford it

    Reply
  34. Courtney

    Hi I make 18.50/hr 22-26 hours weekly and get paid bi-weekly

    Expenses:
    Car/Insurance: $460
    Gas for car $80
    Phone: $90
    Credit Cards: $100 (paying them off)

    What exactly would a budget look like for me?
    I live in NJ thanks!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Courtney,
      The sad truth is that right now your rent money is going into your car expenses. You need to get your hours up to about 35 a week before you could realistically get your own place. Even then it may mean a roommate share. Good luck!
      Courtney’s Budget:
      Hours 35
      Pay/hr $18.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $32,375
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($8,094)
      After tax take-home $24,281
      Per month take-home est. $2,023
      Max. rent -$500
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$100
      Car payments incl insurance -$460
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. -$80
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$90
      Credit Cards -$100
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $353
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  35. D JARNAGIN

    I make 9.50 a hrs and always average 80 plus hours every two weeks what would be a good price range for me to move into a spt

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi D,
      Check out this post. The chart will tell you your maximum rent target, in your case $475 a month for a 40 hour week. Good luck!

      Reply
  36. Aalok Mehta

    I recently moved to Raleigh, NC for a new job. I am single working a full time position. My salary is 60k annually w/o factoring taxes. The apartments I have been looking into range from $1050-1200 for rent. Will I be able to afford rent within this range based on the criteria provided?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Aalok,
      Lucky you, $60K a year is plenty for a $1,200 a month place and even leaves you enough cash to put 20% of your take-home into savings. Just don’t go and blow it all up by getting a crazy expensive set of wheels! Double check the numbers and let us know if they make sense. Good luck!
      Aalok’s Budget:
      Total/yr $60,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 30% ($18,000)
      After tax take-home $42,000
      Per month take-home est. $3,500
      Max. rent -$1,200
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet Est. -$200
      Car payments -$350
      Car insurance -$150
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 20% of take-home) -$700
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $430
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  37. Callie Williams

    Hi , My name is Callie. I work 40 hours a week , I am in housekeeping so I get payed $6 per room. I make no less than $100 a day. So in total I make about 1600/month after taxes . I pay 540 a month for daycare and 100 for car insurance . Will I be able to afford an apartment on this salary ?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Callie,
      Unfortunately, the numbers look like there will be no room in your budget for rent if you are living on your own. Even a roommate share would be a stretch. That childcare cost takes a third of your take-home pay and does not leave you enough room for rent and all the other expenses for two people. Can the baby’s father help with the daycare costs? Good luck!
      Callie’s Budget:
      Per month take-home est. $1,600
      Max. rent $0
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) $0
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance -$100
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$60
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Daycare -$540
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $320
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  38. Misakijy

    Hello,

    me and my bf want to get our own apartment with in a years and a half. I work part time making 10/hrs, 32 hours a week. I paid $120 car insurance, $50 student loan. My bf make 10.50/hrs, working 40 hrs a week. Plus he also work part time making 8/hrs, 25 hrs a week. he paid $100 for insurance, $300 car, $100 school loan, $50 for phone.

    I was wondering if we could atleast able to get $500-600 apartment.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Misakijy,
      Looks like you can manage a $500 a month apartment and even put a little money into savings. We did not include BF’s second job, that money should go to savings or for paying off that car before you move. Keep on working and saving and you’ll be in great shape even for a $600 apartment in year and a half. Double check the numbers. Good luck!
      Misakijy’s Budget:
      Hours-M 32
      Pay/hr $10.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $16,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,400)
      After tax take-home – Misa $13,600
      Hours-BF 40
      Pay/hr $10.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $21,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($4,200)
      After tax take-home – BF $16,800
      Cash take-home -combined $2,533
      Rent -$500
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$100
      Car payments -$300
      Car insurance payments ($100+$120) -$220
      Gas est. ($50 each) -$100
      or Commuting $0
      Groceries/food est. for 2 -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. for 2 -$60
      Cell phone est. (only one?) -$50
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loan ($100+$50) -$150
      Target savings -$100
      Amount left for discretionary expenses $503
      *Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  39. Shea Wassel

    Hi,

    I make 35,000 a year working 40hrs per week.
    I pay $279 car payment monthly, $303 college loan payment monthly, $130 Car Phone monthly, and a $575 car insurance payment twice a year

    What rent could best suit me?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Shea,
      Based on your numbers it looks like rent in the $500 range should work for you. If you can move to a less expensive phone plan and stay frugal with your groceries, you can even start saving some money. Let us know how this looks to you. Are there places available in your market at that rent level? Good luck!
      Shea’s Budget:
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $35,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($8,750)
      After tax take-home $26,250
      Per month take-home est. $2,188
      Max. rent -$500
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$100
      Car payments -$279
      Car insurance -$96
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$130
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans -$303
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $390
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  40. Lindsey

    I make 26.50/40hrs. Usually get at least 10 hrs of overtime. I will start making 27 in July. I want to rent a 1 bedroom for 1000. I have about 8000 in savings. Currently back in school. Paying about 2500 per year including books and supplies thanks to scholarship. Pay 150 for cell phone for me and family. 115 for car insurance. No car payments. About 100 for credit card. I was paying the pseg and cable bill at my house about 350. I graduate in 1.5 years. I want to be able to pay at least 500-750 a month for old student loans. Can i afford it? I also have a cat.

    Reply
    • Lindsey

      Me again. Ill start paying student loan after i graduate. Thanks for the help

      Reply
      • MFA Editors MFA Editors

        Hi Lindsey,
        Looks like $1,000 rent is doable and leaves you plenty of room for savings. Add the extra overtime moneys to the savings, so you’ll be a good shape when the student loan payments start. You are clearly both a hard worker with a full time job while going to school, and a financially responsible person with nice savings already. (There’s enough for some cat food and kitty litter, too.) Good luck!
        Lindsey’s Budget:
        Hours 40
        Pay/hr $26.50
        Total/yr (50 wks paid) $53,000
        Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($13,250)
        After tax take-home $39,750
        Per month take-home est. $3,313
        Max. rent -$1,000
        Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$200
        Car payments $0
        Car insurance -$115
        Gas est. -$50
        or Commuting est. $0
        Groceries/food est. -$300
        Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
        Cell phone -$150
        Credit Cards -$100
        Health Insurance $0
        Student Loans $0
        Savings (target 25% of take-home) -$828
        Cash left for all other expenses/Month $529
        Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

        Reply
  41. Allie

    I make $16/40 hrs a week.
    My expenses include:
    -Car Payment: $86 bi-weekly
    -Insurance: $120
    -Parking: $100
    -Phone: $60
    -Loan: $210

    What could I afford for rent?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Allie,
      Looks like you could pay around $500 in rent plus all your fixed expenses and still have enough leftover for any other living expenses, but not much for savings. Based on your estimated take-home, you should be able to carry up to $700 in rent, but those car expenses and the loan really crimp your rent budget. $500 may mean a roommate share, but that’s how most young people get started, anyway. Good luck!
      Allie’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $16.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $32,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($8,000)
      After tax take-home $24,000
      Per month take-home est. $2,000
      Max. rent -$500
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$100
      Car payments ($86*2) -$172
      Car insurance -$120
      Parking -$100
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$60
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans/Loans -$210
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $348
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  42. Paige

    I make $44800 a year. I am hoping to get more information on how much I could be able to afford getting a house to rent. I pay $343/month for my car payment, $170 for my insurance, $75 phone bill, $100 for my dog’s food and a bit in savings in case he needs to go to the vet, $183 student loans, and send $150 to my visa/month. I am hoping to save $200 atleast per month as well.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Paige,
      Looks like you should be able to manage $650-$700 in rent and still be able to save and cover all your bill, with enough leftover for all other living expenses. If you learn to cook and live frugally you could save even more and start chipping away at that credit card balance. Let us know if this makes sense to you and good luck!
      Paige’s Budget:
      Total/yr $44,800
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($11,200)
      After tax take-home $33,600
      Per month take-home est. $2,800
      Max. rent -$700
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$140
      Car payments -$343
      Car insurance -$170
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. plus dog food -$400
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$75
      Credit Cards -$150
      Health Insurance (parents?) $0
      Student Loans/Loans -$183
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$200
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $349
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  43. jada smith

    I work 40 hours a week at $14/hr. I have a car note $439/month, insurance$112/month, and daycare $305/month. Do you see where I would of be able to afford a place of my own

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Jada,
      You are in a really tight spot, with your car expenses and daycare taking almost half of your income each month. In addition, you have 2 mouths to feed and cloth. It’s really hard to try to find enough money in your budget for a place of your own. Even if we go as low as $300 rent, it does not leave you much of cushion for all the other living expenses. If you can somehow trade in your car for a much less expensive one, and live even more frugally than I’m sure you do now, you could apply those savings to your rent budget and get closer to $500 or so that might get you place in some areas. Good luck!
      Jada’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $14.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $28,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($4,200)
      After tax take-home $23,800
      Per month take-home est. $1,983
      Max. rent -$300
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$60
      Car payments -$439
      Car insurance -$112
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$400
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Daycare -$305
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $197
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  44. mirra

    Hello I need help I make 14.79 a hour 40 a week car payment 340 a month Insurance 260 I want to know what can I afford

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Mirra,
      Based on our chart in this post https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/ your max. rent should be between $700 and $750. However, hunk of your rent money goes towards your car expenses that total about $650 a month. As a result, even $500 rent is tight for you, but if you manage your grocery budget really well you might make it. Not much room for savings, though, until you lower your car expenses. Good luck!
      Mirra’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $14.79
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $29,580
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($7,395)
      After tax take-home $22,185
      Per month take-home est. $1,849
      Max. rent -$500
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$100
      Car payments -$340
      Car insurance -$260
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Daycare $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $179
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  45. Oxford

    Hi. I make $11.50/hr. and my hours have been averaging around 25 to 30+ hours per week. I’m planning on moving to a 2B2B Near WDW at $1160/mth (water included) with two others who make $10.50 and $11.50. The former will be making 36 hours while the latter might be doing at worst, 25 hours per week. The two roommates have car payments and car insurance (Gas is $60/mth); One of them (the $11.50 fellow) has school debt payments of around $300(?). I will be sharing a cell phone bill with the $10.50 person. If we have a $100/mth food budget, can we make it and still be able to save?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Oxford,
      You will not be able to afford the rent if your roommates have typical car and insurance payments. And $100/mo food budget for 3 guys is not realistic. We estimated really low at $150/mo. each. At the $1,160 rent, you cannot even afford to pay typical bills, let alone save money. Once again you get tripped up by car expenses and loans. Take a look at everyone’s actual bills and recalculate the budget to see if we missed something. Good luck!
      Oxford’s Budget:
      Hours-A 25
      Pay/hr $11.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $14,375
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,156)
      After tax take-home – A $12,219
      Hours -B 36
      Pay/hr $10.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $18,900
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,835)
      After tax take-home – B $16,065
      Hours-C 25
      Pay/hr $11.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $14,375
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,156)
      After tax take-home – C $12,219
      Cash take-home -combined $3,375
      Rent -$1,160
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$232
      Car payments B and C -$700
      Car insurance payments B and C -$300
      Gas est. ($50 each) -$100
      or Commuting $0
      Groceries/food est. for 3 -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. for 3 -$60
      Cell phone est. -$160
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loan -$300
      Target savings 10% of take-home $0
      Amount left for discretionary expenses -$87
      *Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  46. Lisa

    Hello,

    I work 40 hours at $13.50/hr & paid weekly in St.Louis. My student loans are about $350/month, phone $93/month, no car payments or insurance, and gas for my car about $60-$80/month. If I were to buy groceries it would be $120-$150/month.

    I am looking to rent an apartment in the city for $575 plus $125 parking and $150 in utilities. I am wondering if this is a smart idea. This is my first apartment on my own.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Lisa,
      In your case it’s the high student loans that trip you up, leaving you too little for discretionary living expenses. In addition, that apartment will cost $850 all in, or more than 50% of your estimated take-home, making you severely rent burdened even before the loans. You probably should look for a roommate share to start with. Good luck!
      Lisa’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $13.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $27,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($6,750)
      After tax take-home $20,250
      Per month take-home est. $1,688
      Max. rent w/parking -$700
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$150
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. -$80
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$150
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$93
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans -$350
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $125
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  47. Connor

    Hi there! I just wanted to get some details if I could! So I make about 44,000/yr. I have no car payment, but I pay about $50/month for insurance. Student loans right now are looking to be $219/month. $50/month for phone and $80/month for internet.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Connor,
      It looks like you can go as high as $1,000 or so a month in rent and still have enough for expenses and even save 10%. Good luck!
      Connor’s Budget:
      Annual salary $44,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 30% ($13,200)
      After tax take-home $30,800
      Per month take-home est. $2,567
      Max. rent (salary/40) -$1,000
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$200
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance -$50
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$50
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans -$219
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$257
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $401
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  48. Ken

    What a great site! Are there sites to help decide the affordability of renting a house?
    Im looking to plug in $75,000/year and 400 per month total expenses. Looks like renters handle utilities but Im not sure about things like taxes and maintenance :/

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Ken,
      When you rent a house, typically you cover all basic utilities (electric, heat, water, trash) and minor maintenance, such as cutting the lawn and maintaining any plantings. The owner pays taxes and any major maintenance/repairs. Of course, your lease might specify something different. With your high income and low fixed expenses the basic maximum rent formula or salary divided by 40 = $1,875 should work fine. For utilities, use the basic rule-of-thumb of 20% of your rent. They may run higher seasonally depending on your location and the size of the house. The owner of the house should be able to give some estimates and show past utility bills. Good luck!

      Reply
      • marcus smith

        I currently have a take home pay of 1940.00 my current expenses are

        167- credit card
        50-credit card
        50- credit card
        50- credit card
        that 50.00 is giving slightly more then the minuim
        42.00 car insurance
        i essentially have no $ left over because someone else “does whatever the fuck they want with it” i have about 3k in savings earmarked for a new car but if and WHEN I move out i will get a much much cheaper suv car.
        these are MY bills but i “help” pay light bill and another persons credit card bill. im not factoring this because when i get the HELL OUT of here they are on there on. my main concern is i will NEED to by a car when move out , and pay for my own phone. and other expenses. based on this what can i afford, i can do without cable for a while.

        Reply
  49. Stephanie

    Hello! I did the calculator but I thought I’d ask for a second opinion. I’m starting a new job with an annual pre-tax salary of 54,742. My bills include a car payment of 345 a month and 140 a month in insurance. My cell phone is 120 a month and my student loans are about 100-120 a month. What is the max amount of rent I could afford and still save a bit of money? Thank you.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Stephanie,
      Looks like you can get a place in the $1,100 range or about 35% of your take-home, and still be able to save at least 10% of your take-home.
      You might go even a bit higher, if that will get you a safer and better place. Double check the numbers and make sure all big items are included. Good luck!

      Stephanie’s Budget:
      Total/yr $54,742
      Est. taxes/deductions 30% ($16,423)
      After tax take-home $38,319
      Per month take-home est. $3,193
      Max. rent 35% of take-home -$1,118
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$224
      Car payments -$345
      Car insurance -$140
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$120
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans -$120
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$319
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $418
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  50. Holly

    Hello, I make 11.50/hr and work 32-38 hrs/ week, I do not pay my own car insurance but i pay my phone bill which is 120$/ month and i have guitar lessons at 195$/ month. I pay for anything that goes wrong with my car as well. I am looking to move out on my own or with a roommate soon, preferably before i go back to college in the spring. I am really good with saving my money, but the money i have saved is really for emergencies only

    Reply
    • Holly

      I also have no credit, other than I had to put a down payment on my cell phone account when i opened the account, since i had no credit.

      Reply
      • Holly

        i am stopping my guitar lessons before i move out because i realized that they are too expensive with college and rent when i move out

        Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Holly,
      We don’t think you are in a position to move out on your own, but a roommate share should be doable, if you stop the guitar lessons, as you say. If you learn to be really frugal with your food budget, you might even be able to afford a lesson now and then. The good thing with the cell phone is that you are now starting to build your credit profile and score. You could even get a secured credit card (you have to deposit amount equal to your credit line) for a few hundred, use it for couple of small charges a month and always pay the bill in full. That will also boost your credit score. As usual, we estimated your income on the lower hours because you have to pay your rent even in those months and then you can save the extra money you make in bigger months. Good luck!
      Holly’s Budget:
      Hours 32
      Pay/hr $11.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $18,400
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($3,680)
      After tax take-home $14,720
      Per month take-home est. $1,227
      Max. rent -$350
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$70
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$120
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $297
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  51. Jeff

    I make about $69000 per year (gross income) in California and pay $500 per month on student loans. I am about to move into a house paying $1650 for monthly rent +$180 per month for utilities/WiFi. I also pay about $37 per month for my phone bill. I’m looking to save as much as I can for the rest of this year, would it be reasonable to stay at this house? How much could I save up per month? The good thing is that I am on a month to month lease so I can move out and find somewhere cheaper any time.

    Reply
    • Jeff

      To add to my previous comment, I take in about $4130 per month after taxes
      Here’s Jeff’s original comment:
      “I make about $69000 per year (gross income) in California and pay $500 per month on student loans. I am about to move into a house paying $1650 for monthly rent +$180 per month for utilities/WiFi. I also pay about $37 per month for my phone bill. I’m looking to save as much as I can for the rest of this year, would it be reasonable to stay at this house? How much could I save up per month? The good thing is that I am on a month to month lease so I can move out and find somewhere cheaper any time.”

      Reply
      • MFA Editors MFA Editors

        Hi Jeff,
        Congratulations for picking the right major. The good news is that with your high income you can afford that high rent and still be able to save about 20% of your take-home. Unless you forgot to mention a car loan. We assumed that you would have car and at least pay for the insurance and gas. If not, then you can save even more. Of course, you could save more if you paid less rent, but live a little! You probably worked really hard in school, so enjoy the fruits of your labors. Unless, you are saving for grad school or some other big life expense, in which case, if you find a good place at lower cost, move. Good luck!
        Jeff’s Budget:
        Salary $69,000
        Est. taxes/deductions 27.5% ($18,975)
        After tax take-home $50,025
        Per month take-home est. $4,169
        Max. rent -$1,650
        Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$180
        Car payments $0
        Car insurance -$150
        Gas est. -$50
        or Commuting est. $0
        Groceries/food est. -$300
        Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
        Cell phone -$37
        Credit Cards $0
        Health Insurance $0
        Student Loans -$500
        Savings (target 20% of take-home) -$834
        Cash left for all other expenses/Month $428
        Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

        Reply
  52. Gina

    Hello. Just got a new job paying 17.25 working 40 hours a week I haven’t started yet but I am looking to move out on my own. Wondering what rent I can afford. My bills summed up are about $764

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Gina,
      Not having any details about your fixed bills, we assume it car-related, phone and credit cards. They take about 35% of your estimated take-home, leaving less for rent. If you can find a place in the $550-$600 range you should be able to manage your bills and other living expenses. Try to squeeze some money into savings, too. And make sure you have at least $2,000 saved before you sign that lease. Good luck!
      Gina’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $17.25
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $34,500
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($8,625)
      After tax take-home $25,875
      Per month take-home est. $2,156
      Max. rent 35% of take- home -$600
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$120
      Car payments + all other fixed bills -$764
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone $0
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $332
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  53. Azaria

    hell I bring about $980 every 2 weeks and pay car note $300 and Cell phone bill $117 how much can I afford

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Azaria,
      Again, your car expenses trip your budget up. You did not include insurance, but we assume you pay the typical $150 a month +$50 for gas. That’s $500 a month, same as your target rent. Without these car costs, you would have had max. of 35% of take-home or $686. Good luck!

      Azaria’s Budget:
      Per month take-home est. $1,960
      Max. rent -$500
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$100
      Car payments -$300
      Car insurance -$150
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$117
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $403
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  54. Hailey

    I work about 40 hours a week and make $9.00 an hour and get paid weekly. I don’t pay any rent or anything right now because I still live with my parents, I’m looking to move out soon. I don’t want to live with anyone but myself, how much rent would be good for my budget?

    Reply
  55. Chris L

    I’m sorry to post again. I did the calculator and just looking for another opinion. Currently I make $65,000 per year. Monthly expenses are broken down to insurance: $50 and $30 for phone. No car payments. What monthly rent + utilities could I afford that would allow me to still bring in a reasonable amount of savings each month?
    Here’s your earlier comment:
    I’m interested in a 2-bedroom running for $1030. Utilities run an average of an extra $150 they said. My current salary is $65,000 a year. I’m not sure if this rent falls within a reasonable rate or if I should look for something more economical. I work from home so gas for commuting isn’t much of concern. I don’t have any debts either like student loans although I do intend to start grad school part-time in the Fall.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Chris,
      With your nice income and small fixed expenses you can easily afford the 2BR. You are also in a great place to super-save for your grad school. We figured that you could easily save 40% of your estimated take home (double check your taxes and add health insurance to expenses, if not covered by parents.) Once you start paying tuition, with that extra bedroom you can even take a roommate if you want. Good luck!
      Chris L’s Budget:
      Total/yr $65,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 30% ($19,500)
      After tax take-home $45,500
      Per month take-home est. $3,792
      Rent -$1,030
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet -$150
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance -$50
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$30
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 40% of take-home) -$1,517
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $625
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  56. Kris

    Hello! I did the calculator, but I just figured I’d ask for an estimate of how much rent I’d be able to afford with my details. I was thinking of moving out on my own, I make about $54,000/year, I have a car payment of $525/month, student loan I’m paying off $100/month, and I pay for me and my parents cell phone bill: $123/month. I’m willing to give up the car if it gets me a nicer place. Those are really my only consistent monthly expenses right now. How much rent would I be able to comfortably afford based on these figures? Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Kris,
      We estimated your max. rent based on your estimated take-home. You should be able to carry a rent in the $1,100-$1,200 range comfortably and even save 10% of your take home. You mention car payment, but not insurance. Was that missing? Double check all the numbers, before you start looking. Good luck!
      Kris’ Budget:
      Total/yr $54,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 30% ($16,200)
      After tax take-home $37,800
      Per month take-home est. $3,150
      Max. rent -$1,103
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$221
      Car payments -$525
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$123
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans -$100
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$315
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $374
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  57. Mo

    I make 44,000 a year. I pay 370 a month on my car payment and about 160 in car insurance. Those are the bulk of my fixed expenses. How much rent would be comfortable for my budget?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Mo,
      It looks like you’ll be able to carry the basic formula rent, i.e. salary divided by 40, or $1,100, but that would not leave you enough room for savings. If you get a nice place for $900 or less, you’ll be in good shape financially. Do double check the numbers and add health insurance if you are not on your parent’s plan and adjust your rent target accordingly. Good luck!
      Mo’s Budget:
      Total/yr $44,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($11,000)
      After tax take-home $33,000
      Per month take-home est. $2,750
      Max. rent -$900
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$180
      Car payments -$370
      Car insurance -$160
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$275
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $395
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  58. ALEXIUS

    HI I MAKE 14.62 HR /80HRS I WANT TO MOVE ON MY OWN MY THE TOTAL OF THE BILLS I PAY NOW ARE 662.60 , HOW MUCH RENT WOULD I BE ABLE TO AFFORD

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Alexius,
      Assuming that you work 80 hours over a 2-week pay period, and the $663 in bills does not include food, etc. essential living expenses, it looks like you need to consider a roommate share. Look at the rough budget below, and make any changes. We like to see about $100 or so left per week for all other discretionary living expenses. Good luck!
      Alexius’ Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $14.62
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $29,240
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($7,310)
      After tax take-home $21,930
      Per month take-home est. $1,828
      Max. rent -$350
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$70
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone
      Credit Cards/All Bills -$663
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $355
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  59. Lex C

    Hi, I’m trying to move out on my own as soon as possible. I make $12.50/hr and get paid Bi-weekly with 40/hr per week. Everything I pay a month is about $1,000. How much rent will I be able to afford?

    Reply
  60. Chris L

    I’m interested in a 2-bedroom running for $1030. Utilities run an average of an extra $150 they said. My current salary is $65,000 a year. I’m not sure if this rent falls within a reasonable rate or if I should look for something more economical. I work from home so gas for commuting isn’t much of concern. I don’t have any debts either like student loans although I do intend to start grad school part-time in the Fall.

    Reply
  61. Trey

    Hello. I’m biweekly and make $12hr while working 40 hours each week. Would I be able to afford an apartment for $690. I have $40 phone bill and $100 insurance bill

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Trey,
      Looks like $690 rent is too much. It does not leave you enough for other living expenses and nothing for savings. Look for a place in the $500 range, or get a roommate share for the first year. Good luck!

      Trey’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $12.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $24,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($4,800)
      After tax take-home $19,200
      Per month take-home est. $1,600
      Max. rent -$690
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$138
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$40
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance -$100
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 20% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $167
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  62. Rosario

    Hello, I’m looking to move out. I have two small children and make about 2k a month(this including my boyfriends pay which is very low right now). That is an estimate because I make 12/hr plus tips and about 24 hours a week. My paychecks every two weeks are usually in the 800+ area. My only expensive a month are 210 in phone bill and 70 in student loan. Please help! What can I afford and still live comfortably?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Rosario,
      We did a rough budget based on that $2,000 take-home you mentioned. Using the basic formula of max. 35% to rent, or $700, will not work in your case. You need to look in the $500 a month range and even that will be tight with two adults and two babies. And try to switch to a cheaper phone plan ASAP, you are paying far too much. And push that BF of yours to go and get a better paying job. You’ll notice that we added to expenses commuting since you both must spend some money to get to work and back. You need to add any other expenses you may have, including health insurance. Good luck!
      Rosario’s Budget:
      Cash take-home -combined $2,000
      Rent -$500
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$100
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance payments $0
      Gas est. ($50 each) $0
      or Commuting $125 each -$250
      Groceries/food est. for 2 -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. for 2 -$60
      Cell phone est. -$210
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loan -$70
      Target savings 10% of take-home $0
      Amount left for discretionary expenses $360
      *Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  63. Lydia

    Hello, I am going through a divorce and I will need to find an apartment soon. I’ve never done the budgeting and I need all the help I can get. I make 14 dollars and hour 40 hours a week. I have a 300 dollar a month car payment, 150 for car insurance, and a 60 dollar a month student loan payment. What can I afford? Do I make enough to move out on my own? Help!

    Reply
    • Gabriel

      Your gross income monthly: 2,240. I’m not sure how much is taken via taxes and whatever deductions from pay you have but lets just say its 10%. If that’s the case you’re left with 2000 after taxes and deductions. Next you take 300, 150, and 60 from it for a total of 1490. after that you probably should budget yourself, this is just you, to a meal plan allowance of 4.50 per meal which equals 94.50 total weekly bringing your monthly number down to 1,112 if its four weeks. You can adjust for longer or shorter months. This is the money you are left with for housing and miscellaneous expenses such as health should it arise and fun things like eating out and social activities. Hope this helps. Feel free to modify any totals should you already be lower or higher in any mentioned areas.

      Reply
      • Gabriel

        P.S. don’t forget utilities. I’m not sure what they cost in your area. Subtract those as well from the final number.

        Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Lydia,
      While our formula maximum rents on your income would be in the $600-700 range, it looks like you need to target no more than $500 and even that is tight. Among all the other hits your finances will get after divorce is that your tax rate will go up when you change from “married filing jointly” to “single”. And what is happening with your health insurance? Hopefully, that comes through your work at low cost to you. You need to adjust the rough budget below with any missing expenses. Let us know how things work out. Good luck!

      Lydia’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $14.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $28,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($5,600)
      After tax take-home $22,400
      Per month take-home est. $1,867
      Max. rent -$500
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$100
      Car payments -$300
      Car insurance -$150
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loans -$60
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $287
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  64. wonthanh

    Hello, I am looking to get a one bedroom apartment and my salary will be approximately $80,000 on a 1099 tax form pre-taxes. I am fresh out of college and have little budgeting experience. I would appreciate all the help I can possibly get. What would be the sweet spot as far as monthly rent goes? Thanks!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Wonthahn,
      The basic formula landlords use for rent is annual salary divided by 40, or $2,000 in your case. However, you are a 1099 independent contractor, which means you pay both the employee and the employer parts of Social Security and Medicare taxes, or 15.3% of your salary, instead of 7.65% a W-2 employee would pay. That adds up to over $6,000 more in taxes a year. Hope you realized that when you took the job. As a contractor, you do not get any paid vacation either, or company-subsidized medical plan. As a result, we estimated your max. rent at 35% of your estimated monthly take-home, or $1,400 and added to the monthly expenses medical insurance premiums. Also, we included 15% of take-home savings rate. Meanwhile, check our our favorite money management apps and sign up with one. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/08/5-recommended-money-management-apps/. Congratulations on your graduation and good luck!

      Wonthahn’s Budget:
      Salary (1099 independent contractor) $80,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 40% ($32,000)
      After tax take-home $48,000
      Per month take-home est. $4,000
      Max. rent -$1,400
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$280
      Car payments -$300
      Car insurance -$150
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loans $0
      Health insurance -$300
      Savings (target 15% of take-home) -$600
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $500
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  65. Deborah

    Great site – am moving to the States for a few years this coming August and looking for a small bit of advice.
    My salary will be 100,000 per year.
    I have conservatively estimated that my take home pay per month will be 4750 (based on 8333 pre tax; 5749 post tax; minus around 1K / month insurance premiums for my family’s health/dental/vision)
    Does this sound accurate? I will be living in the North Carolina area. I have no idea of typical utility costs etc.
    Am looking at renting a house for the first 6 months at least.
    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Deborah,
      Since you are new to US, you probably don’t have US credit score, so the landlord may ask for up to the full 6 months of rent up front, unless your employer guarantees your rent somehow. Just be aware. If we use the basic rent formula for you that many landlords use, or salary divided by 40, you would be able to rent a place for $2,500 a month. Your utilities on that house would be at least $250-$500 a month, seasonally, for electric, cable/internet, garbage removal, water and heating. That would take more than half of your take-home, but because you have high income, you should still be ok. Good luck! Let us know how things work out.

      Reply
  66. Michael

    Hello, I’m looking to get a studio or 1 br apartment. Can’t live her much longer with my parents. I make 400-425$ a week. The places I’m looking at are all walking distance from my job and store. I have no bills, except 45$ phone bill and 100$ internet and cable I plan on getting. Im 18 and problem is I have no credit history. I can easily make rent each month. But these places say on their websites that rent cannot be more than 30% of my paycheck. I’ll probably go homeless if I don’t get approved.

    Reply
    • Michael

      The rent for these places for a studio or 1bedroom is mainly $600-$720 a month.

      Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Michael,
      We are assuming that the income you mention is after taxes and deductions. If that is the case, you can pretty comfortably afford a place in the $600 range and even have enough money left over to save about 10% of your take-home a month. What makes this possible for you is that you do not have car or credit card bills. In order to start building credit history, go to your bank and ask for a secured credit card. You need to put in cash equal to the credit limit. Then charge a small amount every month and pay the full balance as soon as you get the bill. That will start your profile with the credit bureaus. Good luck!
      PS. Before you move out, ask your mom to teach you how to cook a few simple, inexpensive dishes.
      Michael’s Budget:
      Per month take-home est. $1,600
      Max. rent -$600
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$120
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$45
      Credit Cards/ Gym Membership $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$160
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $335
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  67. Aviator

    Hi,

    My question is more of a savings curiosity. Living at home I was saving $1000 a month. I still want to save quite a bit but Toronto’s housing market is ridiculous right now.
    I can see that you say to save 25% of monthly income but is that really enough?

    I make 44.6K a year. Transportation is $146.25, student loans is $388.78, cell phone $85, gym is 50$. I know I have to make some cuts and compromises somewhere but I’m not sure where.

    Looking to ride a bike/walk and get an apartment with utilities included. Could you help me figure that out? Thanks so much in advance.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Aviator,
      We figured you a budget with 25% saving target. See below. It shows that should be able to comfortably carry about $700 in rent and still save aggressively, but not as much as your current $1,000 a month rate. Good luck!

      Aviator’s Budget:
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $44,600
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($11,150)
      After tax take-home $33,450
      Per month take-home est. $2,788
      Max. rent -$700
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$140
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$146
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone $85
      Credit Cards/gym -$50
      Student Loans -$388
      Savings (target 25% of take-home) -$697
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $412
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Gail,
      Our rent calculator says that your max. is $477. Note that we just input your monthly number for one pay period and 0 for the other to get the correct monthly total for the calculation. Before you actually sign the lease, make sure that you do your own budget that shows you can still also cover all your other monthly bills and living costs. Good luck!

      Affordable Rent Calculator

      Click Yes or No below to open calculator.

      Do you have an annual salary? No
      Do you get paid weekly? No
      Do you get paid every other week or twice a month? Yes
      What was your after-tax pay last pay period?
      $1,363
      Previous pay period?
      $0
      Total per 2 pay period month: $1,363
      Affordable Monthly Rent: $477
      Estimated Utilities: $95
      Maximum Affordable Housing Expense: $572
      Target Savings To Move Out: $1,431

      Reply
  68. Tyler

    Hello, thank in advance for your time.
    I get paid $20/hr Bi-weekly, and usually work 80hrs. My take home pay after taxes is around $2400-2500. monthly. Transportation cost is $140 Monthly, student loan $100, cell phone $30.
    How much can I afford on rent and still be able to save money ?
    Thanks again

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Tyler,
      First, check out this post for your max. rent target. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/
      It looks like you can pay up to the max. formula rent of $1,000 and still have money to cover all your expenses, save 10% of take-home, and have more than our target $400 for other discretionary expenses. Good luck!

      Tyler’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $20.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $40,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($10,000)
      After tax take-home $30,000
      Per month take-home est. $2,500
      Max. rent -$1,000
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20%) -$200
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance est. $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting -$140
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$30
      Credit Cards $0
      Student loan -$100
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$250
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $440
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  69. Stella

    Hi, I make $17 a hour & work 40hrs a week. I applied for an apartment that is $1150 a month. The $1,150 includes, rent, heat, electricity & hot water… I think I can afford this, as my only other major bill is my daughters child care which is $86.40 every week/$340 a month…

    Reply
  70. Lynnette

    I applied for low income housing in July when I was working full time. I was contacted in March that an apartment was available to me. I filled out more paperwork and submitted my unemployment information showing I get 361.00 every week. The woman at the office tells me that my last years income is how my rent in calculated. Now this means I am living on 1,444 a month. She tells me I qualify for this apartment and rent will be 1,66.00 a month! I couldn’t understand why they would go by last years income for my rent when I an out of work? I need this apartment. I hope you can help me.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Lynnette,
      Housing vouchers and benefits vary by state and city, so we are not able to give you any guidance on that. Perhaps one of our readers has some experience and can advice. It does seem that you should be able to pay that rent of $166 very comfortably with your unemployment compensation. Good luck!

      Reply
  71. Etienne Le

    I have very limited to NO budgeting experience. I am looking to move to a very expensive area because my work is there. I make $3,520/month after tax and have $20,000 saved. I will likely have to exceed the suggested $1,200/month rent because the area I’m in averages $1,600+ for a decent place.

    Am I in decent shape to last a couple of years here even though I’m going over the calculator’s rent suggestion?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Etienne,
      Let’s first assume that you have actually scouted out some places in various price ranges and actually know that you’d need to spend $1,600. It’s an average, so there maybe decent options at $1,400 or $1,500. What you can afford ultimately depends on what other fixed bills you have: car? credit cards? student loans? If you have no other monthly bills, you could make it at $1,600 living frugally – aka being rent poor – paying 46% of your take-home on rent. You do have a nice amount of savings, but we’d hate to see you deplete it on rent. For typical apartment living expenses, check out this post. http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/04/first-apartment-budgeting-boot-camp-formulas-guidelines/
      On the other hand, you don’t want to live in misery. Make a really detailed and careful budget for yourself, with all expenses and see what sacrifices you’d have to make to live in a $1,600 place: no vacations? no weekend ski trips? no guys nights or date nights out? Maybe being happy to walk into your own place after a long day at work is worth some sacrifices, but only you know for sure. Good luck! Let us know what happens.

      Reply
    • J

      I live on Long Island and I make roughly 70K for 11 months work. My income varies every month as I am an independent contractor for special ed services. Some months I make $5,500, others I make only $2,000. I would say though, that I average around the same as you… maybe a little more, at 3,700. I have an apartment that costs $1,775. Initially my boyfriend and I were supposed to be splitting that. But he was laid off and then injured so I was supporting the two of us for a very long time. I still made it work. $1,775 alone is 48% of my income. lt included utilities, but not cable/internet. That’s another $120, so thats $1,895, or 51% of my income. I did it. And really I never felt rent-poor. I still made bad decisions at Target one too many times, and never had to worry about gas or food. I also have a $380 a month loan payment. Yes, there were some months where I got hit with major expenses like medical issues, and a miscarriage. There was also a car accident, etc. THOSE months I just felt POOR and screwed, not just rent poor lol. $1,600 is a lot, if it doesn’t include utilities, and then + cable/internet, which is always a total rip. So really figure you’re more at $1,800-1,900. We’re pretty close in salary so I think you can manage it. Plus, I assume your’s is much more consistent than mine. I had a to budget months in advance when I knew a bad month was coming up. Hopefully you don’t need to do that. I don’t think youd be poor or feeling poor, as long as you dont have other crazy expenses. Hope that helps

      Reply
  72. Samantha S

    My wife and I are fixing to move out on our own May 1st. The apartment is 575 a month. The calculator says we can do it and it fits our income. But since we both make decent amount of money I think we can. I’m just scared. Her paycheck will be 1,000$ or so every two weeks and mine will be 600+ every two weeks. I’m just scared and because I haven’t lived on my own before and not having the opportunity of paying bills and rent at all. I have no idea what I’m getting into. I’m moving in the city of high point and they have a deposit for the bills. We also want to have the bills in my name as well, but I have no credit history. Please help me out and respond, would appreciate it. Thanks.

    Reply
  73. PWach

    Hi. I’m thinking about moving out in a couple of months. I take home around $1500-1700 a month. I also pay a car note that’s $343 a month. I found an apartment that’s $550 with water included. Do you think I would be able to afford it?

    Reply
  74. Will

    I’m somewhat confused by the maximum housing expense number , does that mean rent plus other things or just rent, because I just got a quote for 682, and the calculator told me 672 for the maximum housing expense

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Will,
      Maximum housing expense is the total of maximum rent + estimated utilities. Max. rent is calculated at 35% of your after-tax take-home pay or, if you have a fixed annual salary, at your annual pre-tax salary divided by 40. See an example below. Did you maybe mix two different parts of the calculator. If you get paid hourly, also check this post. http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/ These formulas do not include any other expenses you will have living on your own, such as commuting to work, food and clothing. Hope this helps.

      Affordable Rent Calculator
      Do you get paid every other week or twice a month? Yes
      What was your after-tax pay last pay period?
      $800
      Previous pay period?
      $800
      Total per 2 pay period month: $1,600
      Affordable Monthly Rent: $560
      Estimated Utilities: $112
      Maximum Affordable Housing Expense: $672
      Target Savings To Move Out: $1,680

      Reply
  75. leilagoreil_

    I used your calculator and that is what I estimated on pen and paper. I’m finding that I am cutting at the edge of a maximum monthly rental budget. Thanks for the website assistance.

    Reply
  76. Jesse Hartley

    Hi I live in Portland OR and while this calculator is pretty good it is impossible for me to find anything in 828.00 I make roughly 2400 after take home pay. I am not shy about how much I make or disclosing that info. Most apartments start out at 1100 and go up so I actually just rented my very 1st apartment ever 1100. That is almost 300.00 of what I should be paying but that is the cost to live in Portland. So is there any way I can save money in utilities. My W/S/G is 57.50 and a forgoing cable but will be getting internet. Any Help anyone can give would be great. I really nervous about doing all this.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Jesse,
      The sad truth is that in many markets, such as yours, there is an imbalance between what young people earn and rents. There is no way you can save enough in utilities to make up the gap. You just have to learn to live extremely frugally, or if you can, take a roommate. Cook your meals, find free entertainment options and hang out with people who are in the same boat, financially, so you are not tempted to overspend. Just try not to fill the gap with credit card debt. Good luck!

      Reply
  77. Skylar Salinas

    Hi. I’m about to move into a 1br/1bath 700sf apartment I pay cable already which is 151 a month. I use my computer 8 to 9 hours a day because I work from home rent is 850 a month. I use the tv at least 10 hours a day. ac on auto and I use a energy saving fan. I stay in Texas Beaumont, south east of texas. How much would my lights and water bill be a month.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Skylar,
      Check out our utility survey results in this post. Since you use a lot of electricity you should estimate at double the average, or around $110, to start with. For water, the average would be around $30 a month, but it will depend on your usage and water rates in Beaumont. Ask your landlord for an estimate. Good luck!

      Reply
  78. Daja Day

    Don’t pay attention to the negative comments this calculator is for exactly what it says its for not about other expenses in your life you got to work that out for yourself. Negativity all over the internet smdh… This is a really good tool.

    Reply
  79. Melinda States

    This only takes into consideration the roof over your head. Not food, gas , doctor bills , things you need etc etc etc

    Reply
  80. Salina

    What about transportation costs, cell phone, student loans (hell, groceries)? Without those factored into your monthly expenses then your “pre-tax annual salary divided by 40” does not accurately represent how much rent you can afford. While this is the ratio most landlords will use you determine eligibility, the rest are factors to consider before signing a lease.

    Reply
  81. Alex

    So, making about $280 a week after taxes I can move into a $392 apartment? I’m not so sure, considering I also have weekly car payments, and monthly payments on student loans and car insurance, not to mention I have to feed myself

    Reply
  82. Andrea

    I find these calculators to be misleading and inaccurate. Personally, I use my tried and true Excel worksheet. I enter my net monthly income and all of my fixed and non-fixed monthly expenses and calculate the totals. Then I subtract my expenses from my net income to see what I have left to live. I am currently looking for an apartment and have a good idea of what I can pay and still maintain my way of life because of the Excel method.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Andrea,
      We totally agree that a detailed Excel budget worksheet beats any calculator. You clearly have a good handle on your finances!
      Our calculator is aimed at someone who is just looking at renting their first place and does not yet have any actual expenses. It is not a perfect tool, but can give someone who just got their first job an idea of how much rent they might be able to qualify for. Did you notice, we also have another post that shows how much rent someone could afford based on their hourly pay and weekly hours worked? http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/

      Reply
  83. Diamond

    I’ve been with my new job for 90 days. I’m making 15/hr at 40 hrs a week and additional overtime if available. The calculator isn’t working out for me I’m looking to rent a place in a nice area not super nice but less crime.

    I don’t want a roommate last 2 I had were terrible towards me. I live in a state that has a cheap cost of living I have money saved up from my previous job of 2 yrs saved above 7 thousand. I’m wondering if I am good to move? Where I live most apartments look for 6 weeks of paystubs some 6 mos. I know I really need to work on my budget sheet more to get a better idea. I’m looking for 600 to 630/mo in rent is that possible with my pay?

    Reply
  84. Adam

    So if I am looking for an apartment to live while going to school and working, the monthly total cost; with all paid utilities and being fully furnished, will cost about $1,095/month and including a $60 recurring expense of a parking permit, should I plan to save more so that way the $60 fee is included if it’s a monthly fee

    Reply
    • Adam

      Also would it be cheaper if I knew someone who was going to be in that same area and we decide to split the difference of the 2 bedroom apartment? The 2 bedroom apartment itself is about $890/month with all utilities included and it is fully furnished, it is also cheaper by about $200 including the $60 recurring parking pass fee.

      Reply
      • MFA Editors MFA Editors

        Hi Adam,
        Splitting a bigger apartment among roommates is almost always less expensive than each having to pay for their own smaller place. Living in a roommate apartment is the usual first apartment experience for many (probably most) of our readers. Go that route, save aggressively and your second apartment will be your very own place. Good luck!

        Reply
  85. Quinn

    Could you please check how calculator is working on Google Chrome?.. Mine keeps redirecting to the same page but without the calculations.

    Reply
    • Quinn

      What seems to be happening is that when I go to the page all the questions appear for the calculations then they all disappear redirecting to page that asks only one question and giving a calculation based on amount filled in. This confused me at 1st because why is it only asking me one question vs all the questions that originally appeared?..and what were the other questions? Wanting to know, i hit the back button – then the forward button…to be able to get just a glimpse of all the questions before they’d disappeared again. Now i see that it only asks you one question if youre paid salary and the others if paid weekly, bi-weekly, etc. No longer an issue Thanks I like your site

      Reply
      • MFA Editors MFA Editors

        Hi Quinn,
        Thanks for for question.

        The calculator asks one question at a time and you move to the next one only when you click no to a question.

        When you open the calculator on Chrome, it seems to flash all the questions first for a second or two, but then start with just one question. If you want to see all the question, just answer no and it will take you through the options
        1.) if you get an annual salary (pre-tax)
        2.) if you get paid weekly (after-tax)
        – then past 4 weeks of take-home pays
        3.) if you get paid every other week or twice a month
        – then past two take-home pays.

        Many of our readers work multiple part-time jobs or projects, so we wanted the calculator work for many different work scenarios.

        Hope this helps.

        Reply
  86. Natasha W

    I personally do not find this accurate. If I made, say a total of, $2000 a month it claims I could only survive with a rent of $600.

    If i add it up myself i can survive with a higher rent then that. and someone try to correct me because I think this calculator will not help those first starting off and I’d hate for them to get out there then realize the truth.

    Here’s my example.
    With a monthly income of 2k you have to add all the extra expenses beside the rent

    Monthly phone bill: $45 (mine)
    Car insurance: (differs by state, here is an average of) $166 a month
    Utilities: (average around) $250 a month.
    Food: $100-250 a month (depending on your eating habits)

    That comes to a rough estimate of $711 without the total on your monthly rent.

    Now if I made $2000 a month minus the extra expenses that leaves me with the highest possible rent of $1189. But I’d round down to a rent of $1000 to leave extra money.

    So if i rented an apartment or home for $900 a month plus the $711 estimate on extra expenses that would be $1671 that I’d be paying a month. Minus that from my income of $2000 which would leave me $329 for anything extra that may be needed.

    So please explain to me how $600 dollars would be the highest rent I’m supposed to pay.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Natasha W,
      Thanks for your comment. Here are a few words about the calculator:
      1.) Basically, it is built so that people who work either in salaried positions or on an hourly basis can estimate what level of rent they could comfortably carry on their income. (You maybe a student who does not have all the expenses someone working and living on their income would have and you could spend a disproportionate amount of your income on rent.)

      2.) If you have an annual salary the target rent is salary (before any deductions for taxes) divided by 40. This is the generally accepted guideline used by many landlords, who require you to make 40 times the monthly rent.
      You used that part of the calculator but did not take into account any taxes and other deductions that normally come off your salary.

      3.) If you click “no” the annual salary question on calculator, it takes you to section that estimates your target rent based on your after-tax income. This is the section you should have used if your $2,000 a month will not have any taxes taken out of it. That part of the calculator gives you target rent of $700 (see below).

      So, if your $2,000 a month is tax-free, and you have no work-related expenses, such as commuting, work lunches, etc., and you have someone available to bail you out if you get overextended, you could spend half of your money on rent (and many people do) but it is not a realistic scenario for majority of My First Apartment readers.

      Hope this helps you to understand where the calculator comes from.

      Total per 2 pay period month: $2,000
      Affordable Monthly Rent: $700
      Estimated Utilities: $140
      Maximum Affordable Housing Expense: $840
      Target Savings To Move Out: $2,100

      Reply
    • Ta

      You still have to have money to buy clothes , transportation and unexpected expenses 600 dollars the safe zone if you decide to spend more than that on rent you will be living pay check to pay check with no money to play with.

      Reply
  87. Gearoid

    I have a problem with this calculator. Based on my annual salary, it is calculating 1900 dollars a month on rent and utilities to be “affordable”. I take home 3200 a month after all deductions. I think it’s appalling that you would consider what’s left over to be living comfortably considering all other day to day living expenses, car payments, travel costs, savings for the future etc. This is a poor calculator and sends the ignorant in the wrong direction.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Gearoid,

      Thanks for your comment!
      Did you check the calculator with your take-home pay? It shows that your max. affordable rent is $1120, with utilities $1344. (See below) You must live in a high tax tax state because based on the number you got from the calculator ($1900 with utilities) your salary must be in the $63000 range and you pay about 40% in taxes to net $3200.

      It’s always a good idea to run the calculator for both annual salary and monthly take home pay to double check.

      Total per 2 pay period month: $3,200
      Affordable Monthly Rent: $1,120
      Estimated Utilities: $224
      Maximum Affordable Housing Expense: $1,344
      Target Savings To Move Out: $3,360

      Reply
  88. Angie

    This is right about the correct budget after my personal calculations. I like that its a bit on the higher side vs. some other calculators it allows you to prepare for your rent to be a little higher and still be able to live comfortably. This was very useful good job!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Thanks Angie for your nice words.
      We planned the calculator to show the maximum rent you could reasonably afford on your pay. Of course, people have to keep in mind their individual situation. If you have high car payments or heavy student loans, no calculator enough and you have to adjust the rent target to your circumstances.

      Reply
  89. Butternut Nutbutter

    This calculator makes me sad ): With my graduate school stipend it says I can only afford 450$/month of rent but the city I’m moving to doesn’t offer anything below 800$/room.

    Reply
  90. Merrideth

    After making multiple budgets and calculating a bunch, this is right around the numbers I came up with. So that’s a good sign (:

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Thanks Merrideth. Happy to hear that the calculator works for you! Good luck with your first apartment.

      Reply
  91. Teresa

    Move out costs should also have something along the lines of utility deposits. These can get quite expensive with some companies/areas needing full deposit and not allowing payment plans. Advice on checking with landlord of location is good for answers on that issue. Calculator is great otherwise!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi,
      We just tested the calculator and it works fine. If you have trouble it may be your browser. Let us know which one it is and we’ll check.

      Reply
  92. Lisa

    Awesome tool! Helped a great deal planning out my first apartment expenses. It let me know I was in the right direction as far as what rent cost I should be looking for. Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  93. Christina

    The calculator worked perfect for me. Good to know I got rent cheaper than what it said I can afford :)

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Maggie,
      We have just tested it on Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Silk and iPhone and it worked on all. Which browser were you using? Do you have a slow internet connection? If you do, it may take couple of seconds to load.
      Please let us know which browser is not working. And thanks for your feedback. MFA Editors

      Reply
  94. MFA Editors MFA Editors

    Sorry about the problems some of you have had with the calculator. We have found and fixed the bug and it should work now on all popular browsers. Please let us know if you still experience problems.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Rachel,
      Sorry the calculator did not work for you. It had a problem with some browser, but our webmaster has fixed a bug, so try again. MFA Editors

      Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Heather,
      Sorry about that. Our webmaster is working on it. Meanwhile, try another browser. Firefox seems to work best.
      Best, MFA Editors

      Reply
  95. Kellie

    Hello,

    The calculator doesn’t seem to be working for me. I marked No on the first two questions and Yes on the third question (I get paid bi-weekly). I entered the amounts of my last two pay periods. None of the bottom numbers are showing up for me; all I see are xx next to each.

    Reply