Affordable Rent Calculator

Click Yes or No below to open calculator.

Do you have an annual salary?
What is your annual salary?
Do you get paid weekly?
What was your after-tax pay last week?
Previous Week?
Previous Week?
Previous Week?
Do you get paid every other week or twice a month?
What was your after-tax pay last pay period?
Previous pay period?
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:

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.

 

Related Posts

Author My First Apartment
MFA Editors

Leave a Comment

Comments (117)

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. Melinda States

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

    Reply
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. 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
  41. 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
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. 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
  46. 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
  47. 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
  48. 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
  49. 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
  50. 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
  51. 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
  52. 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
  53. 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