Click Yes or No below to open calculator.
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.