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.

Comments (350)

1. J. Lewis

Hello, I’ve been trying to find an apartment that I can comfortably afford. I make \$13 per hr , currently been bringing around \$785 every two weeks (because of my deductions and hours being cut at work). Annually, I say that I make around \$26,000 – \$27,000. I pay for my own food; which is maybe like \$100 per month (being the most) and I currently pay a phone bill which is \$110 per month (which includes a plan for 3) and I have a \$65 monthly loan. I have been looking at prices that where \$830 per month and below for a 1 bedroom apt.
What would be the perfect price range for me to look into?

Reply
2. Cortnee Barker

I’ve lived with my boyfriend since I was 18 im used to paying half the bills so it was pretty easy. But I’m going through some stuff and am thinking of getting my own place and being by myself. I make 10 dollars an hour and work 40 hours a week approximately. My phone bill is 125\$ my car insurance 71\$ and for my self would probably need 200\$ a month for groceries and 200 for gas and other needs for the month. How much rent can I afford. Any advice will help

Reply
3. Austin Gill

Hey i make \$15 a hour working 47 hours a week. My car insurance is 230, this would be my first apartment,my other expenses are around 330, and I get paid bi weekly. Would I be able to afford an apartment?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Austin,
Use this worksheet to run your actual numbers https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ , but it looks to us that you could start exploring rentals in the \$650 range. You may not be able to save much at start, but moving out on your own is a big step on becoming an adult, and, let’s face it, your dating life will get easier when you no longer live in your parents garage. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$35,250
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$8,813
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$26,438
Monthly take-home pay \$2,203

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$650
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$130
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$230
Gas -\$50
Commuting \$125/mo
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone & Verizon -\$80
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills -\$330
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,810

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$393
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$393
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
4. Phil

I make a salary but my current wage is \$18/hr, work on avg. 40hrs a week. The only expenses I really have at this moment are bills at 350 and groceries at 550 ever month. I’m just curious as of what my pricing range would be with utilities included? Also this would/will be my first home ever as well.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Phil,
Use this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to find out what level of rent, plus 20% estimated for utilities, will leave you at least \$400 or so a month for discretionary expenses (entertainment, clothing, vacations, etc.)and room for some savings. With your current bills, you’ll be probably looking at a rent in the \$700 range. (Your groceries look high for one. Either you are a real gourmand or you live on take-out. Either way, learn to cook frugally.) Good luck!

Reply
5. Bristol Debowski

I make just over 2,000 every month however I do pick up shifts here and there. Should my rent subsidy be based off the past few months where I picked up a shift most paychecks or based on my guaranteed income and not the extra shifts?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Bristol,
Your rent will be due every month whether you pick up extra shifts or not, so use your guaranteed income as basis for calculating your rent target. Use the extra shift income to boost your savings. Good luck!

Reply
6. Kendra

My fiance and I will be getting married and moving in together in less than a year. We have put our names on a waitlist for an apartment that has a 1-2 year long waitlist and a \$7,000 down payment (we already have this saved up). It will either be \$450 or \$505 per month depending on what becomes available first. We are both in school and make minimum wage as of right now at \$11. My question is, how many hours should we be working to afford either option?

Reply
7. Lylelime

I make around \$3,023 a month after insurance and tax. My car insurance is \$40 and phone bill is \$60. I don’t have car payment nor student loan. Also no credit dept. I’m trying to get a two bed for \$1200 because that’s only option I have, can I afford this? I may also have to pay \$50 for washer and dryer and trash for the rent so it’s \$1250 every month with it

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Lylelime,
With your very low other expenses you should be able to afford \$1200 rent and still save a healthy 20% of your take-home income. See below. Double check all your numbers with this 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) \$3,023

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$1,200
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$240
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$40
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$50
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$60
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,940

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$1,083
Savings (target 20% of take-home) \$605
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$478
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
8. Shore

Hello I make around \$3,340 a month and my only bill is my car insurance which costs \$194 a month. What is the maximum rent I could pay? Thank you:)

Reply
9. Christian Trejo

I make \$13/h and then make a \$200+ in tips a month, so I get around \$1850 a month to work with.
I own a car, so no payments on that and insurance being covered by a family member. Phone bill is about \$120. Have no current debt.
What is the suggested rent price and what is the max?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Christian,
Can you find a nice place in your market in the \$600-\$700 range, that you could afford without your tip income? Then you could bank the tips and start an emergency savings fund. Double check that you included all your expenses by using this https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$26,000
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$5,200
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$20,800
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,733

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$700
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$140
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$120
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,350

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$383
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$383
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
10. Alex Jones

what if you are on a fixed income such as disability support with total annual income of 13800\$

should i just save up for a couple months and buy a means to commit suicide instead?

Reply
11. Jordan Camp

How much rent can I afford.

Income: 2,300 /Month
Car: \$500
Insurance: \$202
Utilities: \$120 (for now)
Phone: \$130 (For now)
other: \$100

Reply
12. Gia Looking to Move between Jan-Apr 2019

Hi! Love the website. I’ve been reading since I was in college now that I’m out and have a real job I’m looking forward to putting some of this advice to good use. I’m a little confused with the 40% and x.35 formulas I keep getting different numbers. I make 55k annually take home 3400 a month at least (i regularly get an extra 100 or so in overtime) i have 7k saved my phone bill is 55 credit card 150 loans 260. No car and my job pays for my public transportation what rent do you think I can afford? I was thinking 1300. Thank you!

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Gia,
See the explanation below to Senior regarding the difference between the 40% and 35% formulas. The 35% of take-home is a more conservative formula.
Based on your expenses, it looks like you could afford that \$1,300 rent and still be able to save at least 10% of your take-home and have more than enough for discretionary expenses. Use this worksheet to check your numbers. 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) \$3,400

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$1,300
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$260
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$55
Student Loans -\$260
Credit Cards -\$150
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,365

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$1,035
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$340
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$695
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
13. Senior in College, Moving in June 2019

Hello there! I just landed my first job in Texas with an annual salary of \$58000 with a raise every year. Bonuses are estimated to be at least \$10k, usually \$15k. I will not have any student debt, car payments, or even a cell phone bill (thanks to work). Most of my moving expenses are also covered by work. I won’t need cable, just internet. I have never had to pay for any insurance before, so I am unsure of how to estimate that cost. 30% off my estimated take-home pay after taxes (according to https://smartasset.com/taxes/texas-paycheck-calculator#3oJyTkZWwJ) is \$46,591. 30% of that is \$15375/12 months=\$1281.25 for living expenses. That would include rent, utilities, insurance and any other fixed monthly expenses. Am I doing that right? That seems like pretty low rent. Trying to get a 1br.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Senior,
And congratulations for picking a high-paying major. You are in a great shape, not only for an apartment, but also for getting on a solid financial footing right from the start.
There are two max. rent formulas we use. The first one is what many landlords use in major metro = your annual salary/40 or \$1,450 in your case. We also use a formula starting with your estimated monthly take-home pay (after taxes and other deductions) and multiplying that with 35%, or in your case \$1,359. Neither formula includes utilities that are not included in your rent, typically at least electric and internet, but often also water and trash collection. Depending on where you live and what type of apartment you are renting, these extras can add anywhere from 10-20% of rent to your housing costs. Since you have no other big fixed expenses, you could comfortably afford that \$1,450 rent, and still save 10-20% of your salary and all your bonuses. Use this worksheet to double check. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
Make sure you take advantage of any savings plan your company offers, and save at least enough to get the full match, if the plan has it.
Good luck!

Reply
14. Karen

Hello, I want to rent a 1,300 condo but I only get paid twice a month my checks come beltween 1,300 and my boyfriend gets pay 600 a week we have a car payment of 290 . Not sure if we’re goin over our budget

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Karen,
Just eyeballing your numbers it looks like you take home about \$5,000 a month (2*\$1,300 + 4*\$600), combined, which should be enough for that \$1,300 rent. However, you do not include any other expenses you two may have, so we have no way of knowing if that rent is in the ballpark. Print out this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and pencil in your and your BF’s income and expenses. Then find the rent level that let’s you save at least 10% of your take-home pay each month and still have at least \$500, between the two of you, left over to cover discretionary expenses. Good luck!

Reply
15. Ya

Hello! I would like to move in mid October or mid February, but I’m unsure if I can afford it at this time. Currently, I have the following: car-\$403, phone-\$120, and student loans-\$225. I am also waiting for acceptance into a graduate program, which would begin in January. My gross income is 45,150. If I can afford to live independently, how much can I pay?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Ya,
What happens to your income when you start grad school? Your rent will be due monthly whether your income stays same or not, so you’ll be under pressure to keep up your hours. Don’t jeopardize your studies just to be able to pay unaffordable rent.
With your current income the landlord formula (income divided by 40) says that you should be able to carry up to about \$1,100 in rent, but you do have pretty high fixed expenses. Use this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to figure out what you could realistically afford, if you must move. Good luck!

Reply
16. Dawuan Mcgowan

Hi im planning on moving out im only 19 so i dont know about all that extra stuff but i dont go to college i dont have any debt or loans my aparrment im about to rent is \$575 and the gas water hear is included in the rent i make \$12 an hour and i get around like 50-60 hours i get paid bi-weekly how much should I save to move

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Dawuan,
It looks to us that %575 is too much rent for you at this time. See below. Why don’t you look at getting a roommate share in the \$400 range to start with, so you’ll have some money left over for entertainment, clothing, and other discretionary expenses. Use this budgeting worksheet to double check all your numbers. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (\$12*60 hrs biweeks*26) 18720
Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -2808
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay 15912
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) 1326

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -575
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -115
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) -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
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -1235

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) 91
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
17. Mike

I’ve never lived on my own. I make roughly 80K a year and am looking to have my own place. I keep reading different opinions about how to calculate your rent range. Some say do it with pre tax salary, others say not to. I have about 300 a month in student loan bills and another 100-150 in misc bills. No car payments. What’s my range roughly? I’m living in the Northern VA area and would probably prefer something on the “nicer” end of the budget as I’m not one to go out often though I’m known to splurge spend…

Reply
• MFA Editors

Mike,
It’s time for you to move out. You make more than enough money to get a nice apartment and still put 20% of your take-home into savings.
Living on your own will do so much more to your lifestyle than just having a different place to live. Your social life should perk up nicely and you”ll learn to handle all the adult-living tasks you have avoided until now. Double check the numbers with this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and also test with our other max. rent formula = 35% of your take-home pay. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$80,000
Less: Estimated taxes 30% (see below 2.) -\$24,000
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$56,000
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$4,667

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = salary/40 -\$2,000
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$400
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$150
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 -\$300
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$3,320

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$1,347
Savings (target 20% of take-home) -\$933
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$413
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
18. Evan

My take home pay is \$3,300 a month. My car payment with insurance totals \$574.00/month. How much can I spend on rent in the Houston area? I have no other loans or debts.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Evan,
Looks like you could comfortably carry rent in the \$1,100- \$1,200 range and still have enough left for savings and discretionary spending. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$3,300

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$1,155
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$231
Car loan or lease payment -\$574
Car Insurance  in above
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
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,430

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$870
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$330
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$540
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
19. Dee

Hi, I’ve never lived on my own and will be moving out soon. I make 30k a year. Pay \$240/mon for 3 phones and \$150 for student loans. No car payments but would like to know how much can I afford for rent to be happy and comfy in South Florida.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Dee,
Our formula estimates that you should afford about \$650 a month, but with your high phone bill (3 phones?) and student loans that will be very tight. Use this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to estimate, including all your expenses, to see what you could afford and still have about \$90-\$100 a week for discretionary spending. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$30,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$7,500
Less: Other deductions (health ins, 401K, etc.) \$0
Estimated annual take-home pay \$22,500
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,875

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$656
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$131
Car loan or lease payment ?
Car Insurance  ?
Gas ?
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) -\$125
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$240
Student Loans -\$150
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,643

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$233
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$233
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
20. Avia Allen

Hi everyone, it’s me again, Avia. I have to say your estimate was incredibly close and informative in helping me figure out what I could afford for a year. My rent ended up being \$720 a month, and saving around \$500 a month with my salary at 44.6k annual.

Because of how on the nose you all were last year, and because of some unfortunate news, I’m back in the same boat. I make \$55k annually now, gym is \$50, student loans is \$281 a month, mobile is \$66.05 and transit pass is covered by work. I’d like to save more this time around but the rent in the city is so insanely expensive, and thinking of moving out on my own seems very daunting. Could you please help me out again? I’d love to hear your thoughts! I want to be comfortable and not feel like all my income is going towards rent!

Looking forward!
Avia

Reply
21. Andrew

I have never lived on my own before and am planning to move out soon. I make 54,144\$ annually at 26.03\$ an hour. Probably take home around 3,000\$ a month after taxes and health insurance. No car payment or any debt, but am curious to how much I can afford to live comfortably in southeast l.a.

Reply
22. Carlton

Hello, I’m a graduate registered nurse who resides in the city of Houston, TX. I have a net pay of 3768.66 a month. My car payment is \$360.00/month (this includes insurance), phone is \$200.00/month, health insurance is \$90.00/month, and I pay \$181.00/month for school loans. Is it okay if you guys tell me the maximum amount of rent I can afford?

Reply
23. Meili

I am a CNA in Boston and I have 3 jobs.
Basically I bring home \$6284.00 each month

Here is how I do it.
Client 1 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Client 2 Sat & Sun
Client 3 Tues, Wed, Thurs 8:30 pm- 8am

I am allowed to sleep and only get up to help her go to the bathroom when she calls. Her daughter lives with her mom, but she doesn’t want to be disturbed. My gain :))

I still have time to go out with friends and exercise.I Have a boyfriend and I still have time for him .

I rent a massive bedroom(20*20) own bathroom and a private kitchenette. I pay \$850 with utilities included. I feel blessed.

Moral of the story is, don’t rush to get an apartment the moment you start to make more money.You will be miserable in it. I made that mistake in the past, where I rented a 2 bedroom for \$1850 a month, while I brought in \$4400 a month. I wasn’t happy!! Hard work never kills either.

Car insurance \$98 I pay 6 months at a time.phone \$62 car payment \$302( I like paying 4 months in advance)

For food I eat very healthy for less. Quinoa, avocados, fish, chicken, in season fruits and veggies, coconut oil,whole grain pasta.
I spend at most, \$50 a week. You don’t need a full pantry. That’s how most people overspend. If you don’t need it this week, don’t buy it.

I have a very healthy bank account and a credit that’s stuck in the 800’s . Sometimes I also babysit at night or drop off kids in the morning!

I don’t need help with how much I can spend on rent or brag,I just wanted to share my story. It might inspire someone. I plan to retire when I am 45. I am 33 now.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Meili,
You work so hard now, what will you do with yourself when you retire at 45. You’ll be bored out of your mind.
Anyway, you have amazing stamina to work the hours you so and a very sensible and frugal lifestyle. Thanks for sharing your tips.
(PS. we removed some details from your post that we thought were too personal for the online world.)

Reply
• Balkiss Bochere

Hi meili, I’m Balkiss I’m a CNA i live in GA. But the pay here is not so good. I was thinking of moving to Seattle for a while i heard the pay rates are good what are your thoughts on this?

Reply
24. Joce Taylor

Hi, I’m curious about moving out. I currently make \$1200 a month after taxes. I get paid 2 times a month, my paychecks are usually \$608 but have been more. I only work part time, 24 hours a week. I could work more if wanted too. I make 14.40 and make \$15.95 on “weekends” (shift differential) I pay \$150 for phone, car insurance. No car payments. Only pay for gas. No student debt either. My bf makes about \$800 a month. What can we technically afford. If we get an apartment do they look at our income together? Please help and Thanks.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Jace,
The basic formula we use is that you should spend no more than 35% of your take-home pay on rent. If your combined monthly take-home is \$2,000, then your max rent is \$700. Use this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to double check your numbers. With your low fixed expenses your should be able to manage that \$700 rent comfortable and even have some money left over for savings.
Typically, landlords would include both of your incomes if you rent together. They would look to see that on an annual basis, before taxes, you earn 40 times your monthly rent, or \$28,000 combined. Good luck!

Reply
25. Jenavive

Hi. I currently make around 60-65k a year before taxes.. my monthly car payment is \$250.. insurance I pay about \$80 p/ month.. credit card debt I pay about \$500 p/month.. I drive a lot for work, but get reimbursed for gas mileage. I am looking at a one bedroom apartment priced at \$1,095 p/ month.. not including utilities..can I comfortably afford this ?? Thanks in advance!

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Jenavive,
Looks like you can comfortably afford that \$1,095 place, see below. But, what’s going on with your credit cards? We hope that the \$500 is not your minimum payment. You make a good salary, so pay off that credit card balance ASAP. It is the worst kind of debt, with super high interest rates. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$60,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$15,000
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) -\$5,000
Estimated annual take-home pay \$40,000
Monthly take-home pay/12 \$3,333

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent (35% of take-home) -\$1,095
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$219
Car loan or lease payment -\$250
Car Insurance  -\$80
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 -\$500
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,614

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$719
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$333
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$386
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
26. Sarah

From my calculations i don’t think I can afford it,but want other opinions. Will be making \$14.50 hourly, 40 hours, rarely overtime. No car payment, no loans, no credit card debt. Looking at \$750 rent. Have pets, their food is ~\$100 monthly, \$30 phone, \$100 car gas.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Sarah,
You could probably do it if you live very frugally = cook your meals, take lunch to work, forget about Starbucks, etc. You probably could not save much, if any, money for an emergency fund. Stay at home a few more months, start saving an amount equal to rent and utilities every month and see how it goes. Once you have \$5K in the bank, you’ll be in a better shape to move out and you’d have learned how to budget for living on your own. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$29,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$7,250
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$21,750
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,813

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$750
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$150
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas -\$100
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$30
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills – pet -\$100
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,470

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$343
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$181
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$161
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
27. Jay

I bring in 3190 after taxes and health insurance. 262 car payment for 10 more months and 130 dollars in student loans. 80 dollar cell phone. 0 to no driving, no credit card bills, Can I afford 1260 a month in rent

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Jay,
Looks like you’ll be ok with \$1,260 rent, but to make sure, double check the numbers below. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Monthly take-home pay \$3,190

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$1,260
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$252
Car loan or lease payment -\$262
Car Insurance  -\$150
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 -\$130
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,524

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$666
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$319
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$347
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
28. ZachC

Hey can you guys give me a hand?

I make roughly 2250 after taxes each month, so about 35640 yearly before taxes.

Car, 451/mo, insurance 78/mo, credit card 0/mo, phone 130/mo. The place I’m looking at is 720/mo rent. There is a smaller option for 640.

Reply
29. Amber

Hello, I am looking to move into an apartment this fall. I a starting a job at Target over the summer, making \$13/hr and working a minimum of 25 hours a week. I will hopefully moving into an apartment with 3 other roommates. The rent is \$580 with around \$100 in additional fees. What will I need to do in order to live comfortably.Rent& utilities will be the only things that I am responsible for. I would live 4 blocks from campus, so I was planning on walking for the most part. I’m not really familiar with budgeting myself, so I could use a little guidance.

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30. Marlo

Hello, I am in the process of getting my first apartment. My annual salary is \$41,549 (before taxes). My only bills that I have currently are: Car (\$301), Car Insurance (\$353), cell phone (\$100), life insurance (\$30). I am hoping to keep my rent between \$750-\$800. How much rent can I afford to still live comfortably and save?

Reply
31. Charles Hofmann

Hey. I get about \$1,750 a month. I pay phone bill which is 50 a month, car insurance which is 80 a month, gas which is 80 a month. How much rent would I be able to afford?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Charles,
It looks like you could comfortably pay about \$600 a month in rent, but use this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to double check that you did not forget any expenses. We are using average for groceries. Good luck!

Monthly take-home pay \$1,750

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$613
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$123
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$80
Gas -\$80
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$50
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,285

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$465
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$175
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$290
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
32. Maureen Wells

How do you calculate if you work two jobs? This isn’t my first apartment but I’m looking for a bigger place. I work two jobs both pay about 12.00 an hour but one is full time and one is part time

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Maureen,
One way to do it using the chart, is to add up the hours and look what the chart says for \$12 and total hours. If your hourly rates are different, look up rent for each job separately and then add the numbers up. But, the better way would be to base your housing budget on the FT job and use the PT hours to build up savings and for discretionary spending. In either case, use this budget worksheet to check your numbers. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
Good luck!

Reply
33. T

Hello! Thank you for this tool! Like some other commenters have mentioned, I’m looking to finally move out. I really want to do it, but I get so many different answers on these rent calculators for how much rent I can afford. The difference with yours is that it seems to be more detailed. I make about 38,000 a year. My monthly car payment is somewhere around \$400-\$450 (\$215 payment, plus insurance and gas – I drive a lot). I don’t have any loans to pay off, though I’m someone who does like to get some drinks when I can or plan an occasional trip. I’d say I spend somewhere around \$100-\$150 entertainment expenses. Then of course groceries…which unfortunately I don’t know how to calculate because I have been living at home. Any insight on a good amount to spend? Maybe a range that could be helpful? Thanks in advance!

Reply
34. Anissa

Very nice but you should make an option to pick if complex is all bills paid! And maybe include ‘Other monthly bills’ option! But other than that, 5 star rating from me!

Reply
35. Lexi

Hi! I’m a college student trying to move into an apartment with 3 friends so there would be 4 of us contributing to the rent total. I make \$10.50 an hour and work about 20 hours a week. I’m looking for a new job that pays more and that will give me more hours but that’s obviously not guaranteed. I pay \$80 a month for my car insurance and my parents cover my other expenses. How much do you think I would be able to afford for rent?

Reply
36. Billie

Hi! I’m looking to move out soon and wondering if this apartment will work based on income. Together my girlfriend and I make \$2,400 / mo being in college full time. Car expenses monthly (gas included) – \$100 Phone – \$60 Other fees – \$150. The apartment is \$570/mo for a one bedroom and water, sewage and trash are included.

Reply
37. Brittney

I have a student loan that gives me \$800 a month on anything I need to spend on for myself. My fiancé has the same exact loan, giving us \$1600 a month. We are just looking at places to rent that are around \$850 a month + the utilities which will be at most \$200, totaling it to be around \$1050. The reason why we will be spending so much on our apartment is because the only things we will pay for will be toiletries (around \$175 for both of us), food (around \$230 for both), and gas (around \$80 since we will hardly drive). Our parents will still be paying for our car, car insurance, phone bill, etc. Totaling our cost would be no more than \$1535 per month. Do you think renting an apartment for that much will be fine considering our situation that we don’t have really anything to pay for?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Brittney,
You are really cutting it close. Do you think \$65 a month that is left for the two of you will be enough to get out of the apartment every now and have some fun with friends? Also, your food budget, \$115 a month each, requires a diet heavy on Ramen and Hamburger Helper. Living in an apartment – no matter how nice – that you clearly cannot afford, will not improve you relationship. Of course, if you can always go to the bank of mom and dad when you run out of money, you’ll be able to make it, but it will teach you wrong lessons about money management and living together with your SO.
Use this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to make a realistic budget with your fiancé and then try to stick to it. You’ll be still paying off those loans ten years from now, so consider them as tuition for for class called “Life Skills 101”. Good luck!

Reply
• christian andrew lopez

You are way over budget. Acccording to your income you cannot afford anything more than \$500 a month for rent. Reading your budget you are not accounting for misc expenses like saving, internet, etc. Also your food budget is impossibly low.

Reply
38. Odalis Nuno

I get about \$1,700 a month after tax. I pay my car insurance \$80, phone bill \$100, school \$250, credit card \$40, gym membership \$25, gas is about 60 everything is paid monthly. About how much rent would I be able to afford? I’m currently looking for one bedroom apartments.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Odalis,
It looks to us that you are looking at a \$400 a month range roommate share at this point. See estimate below. Between your fixed bills and typical food/grocery expenses, it does not leave you that much for rent if you also want to have some money available for clothing, entertainment, and other discretionary items. Double-check the numbers, to see if anything needs to change.
Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) 1700

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -400
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -80
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -80
Gas -60
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -100
Student Loans -250
Credit Cards -40
Child care
Other fixed bills – Gym -25
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -1375

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) 325
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
39. Dee

Hey, I’m just trying to get opinions on whether or not i can move out on my own and not worry about going back home if things get rough. My job is salary and commissions based. Based on what i made last year being a full time worker, I would appreciate some feedback. I’m just nervous. I’m preferably looking for a 2 bedroom apartment just in case I decide to have someone move in with me at a later date.

\$67,000 before taxes (after taxes about \$45,000)

My expenses currently are:
Car payment \$289
Phone bill \$150
Parking pass about \$80
Gas \$60
Rent at home \$400
credit card payments (2 cards) \$180 (i racked up my cards not making smart financial decisions; the cards are what is making me feel worried)
Eating out for lunch 5 days a week \$250-\$300 (not knowing how to cook is the reason for this but i could learn to cook and budget more)

I barely go out a lot now so my expenses for activities/fun isn’t that high

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Dee,
Don’t be nervous. You certainly make enough to move out on your own and getting your own place is an important step on the road to adulthood. At some point you have to make the leap and, as you see in the numbers below, you could do it now. Not knowing where you live and what the going rent is, it’s hard to say if the \$1,300 target rent is enough for a 2br. Even if it is, what you might want to do instead is to get a place in the \$1,000 range and put that extra money towards your credit cards. Try to get those paid off before you are in a situation where you have to pay for mortgage and maybe child care. We estimated double high groceries/food, but that’s another money trap that you can easily learn to avoid. Bring lunch to work and make take-out coffee a rare special treat. For example, check out these easy lunches that our blogger Sarah makes https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/11/6-easy-meal-prep-recipes-to-save-you/. (Ok, maybe on Fridays you treat yourself to a lunch out if you have brown-bagged the rest of the week!)
Now, if you are a introvert homebody, maybe a 2br with a right roommate is a good option for you, and gets you a little more out of your shell.
And what’s so terrible of having to move back home for a while if you hit a rough patch with employment. It’s almost given that at some point young adults circle back to the nest to regroup.
Don’t be afraid. You are clearly ready to start checking apartment ads. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$67,000
Less: Estimated taxes 33% (see below 2.) -\$22,000
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$45,000
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$3,750

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$1,313
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$263
Car loan or lease payment -\$289
Car Insurance /parking -\$80
Gas -\$60
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$600
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$150
Student Loans
Credit Cards -\$180
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,974

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$776
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$375
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$401
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
40. Makayla

Hello, I am a 3rd year college student with maybe one or two semesters left and I am ready to leave my family’s nest. I don’t have a car, I get free transportation as long as I’m taking classes and also financial aid because I have no loans. I get \$3000 a term. I will be paid biweekly making \$800- \$1000 a month in total. I’m looking at two apartments. One who’s rent is \$1025- \$1175 depending on the square footage and one apartment who’s rent is \$995-1175, but I’m willing to stretch to maybe \$1225 if I can. I’m looking to save up \$8000 and move in 8 months near Christmas or I can even save up \$10,000 and move on my birthday as a gift to myself. For my furniture I made an Amazon wishlist for each room of the house and put all the items together in my shopping cart . Every piece of furniture and decorations I’ll need for my apartment will all total up to \$980 but I think I’ll use my financial aid for that so I don’t have dig into the saved money. I have a boyfriend who I’ve been seeing for a year so he’s bound to move in with me soon if he doesn’t ask me to move in with him and his roommates first. He makes about the same as me, but he has assistant manager experience so he could be making an annual salary of \$35k again if he wanted to. He just has to work his way back up to that position at his new job. I came across this website last night at 3am and start losing hope so I thought to ask one of these questions myself. Will I be able to afford one of these apartments?

Thank you.

Reply
• Makayla

UPDATE: I found my literal dream one bedroom apartment that is \$1095 a month flat with no in between prices which means I’m scratching off the apartments I mentioned above . So I’ll know exactly what I’ll be paying each month in advance. Will I be able to afford this apartment considering the details I gave you above earlier?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Makayla,
We are confused. Do you have a job? You get financial aid, but what about your tuition? If you are paying your rent from your savings, what happens when the savings run out? How about food? How do you pay for that? And waiting for a boyfriend to ask you move in with him or him moving in with you? How much would he pay? Make a detailed budget – use this worksheet as a guideline https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/- and see how you could cover all your expenses, not just your rent, if you move out on your own.
Good luck!

Reply
41. Melissa

Hi, I make around \$3,640 after taxes and I have a monthly student loan of \$133. I am looking for an apartment for my son and I. I will also have to pay for the utilities. About how much should I spend on rent?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Melissa,
You gave us very little information, so we had to make some assumptions, such as no car, using public transportation. Look at the budget below and add/ change any items that are missing. This rough budget shows that a rent in the \$1,200 range should be doable for you, but it maybe missing major items. Double-check everything. Remember also, that you have to have at least 3 times your rent in savings pre-move for the initial expenses.
Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$3,640

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$1,274
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$255
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance /parking
Gas
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) -\$125
Groceries/Food -\$450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$80
Student Loans -\$133
Credit Cards
Child care -\$500
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,877

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$763
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$364
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$399
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
42. black mermaid

Hello, after im done with school I will be working 50 hour weeks. I get paid twice a week and i make 12.62 an hour.
My gas is: 80/a month (one car)
my phone: 65/ a month
car insurance: 87/ a month
(i dont pay student loans but i do pay for my own classes)
school: \$120 for 4 months
(my credit card bills are currently being paid off so by the time i move i wont worry about those)

im just looking for a one bedroom apartment. what can i afford to live comfortable?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Mermaid,
Based on your relatively low fixed expenses (special kudos for paying off your credit cards!!) a \$700 a month rent range should be comfortable for you and even let you put money into savings. Double check all the numbers, just to be sure something is mot missing. You might also run them on a 40-hour week, because your rent will be due even if your boss has to cut your hours. In life, it’s always good to think about Plan B. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$31,550
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$7,888
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$23,663
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,972

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$690
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$138
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$87
Gas -\$80
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$65
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills – school -\$120
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,520

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$452
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$197
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$255
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator, for example at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/.
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
43. Juan J Munoz

Oh man I make roughly 30k a year, about 1500 a month, 450 a week, and it’s says my rent would be \$754 plus or negative. Cheapest places are literally in bad neighborhoods and I pretty much a family of 3 (me,my daughter and my gf). Should I consider myself low income?

Reply
44. VM

Hey! I’m going to be graduating this May with my undergrad in CS and have signed for a 90k base pay offer. How much rent can I afford if I plan on buying a high end car that would cost me around \$1500 per month including insurance and gas? My other expenses come to about \$800 for food/grocery and \$100 for cell phone and watch lte connection. I would prefer to have a 2b/2bath. Is 2000 doable? It feels scary as I’ve grown up in household with an annual income of the same amount, but we’ve never spent more than \$1350 on rent.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi VM,
You are making a great starting salary and you are in a position to start your post college life on a solid financial footing, but your plan to get a car that costs you \$1500 a month makes us wonder. You may be tired of driving old hand-me-down cars, but is the jump to the top of the line necessary. Between that car costs and \$2,000 a month rent, you have very little room for savings in your take-home pay. With your salary, you could easily save 10-20% of your take-home and still have a great apartment and a very nice car. We did assume you’d save 5% in your company’s 401K plan to get the typical match, but you need to also start building an emergency fund, 3-6 times your monthly expenses. Reconsider that car, think hard do you really need a 2BR and learn to cook. (Bonus: The ladies love guys that cook!) Getting into a habit of saving something each paycheck will be one of those adult habits that you will be happy you learned when it comes time to settle down and start a family one day.
Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$90,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$22,500
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) -\$4,500
Estimated annual take-home pay \$63,000
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$5,250

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$2,000
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$400
Car loan or lease payment + Ins. + Gas -\$1,500
Car Insurance  above
Gas above
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$800
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$100
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$4,840

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$410
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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 a tax calculator at for better estimate. H&R Block’s calculator shows both 2017 and 2018 estimates. https://www.hrblock.com/tax-calculator/
3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Reply
• Airikah

VM is going to spend \$1500 a month on a car??? What a waste of money! Ridiculous financial decision.

Reply
45. Jay

If rent is 2130 and I said I was paying 100 more than you how much am I really paying ?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Jay, Here’s a little math refresher course.
X + X+100 = 2130
2X = 2130-100
X= 2030/2
X= 1015
Roommate pays 1015
You pay 1015+100 = 1115
Total 2130
Having fun yet?

Reply
46. Kayla Pelfrey

Me and my boyfriend are moving out on our own and my mother thinks we can’t do it, our rent is 710 a month and my car is 250 a month, plus whatever my utilities will be, how much a week will we need to make together to live comfortably

Reply
47. Kim

I’m make 10 an hour and working 32 hours and getting paid every 2 weeks. I have a \$45 a month cell bill plus pet supplies. How much can I afford?.

Reply
48. LIA

Hi my annual income is 36899. Car/Insurance: 400 Phone: 70 Misc: 250 Gas: 80 Groceries:120 Credit Card Payments: 50 how much could I afford for rent?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Lia,
With your good income, you are in a position to start out with smart money habits if you don’t overextend on rent. If you target rent in the \$600 range, you’ll be able to save 10% of your take home and still end up with enough for discretionary expenses. See below. Double check your numbers with this worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
BTW, your grocery budget looks low, unless you are a very good shopper and a frugal cook. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$36,899
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$9,225
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$27,674
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,306

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent @35% of take home -\$600
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$120
Car loan or lease payment -\$400
Car Insurance  In above
Gas -\$80
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$120
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$70
Student Loans
Credit Cards -\$50
Child care/support
Other fixed bills -\$250
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,730

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$576
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$231
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$346
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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
49. Marie C

Hello!
My husband and I are moving out of state and are looking to see how much rent we should reasonably budget for including utilities. Combined Salaries equals about \$85,000 anual gross. No car or loan payments.
Gas \$280/month (both cars)
Car insurance \$250/month (both cars)
Phone \$117/month
Groceries \$350/month
Internet \$85/month
Pet \$100/month

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Marie,
With your good combined income and low expenses, a landlord would be happy to rent you \$2,125 apartment and you’d still be able to pay your expenses, put 20% of your take-home to savings and still have money left over for discretionary expenses. Always double check your budget with this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$85,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$21,250
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$63,750
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$5,313

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = Income/40 -\$2,125
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$425
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$250
Gas -\$280
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$350
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone
Student Loans -\$117
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills -\$100
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$3,707

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$1,606
Savings (target 20% of take-home) -\$1,063
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$543
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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
50. Katherine

hi! my annual income is 34,000. my car note is 401. my phone bill is 74. my car insurances is 100. I will be moving out if my parents house and moving in with a roommate soon. how much rate could I afford?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Katherine,
Your car expenses are on the high side, but if you get a roommate share in the \$600 range, you should have a good first apartment experience. You should with enough money left over after paying essential expenses for savings and discretionary expenses. See below. But before you start packing, double check the numbers using this budgeting worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$34,000
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$6,800
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$27,200
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,267

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$600
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$120
Car loan or lease payment -\$401
Car Insurance  -\$100
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$74
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,685

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$582
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$227
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$355
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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
51. Mikala

I get paid around 620 every 2 weeks. My bf is paid twice a month around 700. Sometimes more. Our phones are 170 and he has a car payment of 420 and insurance 260. We also have a 1 year old. How much could we afford or is it even possible ?

Reply
• Vanessa Woods

Hi Makala,

Your total household income every month is around 2,640. With 30% going to rent you would be able to afford \$792 per month. After your debt and payments, you would have 1,790 dollars left to spend on rent and other things. That is not enough. I suggest picking up a small part time job, you mentioned you have a child so maybe a job that you can work remotely or weekends. Also you can not afford that car payment! Find a way to get rid of it and reduce your debt! Get a used car or something. If you can reduce that you may be able to stretch the budget for rent to \$850 which can find a nice two bedroom apartment. The other option is to find a roommate and get a 2/3 bedroom townhouse. Hope this helps!

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Mikala,
Vanessa is right, your car expenses are too high relative to your income. As your numbers look now, and we don’t even know your childcare costs, \$600 a month rent might be doable. See below. Use our printable budgeting worksheet here https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/, fill in all your actual numbers, and see what happens. You should aim to have at least \$500-600 a month after all your essential expenses, to cover discretionary expenses and start building an emergency savings fund. Your goal now should be to cut expenses and look for any little side gigs, so that the three of you can live together as a family. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,640

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$600
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$120
Car loan or lease payment -\$420
Car Insurance  -\$260
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$170
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care Est.
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,130

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$510
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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
52. Victor Gonzalez

I make 2600 to 2800 a month with a 231 car note,177 car insurance, 150 cellphone and 130 life insurance. How much rent can I afford ?

Reply
53. Jamie

I get a little over 2400 a month and I pay a 100 for my phone and 140 for car and 150 for insurance and i have a two year old how much can I afford for rent

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Jamie,
You did not include in your expenses your childcare, so it’s impossible to make any reasonable estimate. You need to print out our budgeting worksheet here https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and estimate in much greater detail your real budget. We did a rough plan below, assuming \$300 a month for childcare, and that plan shows that could afford \$600 a month in rent, but that is just a guess. Hope your and your child find the right rental. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) 2400

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -600
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -120
Car loan or lease payment -140
Car Insurance  -150
Gas -50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -100
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care Est. -300
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -1970

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) 430
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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
54. Kelly

My paycheck is monthly and after tax is \$2,153.00. I usually save \$1,000. I currently have \$11,000 saved. I have a \$133 car insurance bill and a \$48 phone bill. I also usually spend \$120 on gas. I’m hoping to find a place for \$850 at max. What would I need to save? Is this possible? Can I keep saving some amount a month?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Kelly,
After you move, you it will be a little tight and you can no longer save too much. Use this worksheet to estimate all your income and expenses https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/. If it show that you can save at least couple of hundred a month, and still end up with \$100 or so per week for discretionary spending, you should be ok. You may find that \$850 is a little too much rent, if you want to save. Just don’t get into a situation that you have to dip into your savings monthly for your essential expenses. Good luck!

Reply
55. Renee Butlet

I bring home 2000 after taxes, how much can I afford if I was looking to buy a house

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Renee,
Go to your local bank and ask what amount of mortgage they would approve you for. That can give you a starting point.
Good luck!

Reply
56. David klarl

Me and my girlfriend make about 420 each a week and want to move into a place that costs \$790 with water included. Would we be able to make it with additional expensis like internet ,electricity (won’t get till moved in) car payments ( mine is \$285 hers is \$164) insurance ( mine is \$65 hers is \$145) phone bill ( mine is \$30 hers is \$100) or do we need to find something lower ?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi David,
If the income is after taxes, you could carry that \$790 rent and still have some money left for savings and discretionary expenses. See below. But you need to run your numbers in more detail using this 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 \$3,360

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$790
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$158
Car loan or lease payment -\$449
Car Insurance  -\$210
Gas -\$100
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$600
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$130
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,497

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$863
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$336
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$527
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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
57. David R Jr

So I am looking to rent my first apartment. I make \$2200.00 every two weeks after taxes. My truck payment is \$665.88/month. My cable bill which includes cable, internet and tv is \$199.96/month. I was told water averages \$40-50/month per tenants. Power bill is \$60-80/month per management. I have owned my own home for over 13 years. I have to sell for personal reasons. I have not had to do it alone. Any help is appreciated.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi David R,
With your good income, it looks like you would be able to easily manage rent in the \$1,500 a month range, even with your very high truck expenses. You have even room to boost your savings to closer to 20% of take-home. See below. However, double-check all the numbers 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 \$4,400

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$1,540
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$308
Car loan or lease payment -\$666
Car Insurance  -\$200
Gas -\$100
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
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$3,234

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$1,166
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$440
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$726
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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
• David Riedinger Jr

Thank you for your response. I’ve decided to save my money for a year. I unfortunately am going through personal issues. I should have kept my home but I was not able to pay out \$38k to my ex. I looked at several apartments in that range. I found a “luxury” apartment but it had too many issues with something so new. I don’t know if I’m unrealistic or not. Many of my friends say I want to live a “Rockstar” lifestyle. I have worked had my entire life. Now I’m starting over. I hope over a year I can save \$50k to put a nice down payment on a home.

Reply
• MFA Editors

David,
It’s smart to wait for a while before buying, until the you can estimate how the new tax law will impact your deductions.
Good luck!

58. A

If the calculation is “pre-tax annual salary divided by 40”, are estimated income taxes figured into the bottom line or do I need to deduct for taxes on top of calculations.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi A,
That formula is the one often used by large leasing companies, but they will usually also run a credit check and see if you have other fixed bills, such as loans or credit cards. The formula is just a starting point for you. When you budget your target rent you do need to take into account taxes, utilities and all other essential expenses you’ll have living on your own. Use our printable budgeting worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to do a detailed calculation to find out your affordable rent. The worksheet refers to a tax calculator t https://www.totaltaxinsights.org/Calculator that helps you estimate what your taxes will be based on your salary. Note:if the tax reform legislation passes this week, the calculation will change. Good luck!

Reply
59. Allie

I make around \$3680 a month after taxes and health insurance. I have no student loans or credit card debt. What would be a good amount for me to spend a month on rent before utilities/parking/internet? Thanks!

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Allie,
If you use our basic formula for max. rent, 35% of your take home, or \$1,288, you’ll still have plenty of money left over for savings and discretionary expenses. And, if you truly have no car or student loans or other debt, you could even add another \$500 to your rent budget and still be able to save 10% of your take-home and have enough left for discretionary expenses. Or, even better, put up to 25% of your take-home to savings. However, before you start looking for your rental, print out our budgeting worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and double check all your numbers. Below is our rough budget for your, based on your very limited information. Goos luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$3,680

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$1,288
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$258
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$150
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
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,166

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$1,514
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$368
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$1,146
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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
60. Kam S

I make 1800 a month after taxes. My phone bill is 60 a month, car insurance is 145, and student loans are \$55 a month. How much rent can I afford?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Kam,
The basic formula is that you should not spend more than 35% of your take-home pay on rent, or \$630 on your pay, but that is just the first step in budgeting for your apartment. Then you must consider your fixed bills (phone, loans, etc.) plus your other essential living expenses (utilities, food, transportation to work, etc.) and leave enough left for discretionary expenses (entertainment, clothing, etc.) and savings (target 10% of take-home.)
Use our printable budgeting worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to estimate how your budget looks at various rent levels.
Good luck!

Reply
61. Cherie

Hi. I work 70-80 hrs a week. With overtime i bring home about 1400\$ every two weeks after taxes. So about 2800\$ a month. I have a car payment and insurance =410. School loans 700\$. And about 250\$ in credit card bills. I also want to add that I have 12,000\$ saved up in my savings account. Would I be able to afford an apartment for 625\$ not including utilities?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Cherie,
It will be tight, but you have a very nice savings account for emergencies, although it does not look like you’ll be able to add much to that after you move. Try to work that credit card balance off and look to see if there is a way to refinance your student loans. Make sure you keep up with all your bills so your credit score does not get dinged.
Below is a rough budget for you, but you really should use our printable budgeting worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to double check that you have included all your expenses. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Monthly take-home pay 2800

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -625
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -125
Car loan or lease payment -410
Car Insurance  (in above)
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 -700
Credit Cards -250
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -2580

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) 220
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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.

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62. Sierra

My take home pay is about close to \$1000 a month and the landlord said they go by the last six check stubs and 30% of my annual income how much should I expect to pay for rent

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• MFA Editors

Hi Sierra,
If you take home \$1,000 a month =\$12,000 a year, so 30% is \$3,600 or \$300 a month. What he means is that he wants to see 6 months of pay stubs that show \$1,000 each month and then he will be willing to rent you a \$300 a month apartment.
Good luck!

Reply
63. OhYouKnow

Re: feedback about this calculator, I still do not understand why the one-third, the 40x, or the 50/30/20 are rules of thumb. They can never replace someone doing it the long but accurate way. One must sit down themselves and figure out in as long as it takes to see how much they take home per month after taxes, minus the non-negotiables (debts, health care costs, other personal responsibilities, emergency savings plan, retirement savings), leave a little left over to buy yourself some modest amusement, and then see what they can really afford.

Perhaps start with any of these three, compare it to the going rate in an apartment you feel is appropriate for your age and lifestyle, and see if you have anything left over.

But depending on any of these 3 formats alone will not give the true and personalized answer that is required to know for sure.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi OhYouKnow,
You are absolutely right that you need to look at your individual financial situation before you know how much rent is the right level for you. The “one third” and “40 times” formulas are what landlords typically use to decide if they will rent to you. All these various formulas should be used as a starting point for those who have no idea about what they might qualify for. As a second step, we suggest that you use a budgeting worksheet, like this one we have on the site https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to fine-tune your income and expense estimates and find your affordable rent.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

Reply
64. taylor

i make 20 an hour and 30 overtime with getting paid every week i found an apartment in brockton ma for 985 for a one bedroom would i be able to afford it and still be ok?

Reply
65. Michelle

Hi, i make about 800-910 a month. Me and my sister are trying to move out for the first time. We found an apartment for \$520 each month. Would i be able to afford it? I just have my phone bill and gym membership to pay.

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66. Tee

Hi, I make about \$650 for two weeks every month, so \$650 + \$650 = 1months pay. I only have a phone bill that’s \$60month & child support of \$38 a month. Don’t have a car, I can walk to & from work. I have 3 months rent saved up already for \$800 price range, do you think \$800 is affordable for me? I will get a raise in December & will make \$13 an hour. Right now I make \$10 an hour. Thanks!

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Tee,
Even after your raise your max. rent target is only \$650. \$800 does sound like a stretch and will take close to half of your take-home pay. However, if that is the range you need to get to, in order to have a place suitable for visits from your child and to be close enough not to need a car, then it may be the right place for you. Of course, assuming that the increase to \$13 an hour happens. As with anything in life, what is important is the big picture. Good luck!

Reply
67. 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!!

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68. 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!

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69. 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

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

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70. 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???

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• 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…

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• 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

71. 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?

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72. 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?

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73. 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
74. Josh bonilla

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

Reply
75. 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

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

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76. 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

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
77. 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

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

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78. 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

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
79. 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

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)

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80. Kelly

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

Reply
81. 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

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
82. 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

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
83. 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

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
84. 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

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

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85. 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
86. 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
87. 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

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
88. Bunny

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

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89. 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
90. 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
91. 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

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
92. 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
93. 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

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
94. 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

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
95. 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

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
96. 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
97. 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

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.

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98. 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

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
99. 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
100. 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

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
101. 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

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
102. 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

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
103. 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

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
104. 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

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
105. 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

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
106. 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

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
107. 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

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
108. 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

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
109. 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

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
110. 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

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
111. 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

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
112. 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

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
113. 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

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
114. 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

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
115. 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

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
116. 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

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
117. 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

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
118. 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

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
119. 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

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
120. 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
121. 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

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
122. 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

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
123. 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

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
124. 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

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
125. 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
126. 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
127. 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

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
128. 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

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.

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129. 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

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
130. 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

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.

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131. 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

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.

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132. 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.

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• Michael

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

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• 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.

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133. 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.

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• 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.

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• Avia Allen

Hi everyone, it’s me again, Avia. I have to say your estimate was incredibly close and informative in helping me figure out what I could afford for a year. My rent ended up being \$720 a month, and saving around \$500 a month with my salary at 44.6k annual.

Because of how on the nose you all were last year, and because of some unfortunate news, I’m back in the same boat. I make \$55k annually now, gym is \$50, student loans is \$281 a month, mobile is \$66.05 and transit pass is covered by work. I’d like to save more this time around but the rent in the city is so insanely expensive, and thinking of moving out on my own seems very daunting. Could you please help me out again? I’d love to hear your thoughts! I want to be comfortable and not feel like all my income is going towards rent!

Looking forward!
Avia

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• 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

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134. 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

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• 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.

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135. 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…

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136. 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.

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• 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!

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137. 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?

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• 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.

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• 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

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138. 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.

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139. 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?

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140. 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

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• 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

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141. 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.

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142. 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.

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• 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!

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143. 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.

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• 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!

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144. 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.

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145. Melinda States

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

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146. 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.

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147. 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

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148. 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.

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• 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/

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149. 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?

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150. 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

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• 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.

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• 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!

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151. Quinn

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

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• 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

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• 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.

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152. 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.

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• 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

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• 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.

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153. 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.

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• 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

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154. 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!

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• 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.

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155. 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.

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156. 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 (:

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• MFA Editors

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

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157. 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!

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• 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.

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158. 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!

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159. Christina

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

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• 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

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160. 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.

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• 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

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• 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

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161. 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.

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