How Much Rent Can I Afford on My Hourly Pay?

2017 Update: You can download our new Printable Apartment Budgeting Worksheet and use it to estimate your rent and budget for all your expenses.

The basic target rent formula that landlord’s use is annual before-tax income divided by 40. When you are on a straight salary estimating the number is easy. However, if your are getting paid hourly, budgeting your maximum affordable rent is a bit more complicated and you have to factor in both your hours and hourly pay rate.  We have built a simple chart below that does the calculation for you at various hourly pay rates and weekly hours. This rough tool is based on the same landlord’s affordability formula: annual before-tax income divided by 40. (Note: We used in our chart a 50-week year, instead of 52 weeks, to leave a little margin of safety.)

You can also use our Affordable Rent Calculator if you want to estimate your target rent from your salary or your after-tax income, even if your income varies week by week. That calculator also estimates your utilities and amount you need to save before move.

The yellow highlighted cells below show an example of how to use the chart for someone working 35 hours a week at $20 an hour. You can also use the chart to quickly estimate your target rent if you are looking with a roommate who works different hours at different rate, by adding up each person’s target rent numbers.

hourly rent target

When you budget your actual expenses, keep in mind that you also need to plan for utilities (estimate at 20% of rent*, or $100 a month, whichever is higher) and all your other expenses (car loan, car insurance, student loan, cell phone, commuting, food, clothing, entertainment, etc.) In addition, you need to plan to save at least 3 times your target rent before your move, to cover first month’s rent, one month security deposit, other moving related costs and some furniture.

* If you live in a high-rent city (for example, NYC, Chicago, LA, SF) estimate utilities at 10% of rent.

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MFA Editors

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Comments (305)

  1. colby h

    Hello, i am moving to texas next year, ill have 10k saved up. I work full time at home depot, 40+ hours at 11 dollars an hour. The apartment i’m looking at is 740 a month all expenses included, im trying to do all the math myself to ensure i can afford it, is it possible for me to do?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Colby,
      We included some typical expenses in a sample budget for you and it looks really tight. We’d hate to see you have to dip into your savings for rent. But, because you have those saving for an emergency, if you know how to cook for yourself and live frugally, you could do it. However, you probably could not add to your savings. You work for a good company, so make sure you take advantage of any benefits they offer, such as a 401K savings plan. Use this printable worksheet to double check the numbers. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/

      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Annual Salary $11*40*50 $22,000
      Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -$3,300
      Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) $0
      Estimated annual take-home pay $18,700
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $1,558

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent -$740
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) $0
      Car loan or lease payment $0
      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 $0
      Child care
      Other fixed bills – Gym/Certification $0
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$1,360

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $198
      Savings (target 10% of take-home)

      Reply
  2. Sasha

    Hi – I’m am getting a divorce and will have to figure out an apartment and all of the things that go with it that I never had to before (leaving the marital home, since it was with in laws…). I’m worried since I never had my own apartment. Went from parents home to married home. PLEASE help me! I don’t want to fall flat on my face (two kids shared custody) post divorce. My goal is to find a 2 – 3 bedroom apartment but that will depend on my budget…

    Annual Salary Est. 100,000
    Monthly take-home pay (after taxes, healthcare, insurance, transit deductions, 401k): $4,600

    Monthly Essential Living Expenses
    Maximum Rent: ? what can i afford?
    Utilities 20% of rent (electric, heat, internet): won’t know?
    Car loan or lease payment: 0.00
    Car Insurance: 140/month
    Gas -$60.00/month
    Groceries/Food -assuming approx $300.00
    Laundry/Dry Cleaning
    Cell Phone – paid for by company
    Child care – tbd (expenses will be shared with ex husband, yet tbd)
    Total Monthly Essential Expenses

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Sasha,
      Sorry to hear about your divorce. You have good income so you’ll be after you get settled in your new life. We ran some rough numbers for you using our formula rent of 35% of take-home, but it looks like you could go to the $2,000 range in rent, and still have about $600 a month for discretionary expenses. Of course, assuming you do not have any other major bills. Use our printable budgeting worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to estimate all your expenses more closely. We increased your groceries to $450 and estimated your share of childcare at $500.
      Good luck! You’ll be fine!

      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Monthly take-home pay $4,600

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -$1,610
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$322
      Car loan or lease payment
      Car Insurance  -$140
      Gas -$60
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125)
      Groceries/Food -$450
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$60
      Health Insurance (See below 3.)
      Cell Phone
      Student Loans
      Credit Cards
      Child care share Est. -$500
      Other fixed bills
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$3,142

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $1,458
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$460
      Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car $998

      Reply
  3. Veronica

    Hi there! I am looking to rent a 1 bedroom apartment in Orange County. Can you please help me get a better idea of the price range I can afford? I work 40 hours a week and get paid $21 an hr.

    Here are my monthly expenses:

    Car – $302
    Phone – $75
    Gym pass – $40
    Certification – $94
    Credit Card #1 – $177
    Credit Card #2 – $35
    Gas – $80

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Veronica,
      It looks like you could carry about $900 a month in rent, although it leaves very little room for savings. You should double check the numbers below by using our printable budgeting worksheet here https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/. Good luck!
      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Annual Salary $21*40*50 $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 -$919
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$184
      Car loan or lease payment -$302
      Car Insurance  ?
      Gas -$80
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125)
      Groceries/Food -$300
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
      Health Insurance (See below 3.)
      Cell Phone -$75
      Student Loans
      Credit Cards -$212
      Child care
      Other fixed bills – Gym/Certification -$134
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$2,246

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $380
      Savings (target 10% of take-home)

      Reply
  4. Austin Barron

    Hello, I have been trying for days to figure out what I can afford and have came up with a number, but would like to see what you think. I make $12.40/h and work 40 hours a week at least every week. The bills are below

    Loan- $205.00
    Gas- $200.00
    Food- $200.00
    Insurance- $75.00
    Phone- $70.00
    Total- $750

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Austin,
      Use our printable budgeting worksheet to figure out what you can really afford.
      https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
      We like to see you ending up with $100 a week (or at least $75) after your essential expenses are paid, so you have some flexibility and may even be able to put a little into savings. With your expenses, you’d be looking at rents in the $450-$500 range. That high gas expense really hurts you in rent. Anything you can do to cut that down? Also, your food budget looks low. Let us know what rent number did you come up with? Is the budgeting worksheet helpful?
      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Annual Salary Est. (see below 1.) $24,800
      Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -$4,960
      Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) $0
      Estimated annual take-home pay $19,840
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $1,653

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent -$450
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$90
      Car loan or lease payment -$205
      Car Insurance  -$75
      Gas -$200
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125)
      Groceries/Food -$200
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning
      Health Insurance (See below 3.)
      Cell Phone -$70
      Student Loans
      Credit Cards
      Child care
      Other fixed bills
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$1,290

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $363
      Savings (target 10% of take-home)

      Reply
  5. Stefan

    Hi I have a family of 5. (Wife, 2 toddlers, and a baby) And we’re ready to move out of this apartment to renting a house/Apartment. How much can I afford in Austin, TX?
    Here is my budget:

    Income:
    My disability income: $1,850 (including kids SSA)
    My wife’s disability income: $790
    My Job income: $800 after tax ($13.30 per hour @ 20/hr week)
    My wife’s job income : $800 after tax ($10 per hour @29/hr week)
    In total approx $3,900/mo)

    Expenses:
    Emergency Fund: $50/mo
    Kids savings: $75/mo
    Savings towards a house: $150/mo
    Auto Loan: $410/mo
    Auto Insurance: $130/mo
    Electricity:$150/mo
    Gas: $30/mo
    Internet:$70/mo
    Water: $50/mo
    Groceries: $500/mo
    Transportation: Gas/Oil/Maintenance:$150/mo
    Pet Care: $50/mo
    Misc: $160/mo
    Baby Supplies: $50/mo
    Credit card debt: $46/mo
    Thank you

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Stefan,
      Based on the information you shared, you should be able to afford a rent in the $1,200 range. In order to double check all the numbers, you should print out and use the budgeting worksheet from this post. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/. Good luck!
      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Monthly take-home pay $3,900

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Rent -$1,200
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$300
      Car loan or lease payment -$410
      Car Insurance  -$130
      Gas / maintenance -$150
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125)
      Groceries/Food -$500
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$60
      Health Insurance (See below 3.)
      Cell Phones for 2 -$160
      Loans $0
      Credit Cards -$46
      Child care -$50
      Other fixed bills -$210
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$3,216

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $684
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$275
      Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car $409

      Reply
  6. Laila

    I’m 20 and I’m ready to move out my moms house. I’ve been looking for an apartment but don’t know how much rent I can afford. I work at University, just start a month ago. I get paid $12 and right now I work 25 hours a week but I’m working to get more hours soon. I’m looking for an apartment to includes ALL utilizes so I won’t have to spend extra money on utIlities. My phone bill is $45. I don’t have a car but my boyfriend does so I don’t have to pay car insurance or anything like that. I pay the minimum of $27 off my credit card every month. I’m just confused on how much rent I can afford.

    Reply
  7. S

    Hi my name is S and I make $25 per hour and I work 40 hours per week and I also tend to do some overtime. So sometimes I work 90-100 hours per month. What rent can I afford in LA? Thank you so much!

    Reply
  8. Paulie L.

    Hi I’m salaried and I make $24772.08 a year. How much rent can I afford in a southern state with low cost of living?

    I spend the following per month:
    Gas $100 (I live 15 minutes from my job)
    Car note $225 (I usually pay more than minimum)
    Car insurance $173
    College loans $180 (I usually pay more than the min
    Food $250
    Savings $200
    401K $252
    Pension $25.80
    Cell phone $26
    Hair care $75
    Credit card $25 (usually carry $0 balance)

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Paulie,
      With your high fixed expenses, you will have hard time affording even a $250 a month roommate share, if one of those would be available. Print out our budgeting worksheet here https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and really look at your numbers. Do you have to move? Can you stay where you are for another year, keep on saving and wait until your income grows. Moving out right now, with the numbers you have, will set you up to a very risky situation financially. Missing any of your fixed payments will ding your credit score and set you up for having to pay higher interest rates in the future and maybe even impair your chances of renting a place or getting a job. Good luck!

      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Annual Salary (see below 1.) $24,772
      Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -$4,954
      Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) -$3,024
      Estimated annual take-home pay $16,794
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $1,399

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent -$250
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$50
      Car loan or lease payment -$225
      Car Insurance  -$173
      Gas -$100
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125)
      Groceries/Food -$250
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
      Health Insurance (See below 3.)
      Cell Phone -$26
      Student Loans -$180
      Credit Cards -$25
      Child care
      Other fixed bills – hair care -$75
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$1,394

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $5

      Reply
  9. Angel B

    Hi, I work 40 hours a week and get paid $12.50. My car is paid for, I do not pay for car insurance. My phone bill is $124.00, I put $50-$100 down for 3 credit cards and me and my Childs father pay $165 a week how much could I afford to pay for rent. Keep in mind that I do buy diapers and wipes for my child.

    Reply
  10. Kelsey

    So, I just got a new job for $16 an hour with working 32 hours, I’m looking to move out alone. I spend about $40 on my phone, $100 on my credit cards, and $60 on my student loans. I dont have a car payment, but I do spend about $40-$60 on gas every week. I have my health insurance already taken out of my check, my parents pay for my car insurance, so I dont have to worry about that at the moment. I want to know if it would be more affordable to get a one bedroom or a studio

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Kelsey,
      You are very lucky that you have low fixed expenses, but try to pay off those credit card balances one by one. You should be able to afford a place in the $600-$700 range and still have enough money left over for discretionary expenses and savings. Use our printable budgeting worksheet for a detailed estimate. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
      As to studio vs. 1BR, typically studios are cheaper to rent, so you’ll probably can afford a studio in a little nicer building and neighborhood. Good luck!

      Reply
  11. Sherry

    Hi, I plan on moving to another town in Texas at the end of September or first week of October that is about 3 hours away from where I am currently living. If I get a full time job that pays $21 an hour and offers benefits like medical insurance..what is my budget when looking for an apartment to rent? I really need to know if I can afford this move with my son and spouse but have no clue how to start a budget. Thanks

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Sherry,
      Start your budgeting by printing out and completing this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ The example shows typical expenses for a single person, but you must know what the essential expenses are for your family, so include those.
      Start your budgeting by using the formula max. rent or 35% of your estimated take-home pay and see if that leaves you enough money for discretionary expenses and a little room for savings. Or you can earmark your spouse’s earnings for savings. Your formula max. rent will be probably somewhere around $900, depending on your actual taxes and deductions. Good luck! Let us know how the budget worksheet works for your family.

      Reply
  12. Ashlee M

    Hi, my name is Ashlee
    I have recently begun looking at apartments, as I have been paying rent for years living with my parents and I buy my own groceries, wash detergent and other care items. As I make 13.25 an hour, but I don’t not have a car. I pay 78.00 a month for public transportation. I work about 34-35 hours every week. I am interested in a 1-bedroom apartment listed at 535.00 with water, sewer, and trash included. I also eat at home a lot because I enjoy home meals. My cell phone bill is 56.00 dollars a month. The only bills this apartment would have for certain is electric and internet/cable. Feels like I bring home 1,428 dollars a month. My medical insurance is covered through my job. Could you please tell me if this is affordable for me, and make me out a budget? Please Help. . . . . I have posted before, I really need help.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Ashlee,
      You can actually make your own budget by printing out this First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/. We have done the rough numbers for you below and it looks like you should be able to carry that $535 rent, especially is you save on food and laundry expenses by visiting your parents frequently. But, you need to double check that everything is included. Make sure you get into a habit of saving some money each month. You can follow these savings tips https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/06/turn-penny-pinching-millenial-better/ to get started. Good luck!
      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet

      Monthly take-home pay $1,428

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent -$535
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$107
      Car loan or lease payment $0
      Car Insurance  $0
      Gas $0
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125) -$78
      Groceries/Food -$300
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
      Health Insurance (See below 3.) $0
      Cell Phone -$56
      Student Loans
      Credit Cards $0
      Child care
      Other fixed bills
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$1,116

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $312

      Reply
  13. Sasha Paul

    Hi I’ve been living with my mom but she’s told me I have to find somewhere to stay in a least a month and a half. I just started working at a new job. I get paid $12 a hour weekly. I work about 25 to 30 hours a week. The only bills that I pay rn is my braces bill which is only $155 a month and my phone bill which is $45 a month. I don’t own a car because my boyfriend does… I’m just trying to figure out how much I can afford in rent for a month and whether or not I’m able to get a studio or 1 bedroom.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Sasha,
      Depending where you live, you are probably looking at a roommate share for $300. We estimate at 25-hour weeks, because the rent is do even in your low hour months. Even that low rent will leave you very little for discretionary expenses. You can probably save some money on food and do your laundry at your mom’s vs. laundromat, but still you cannot afford much more. Print out and use this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ for a more accurate budget. Good luck!
      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Annual Salary (see below 1.) 25 hrs $15,000
      Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -$2,250
      Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) $0
      Estimated annual take-home pay $12,750
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $1,063

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent -$300
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$60
      Car loan or lease payment $0
      Car Insurance  $0
      Gas $0
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125) $0
      Groceries/Food -$300
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
      Health Insurance (See below 3.) $0
      Cell Phone -$45
      Student Loans $0
      Credit Cards $0
      Child care $0
      Other fixed bills – Braces -$155
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$900

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $163
      Savings (target 10% of take-home)

      Reply
  14. Joseph L

    I’m retired. I live in my paid off home and want to move to a apartment. My annual income after taxes is 54K. What can I afford to rent? I put $500.00 away for car payments weather I buy a car or not.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Joe,
      Just a reminder to you and all our readers. Do not include your full name or too many details of your life. This is the internet and anybody can see your comment. (We took some details out of your comment.)
      With your relatively high income and low expenses, you can probably easily carry our max. formula rent of $54,000/12 = $4,500 a month take-home income * 35% = $1,575. However, depending where you live you can probably get a very nice place for less than that. For a more accurate estimate print and complete this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Good luck!

      Reply
  15. Ashlee M

    Hi, my name is Ashlee
    I have recently begun looking at apartments, as I have been paying rent for years living with my parents and I buy my own groceries, wash detergent and other care items. As I make 13.25 an hour, but I don’t not have a car. I pay 78.00 a month for public transportation. I work about 34-35 hours every week. I am interested in a 1-bedroom apartment listed at 535.00 with water, sewer, and trash included. I also eat at home a lot because I enjoy home meals. My cell phone bill is 56.00 dollars a month. The only bills this apartment would have for certain is electric and internet/cable. Feels like I bring home 1,428 dollars a month. My medical insurance is covered through my job. Could you please tell me if this is affordable for me, and make me out a budget? Please Help

    Reply
  16. Pierra

    Hi My Name is P

    I currently make 12 an hour – 80 hours per pay period. My car insurance is $250 with no car payment, cell phone is $50, and I have to pay my student loans soon. How much can I afford in rent per month.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi P,
      Let’s see if we can use the new printable budgeting worksheet for you. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Print out a copy a follow along.
      Lets start by estimating your annual income and taxes.
      Income $12*40*50=$24,000
      Taxes estimated from this site https://www.totaltaxinsights.org/Calculator for Clark County, Illinois. You need to estimate for your own county and state.
      Federal Income Tax $1,654
      State Income Tax $1,100
      Social Security Tax $1,488
      Medicare Tax $348
      Total $4,590

      Budget
      Annual Salary (see below 1.) $24,000
      Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -$4,590
      Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) Insurance $0
      Estimated annual take-home pay $19,410
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $1,618

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -$500
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$100
      Car loan or lease payment $0
      Car Insurance  -$250
      Gas -$50
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125) $0
      Groceries/Food -$300
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
      Health Insurance (See below 3.) $0
      Cell Phone -$50
      Student Loans $0
      Credit Cards
      Child care
      Other fixed bills $0
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$1,290

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $328
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for Discretionary Spending, $328

      As you can see, you could probably manage $500 a month in rent, meaning that you may be looking for a roommate share. Even that does not leave a lot of leeway and no room for savings. But, you got to live somewhere, so if you learn to cook and otherwise live frugally, you might even be able to squeeze a little bit for savings. Did you find the worksheet helpful? Let us know. And good luck!

      Reply
      • Miamia22

        Hi I make 11.70 hourly, car payment and insurance $513,. $300 for rent, $60 phone bills, $54 health insurance. Can I afford a $800 apartment??? Any advice please

        Reply
        • MFA Editors MFA Editors

          Hi Miamia,
          Print out the budgeting worksheet here https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
          and use it to make a budget with your real expenses. Based on numbers you gave you can only afford right now a very inexpensive roommate share. You have basically chosen to spend your rent money on your car. $800 rent will result in a cash shortfall of $515 each month, even before spending anything on discretionary expenses. Good luck!
          First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
          Your Budget

          Annual Salary (see below 1.) $23,400
          Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -$5,850
          Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) $0
          Estimated annual take-home pay $17,550
          Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $1,463

          Monthly Essential Living Expenses
          Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -$800
          Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$160
          Car loan or lease payment -$513
          Car Insurance  in above
          Gas -$50
          Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125)
          Groceries/Food -$300
          Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
          Health Insurance (See below 3.) -$54
          Cell Phone -$60
          Student Loans
          Credit Cards
          Child care
          Other fixed bills
          Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$1,977

          Cash shortfall before Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) -$515
          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.

  17. Aaron

    Hi my name is Aaron
    I make $15/hr
    $650 a month for car insurance and car payment
    $25 a week for gas
    My job gives me full coverage of health and dental insurance
    Can I afford $1100 a month with probably $250+ for utilities?

    Reply
  18. Shanti

    I make 11.25 an hour 40 hours a week… I currently pay half of daycare which is 50 a week, my insurance is 50 a months, my cable is 69 and I was wondering if renting at 650 water included would be suitable?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Shanti,
      According to our rough calculations $650 is too much. See below. However, you should print out our budgeting worksheet and input your actual numbers. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Perhaps our estimates of your expenses are too high or maybe you receive some money in child support. Good luck!
      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Annual Salary (see below 1.) $22,500
      Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -$3,375
      Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) $0
      Estimated annual take-home pay $19,125
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $1,594

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -$650
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$130
      Car loan or lease payment $0
      Car Insurance  $0
      Gas $0
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125) -$125
      Groceries/Food -$450
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$60
      Health Insurance (See below 3.) -$50
      Cell Phone -$80
      Student Loans
      Credit Cards
      Child care -$200
      Other fixed bills
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$1,745

      Cash SHORTFALL for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) -$151

      Reply
  19. Brian A

    Hi,
    I make 13.25 an hour . On a 12 hour swing shift. Max hours a week is 48 . On my short week I work 36 hours with Overtime on some weeks .
    The rent would be 565
    My car payment is 270
    Car insurance 150
    Cell phone 100
    Credit cards about 40
    Internet 50

    Reply
  20. Tommy

    Hello, my name is Tommy. I work 40 hours a week and make $16.75 an hour. I have my car insurance which is $75, my loan is $150, my phone bill is $30, and a car payment of $300. Will I be able to afford a $850 rent a month?

    Reply
  21. Anninha

    Hi my name is anna I work 40 hours a week and get paid $12.50 an hour I have my car insurance which is $100 , gym $36, medical $75 ,phone $160 and credit card of $25 payment how much will I have left to rent a room?

    Reply
  22. Aleisha

    Apartment rent for 530 I make 11hr 30 hours a week i also have a salon 400-88 a week I have a car payment of 250 and cell phone 50 credit credit card bill 35

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Aleisha,
      It looks like you’ll be able to manage that $530 rent and other living expenses, if you average about $200 a week or more from your salon. If you make more than that, put the extra into savings, so you’ll build an emergency fund for those months when the salon is a little slow. Good luck!

      Aleisha’s Budget
      Hours 30
      Pay/hr $11.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $16,500
      Salon est. $200 a week. $10,000
      Total annual pre-tax $26,500
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($6,625)
      After tax take-home $19,875
      Per month take-home est. $1,656
      Max. rent -$530
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$106
      Car payments -$250
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$50
      Credit Cards -$35
      Student Loans $0
      Health insurance $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $295
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  23. Tommi

    Hello

    I live in LA County and I am trying to figure out how much i can afford comfortable. I make $20 and hr. I work on average 10hrs of over time on top of the 80hrs worked bi weekly. Car note is roughly 255, car insurance is max 120, health insurance is 163 and one credit card of 60 a month.

    Reply
  24. Sarah

    Hi, I am considering a job in Seattle where I will get paid on average $28/hr for FT. I am considering moving into an apartment right around the corner for $1600/mo. I have some money saved for a deposit, and I have no major payments other than car insurance. My calculations don’t seem to agree with the chart here, can you help me out?

    Reply
  25. Jay

    Hi there !
    I get paid 17/hr and typically work 40 hrs a week.I do have a student loan that I pay monthly at $50. I also have a credit card debt I pay typically $35 and $30 dollars on that I will clear up soon. Our food I average is at 225 a month. My insurance is $88 a month. And I just found a place for rent at $950. My girlfriend does work as well who will be moving in together but her job has her on call right now so I kind of didnt include that. But shes looking for better work. My job does offer overtime so most of the month I do work an extra 10 hours at 18/hr. Also during Christmas we get bonuses outside of our main pay (doorman) typically around 8k-10k so typically I make about 40k+ a year. I am looking at raise in the next 2 years that would increase my pay to 60k salary at my job. How would that also look like ? Thank you.

    Reply
  26. Deeana Lee

    Hi! Moving to Texas and found an apartment for 700.50 , I have the first three months of rent saved and I got a job for 10.75 an hour, working 30+ hours a week . I’ll be on the hunt for a better paying job but will this be enough to keep me under a roof until then ? (Maybe a few months)

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Deeana,
      You did not tell anything about your other expenses. If you don’t have a car and can use public transportation, you’ll have $193 shortfall a month, before discretionary expenses. You could probably hang in there for a few months because your rent is paid for a time. What would be a better solution is to get a roommate share so you don’t get too deeply in debt before you get a better-paying job. Meanwhile, take all extra hours you can at work and live extra frugally and keep fingers crossed for a raise or better job. Good luck!
      Deeana’s Budget:
      Hours 30
      Pay/hr $10.75
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $16,125
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,419)
      After tax take-home $13,706
      Per month take-home est. $1,142
      Max. rent -$701
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$140
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$250
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month -$193
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  27. Shazelle

    Hello I make 13.00 work 40 hours a week, making 80 hours in two weeks. I have my car which is $229 & my insurance $225 and my phone bill $120. How much should I be paying for rent ?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Shazelle,
      With your relatively high car expenses, you’ll be looking at a $400 roommate share and even at that you’ll have to live frugally. Why is your car insurance so high? Do you have really bad credit score? Are you living in a high-theft area? Try to shop around and see if you could find a less expensive plan. Good luck!
      Shazelle’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $13.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $26,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($5,200)
      After tax take-home $20,800
      Per month take-home est. $1,733
      Max. rent -$400
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$80
      Car payments -$229
      Car insurance/ phone -$225
      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 $289
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  28. Quanisha Mays

    Hi I make $11 hour 40hrs a week and looking for a apartment that’s affordable I only have a phone bill on average Is $80 . Can you help me what I can afford on average .

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Quanisha,
      The basic formula max. rent on your income is $481. It looks a little tight, but is probably doable if you learn to live frugally. Good luck!
      Quanisha’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $11.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $22,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($5,500)
      After tax take-home $16,500
      Per month take-home est. $1,375
      Max. rent -$481
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$96
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans/ bank loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $253
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  29. Charles

    I make 18.57hr, have a car payment of 272, insurance is 55, cc min is 55, bank loan 60, paying rent at 1225, have a son, single parent, student loans 130, how much should I be paying for rent?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Charles,
      $1,225 rent is about twice what you could comfortably afford with your income and listed expenses. Hope you can find a nice place for you and your son in the $600 range. Good luck!

      Charles’ Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $18.57
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $37,140
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($9,285)
      After tax take-home $27,855
      Per month take-home est. $2,321
      Max. rent -$600
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$120
      Car payments -$272
      Car insurance -$55
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards -$55
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans/ bank loans -$190
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $409
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  30. nicole

    I work as a pharmacy tech making $11.04 an hr and paid biweekly. I have a car note thats almost paid
    for, well it will be in October. I have paid off my credit card(s), So, my lists of things to pay monthly is car insurance $ 290, phone bill $54.25, life ins $48.54 quartley. I DO HAVE SOME LATE PAYMENTS. STUDENT LOANS T0 PAY $ 50.00 HOW MUCH CAN I AFFORD FOR RENT?

    Reply
  31. Sarah

    Any chance for some help with my budget? I work a new job where I make $30k a year (40 hours a week) and then another online part time job at $13/hr, around 15 hours a week. i have a current lease at $550, but am moving in 3 weeks. I’m considering moving back to my parents to save up more money before I rent elsewhere again. Where I’d like to move to be closer to work, the rent is typically $1200 a month. I’m not sure I can afford this or not with what I make.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Sarah,
      If we use both of your jobs, then your max. rent is somewhere around $750, assuming you have typical car-related expenses. With the FT job only, that $550 is a good range. $1,200 is really too much and we’d hate to see you move back home, save a bunch of money, and then use it to cover a rent shortfall. Moving back home to boost your savings and then getting a place you can afford without having to dip into savings on a monthly basis would seem like a good option. Good luck!
      Sarah’s Budget:
      Hours PT job 15
      Pay/hr PT job $13.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $9,750
      Main job $30,000
      Total pre-tax $39,750
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($9,938)
      After tax take-home $29,813
      Per month take-home est. $2,484
      Max. rent -$750
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$150
      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
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$248
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $416
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  32. Trevor

    Hello! I make 16/hr working 40 hours a week. I have my car fully paid off so no car payment, but my insurance costs $150. I have some credit card debt at the moment but i plan to have all of that paid off within the next few months. Any help for a budget plan would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Trevor,
      Looks like you can manage the formula max. rent of 35% of your take-home pay. Good luck!
      Trevor’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 35% of take-home -$700
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$140
      Car payments $0
      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) -$200
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $340
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  33. Evelyn

    HI! I make 11 an hour about 40 hours a week sometimes more or less. What would my budget be for $550 a month for rent. paying car insurance of 150$ and cell phone bill of 80$

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Evelyn,
      If you live frugally, you should be able to manage that $550 rent. Put any overtime moneys towards savings. Good luck!
      Evelyn’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $11.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $22,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($3,300)
      After tax take-home $18,700
      Per month take-home est. $1,558
      Max. rent -$550
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$110
      Car payments $0
      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) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $278
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  34. Jonathan

    I make 14 an hour. 40-43 hrs a week. What would my budget be for 800 a month rent. I walk to work so no car payment.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Jonathan,
      Looks like you can handle that $800 rent, but it does not leave much room for savings. Make sure you save all overtime pay. Good luck!
      Jonathan’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $14.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $28,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($7,000)
      After tax take-home $21,000
      Per month take-home est. $1,750
      Max. rent -$800
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$160
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      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) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $370
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  35. Jayla

    Well I should probably live with my mom. I work 30 hours every two weeks and make 10.75/hr how much rent can I afford?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Yes Jayla, you need to live with your mom for now. Would you be happier counting your pennies in a $200-$250 roommate share than living at home with ready meals and maybe even laundry done for you. Wait to move until your hours and pay pick up. Now is your chance to save a nice nest egg of several thousand dollars, for the day when you are ready to move. Good luck!
      Jayla’s Budget:
      Hours 30
      Pay/hr $10.75
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $16,125
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,419)
      After tax take-home $13,706
      Per month take-home est. $1,142
      Max. rent -$200
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$40
      Car payments incl insurance $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      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) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $357
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  36. Claudia

    Ugh this is so frustrating, based on this chart I can’t even afford a studio in the worst part of my city or surroundings. I make $26.55/hr. I was looking at a $1,750/mo 1 br condo 550sq ft close to work with most utilities included. Except for gas/electricity, entertaiment. I also have another option which is further away at $1,470 but i will have to pay more due to distance from work and family, such as gas and bridge tolls. This is so unfair!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Claudia,
      You could actually afford that $1750 place, as long as you do not have other big fixed bills. However, it would take more than half of your take-home and you could not pass the landlord’s formula. Also, it would leave little room for savings. They may approve you for the $1,470 place. You could save more money and offer to pay extra security or get a guarantor. Meanwhile, you could probably get a really nice roommate share with your income. Good luck!
      Claudia’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $26.55
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $53,100
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($13,275)
      After tax take-home $39,825
      Per month take-home est. $3,319
      Max. rent -$1,750
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (10% of rent) -$175
      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
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $474
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  37. Kianna

    i make 10.00/hr an average 37hours a week , i have a car payment of $190.00 bi-weekly how much can i afford on rent an can u provide a budget plan also please to save money

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Kianna,
      If you monthly car payment is 2 * $190 =$380, it will be very difficult for you to afford even a roommate share. And what about car insurance? And how did you qualify for such a high car payment on your pay? Did someone guarantee it? Even if you get a roommate share for $250 or so, it will still require for you to live very frugally. Maybe stay where you are a little longer and build a good emergency fund of at least $2,000 before moving. Pretend that you have your own place and save all the moneys you’d spend living on your own. You’ll quickly see if you are able to move out. Let us know how things work out and good luck!
      Kianna’s Budget:
      Hours 37
      Pay/hr $10.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $18,500
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,775)
      After tax take-home $15,725
      Per month take-home est. $1,310
      Max. rent -$250
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$50
      Car payments (2 * $190) -$380
      Car insurance ??
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$200
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$30
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$50
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $220
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  38. Becky

    Just got reduced to $11/hour, 40 hours a week. Current rent $725, Car payment $170 and car insurance $150. What are my options?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Becky,
      What a bummer! Clearly, the current rent is not affordable to you with your new pay rate. Even if you cut your food budget to bare minimum (rice and beans? and Ramen?) it will be tough. Can you find a new job or a second job to bring in extra cash? Do you have room for a roommate? Can you trade in your car and use public transportation? Try to solve the shortfall dilemma as soon as possible, before you fall into a credit card debt hole. Let us know how things work out, we are rooting for you. Good luck!
      Becky’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $11.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $22,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($4,400)
      After tax take-home $17,600
      Per month take-home est. $1,467
      Max. rent -$725
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$145
      Car payments -$170
      Car insurance -$150
      Gas est. $0
      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) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month -$143
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  39. Monica

    Hello i make $32/hour at 40hrs a week i was wondering if $1600 rent is affordable i have a $500 car payment and insurance is $180 month

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Monica,
      Looks like you can manage $1,600 rent eve with your high car costs. If you are planning to rent a house vs. an apartment, then you need to budget more for utilities. Double check all the numbers, including your take-home. Good luck!
      Monica’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $32.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $64,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 30% ($19,200)
      After tax take-home $44,800
      Per month take-home est. $3,733
      Max. rent -$1,600
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (10% of rent) -$160
      Car payments -$500
      Car insurance -$180
      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) -$373
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $450
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  40. Shaniece

    Hi, I make $11/hr 35 hrs/wk and no car payments. Have $50 phone bill. How much rent can I afford?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Shaniece,
      You can get your max. rent right from the chart for $11/35 hours or $481. Remember, that’s maximum, so aim for rent in the $400 range. It may be a roommate share, depending on where you live. If you are frugal and cook at home, you should be even able to save a little money. Double check your actual take-home. Good luck!
      Shaniece’s Budget:
      Hours 35
      Pay/hr $11.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $19,250
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,888)
      After tax take-home $16,363
      Per month take-home est. $1,364
      Max. rent -$481
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$96
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$50
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $271
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  41. Christian lopez

    Hi I make 9.65 at 20-25 hours a week at one job and 10.20 at 17.5-20 hours per week at another. I have $600 in car insurance every six months due to a couple of wrecks. $90 cell phone bill every month. $125 in credit card debt every month.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Christian,
      We figured the numbers on $10/37.5 hours a week. If you can keep your rent to the $300-$350 range you should be able to manage, especially as you have some extra hours at times. You can do better on the groceries, too, if you cook at home and take lunches to work. Any extra money should go to savings and paying off that credit card debt. Good luck!
      Christian’s Budget:
      Hours 37.5
      Pay/hr $10.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $18,750
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,813)
      After tax take-home $15,938
      Per month take-home est. $1,328
      Max. rent -$300
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$60
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance -$100
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$90
      Credit Cards -$125
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $263
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  42. HL

    Thank you for posting this calculator. I wish that more businesses & government would use a calculator like this. I don’t know how people afford to live. I’ve cut every spending category I can (no cable, a prepaid phone/plan, no vacations, no extras whatsoever). I’m working 2 jobs & with rent increasing by $200 per month in my area, I’m struggling really bad. There is no option for OT work, otherwise I’d work that, in addition to my 2nd job. Saving for any type of retirement is out of the question. It’s about surviving day to day right now.

    Reply
  43. Caroline

    Hello My SO and I are looking into renting our first apartment. He makes 10/hr full time and I make 13/hr full time as well. We each have about 550$ a month in bills/cars/student loans we pay. We have sat down and looked through our finances and have a rough idea on what we can spend on rent, being first timers we are not to entirely sure if our calculations are right, can you Please help us get a idea of our rent budget? That you.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Caroline,
      A rent in the $800 range looks doable to you two, leaving enough for all the other living expenses and even some room for savings. Kudos for you two for doing careful budgeting together before your move. Double check the numbers. Good luck!
      Caroline’s Budget:
      Hours-C 40
      Pay/hr $10.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $20,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($3,000)
      After tax take-home -Caroline $17,000
      Hours-BF 40
      Pay/hr $13.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $26,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($5,200)
      After tax take-home – BF $20,800
      Cash take-home -combined $3,150
      Rent -$800
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$160
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance payments $0
      Gas est. ($50 each) $0
      or Commuting $0
      Groceries/food est. for 2 -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. for 2 -$60
      All Bills -$1,100
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loan $0
      Target savings 10% of take-home $0
      Amount left for discretionary expenses $580
      *Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  44. Martin

    Hi, i make $11.50 the hour while my SO makes $10.50. We are getting raises soon though and are wondering what our budget would look like. We both do 35 – 40 hours a week and have a car payment for 275. Would it be possible to do rent at around $880?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Martin,
      Looks like you can carry $880 rent. We did the budget with 35 hours each, so you have a little room for savings in the 40 hour weeks. Double check the numbers. Good luck!
      Martin’s Budget:
      Hours-Martin 35
      Pay/hr $11.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $20,125
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($3,019)
      After tax take-home -Martin $17,106
      Hours-SO 35
      Pay/hr $10.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $18,375
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,756)
      After tax take-home -SO $15,619
      Cash take-home -combined $2,727
      Rent -$880
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$176
      Car payments -$275
      Car insurance payments -$150
      Gas est. ($50 each) -$50
      or Commuting $0
      Groceries/food est. for 2 -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. for 2 -$60
      Phones -$160
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loan $0
      Target savings 10% of take-home $0
      Amount left for discretionary expenses $526
      *Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  45. Raven

    Hi. I make $11.09 per hour and 40 hours a week. I have car insurance that’s about $100 a month. How much rent can I afford with utilities and living expenses included?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Raven,
      Looks like you could afford about $500 a month in rent, which may mean a roommate share. Good luck!
      Raven’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $11.09
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $22,180
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($4,436)
      After tax take-home $17,744
      Per month take-home est. $1,479
      Max. rent -$500
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$100
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance -$100
      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 25% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $309
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  46. John

    I make 23 per hour work 40hr per and I have alot of debt from making bad decisions( over 10k I’m debt). I start the job next Monday and i really want to revamp my finances and financial stabalibity. Please help me come up with a plan or solution. Thank you for the insight and testitestimonies.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi John,
      We are assuming that you have a car and related costs, so your monthly fixed bills are relatively high. Luckily, you make a good pay, so you should be OK. If you can keep your rent in the $600 range (it may be a roommate share) and save 25% of your take-home pay, you can almost pay off your debt in one year. And you’ll still have enough money for discretionary expenses, so you don’t have to live like a monk. (Just try not to get a high-maintenance GF until your debt is paid!) Let us know if this makes sense. Good luck!
      John’s Budget:
      Hours 40

      Pay/hr $23.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $46,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 30% ($13,800)
      After tax take-home $32,200
      Per month take-home est. $2,683
      Max. rent -$600
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$120
      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 25% of take-home) -$671
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $323
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.
      Saving over 12 months $8,050

      Reply
  47. Kristen L.

    I receive $700 a month. My husband makes $13.50 and works 40 hours a week. We pay $181 in credit card debt, $234 for our car loan, and $100 for car insurance. What would a good budget look like for us?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Kristen,
      It looks like you should be able to carry about $700 a month in rent and still leave you enough for discretionary expenses and maybe a little savings. Try to chip away that credit card balance. You can probably do better that our averages for the groceries and phones and put the money in savings. And if that $700 you receive is not taxable, then you’ll have another $1,200 a year to savings. Good luck!
      Kristen’s Budget:
      Total/yr ($700/ month) $8,400
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($1,260)
      After tax take-home -Kristen $7,140
      Hours-Husband 40
      Pay/hr $13.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $27,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($4,050)
      After tax take-home – Husband $22,950
      Cash take-home -combined $2,508
      Rent -$700
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$140
      Car payments -$234
      Car insurance payments -$100
      Gas est. ($50 ) -$50
      or Commuting $0
      Groceries/food est. for 2 -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. for 2 -$60
      Cell phone est. -$160
      Credit Cards -$181
      Student Loan $0
      Target savings 10% of take-home $0
      Amount left for discretionary expenses $433
      *Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Destiny,
      Based on our surveys, the average cell phone payment is about $80 a month. It maybe more if you pick an expensive phone and have to pay that off in monthly payments. The payment also depends on what your credit score is. If it is low (600’s or less) you have to pay more. Price out all the phone providers in your area and pick the best plan for your needs. Good luck!

      Reply
        • MFA Editors MFA Editors

          Hi Mya,
          Assuming you have no fixed bills, including car payments, you can probably get by with a roommate share in the $300 range. Double check all the numbers. Good luck!
          Mya’s Budget:
          Hours 40
          Pay/hr $10.00
          Total/yr (50 wks paid) $20,000
          Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($5,000)
          After tax take-home $15,000
          Per month take-home est. $1,250
          Max. rent -$350
          Utilities, incl. cable/internet est. -$100
          Car payments $0
          Car insurance $0
          Gas est. $0
          or Commuting est. -$125
          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) $0
          Cash left for all other expenses/Month $255
          Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

  48. Allison Edwards

    Hi, I make $13/hr and work a set 36 hrs one week and then 48 hrs the next. It goes back and forth. What’s can I afford for rent and what other factors should I take in??

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Allison,
      Unless you left off big hunks of fixed expenses, it looks like you should be able to afford a rent in the $600-$650 range and still be able to cover typical expenses, save some money and have enough left over for discretionary items. Good luck!
      Allison’s Budget:
      Hours 42
      Pay/hr $13.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $27,300
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($5,460)
      After tax take-home $21,840
      Per month take-home est. $1,820
      Max. rent 35% of take-home -$637
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$127
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      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) -$182
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $329
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  49. Nautika

    Hi, I make 10$ and hr & work 35-40 hrs an week no set hrs.. I am paid bi-weekly. I don’t have any car insurance or anything. I do have an monthly income for groceries itself. I’m looking to rent out an 1 bedroom for 650 at the most total electric. Will I qualify for the apartment with money left over for my light bills & maybe cable?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Nautika,
      You make somewhere around $20,000 a year at 40 hour weeks, so a typical landlord formula gives you max. rent of $500. A reasonable landlord would not allow you to rent a clearly unaffordable place at $650. Even $500 would be tight, because you don’t work steady 40, but often only 35 hours. You should base your rent target on the lower hours, so you don’t get into trouble in slow months. Try finding a nice roommate share for $400 or under and you should be able to manage. But, double check the numbers first. Good luck!
      Nautika’s Budget:
      Hours 35
      Pay/hr $10.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $17,500
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($3,500)
      After tax take-home $14,000
      Per month take-home est. $1,167
      Max. rent -$400
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet -$100
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$100
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $322
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  50. Nicole

    Hi! I work 50 hours/ week. 40 at $12/hr 10 at $18/hour. Not quite certain on the tax rate but I live in Mississippi if that makes a difference. My car is paid off and my father handles the insurance. I have a credit card but the balance is $0. If I use it in the future the monthly payment is $30. My only expenses will be rent, grocery and gas for about a 15 mile daily commute. I’ve been working on figuring out my budget for my move but would like your suggestion on how much I can afford to pay for rent. Thanks in advance! :)

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Nicole,
      We would like you to base your rent on that 40 hour income and save the overtime moneys. You should be able to get a nice place in Mississippi, even in the Jackson area, for $600 a month. Depending on water rates and usage, your utilities may be a little higher, but you’ll still be fine with all that extra overtime money in the bank. You are clearly careful with money (no credit card debt!) and are lucky to have supportive parents, so you are in a great shape to get your own place. Good luck!
      Nicole’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $12.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $24,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($6,000)
      After tax take-home $18,000
      Per month take-home est. $1,500
      Max. rent -$600
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$120
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      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) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $310
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  51. Elle H

    Hello! I just moved to Seattle and I will be making $25/hour and work 40 hours a week in the downtown area. I have student loans at $300, health insurance at about $400 and am trying to not have a car to avoid other expenses, however that means needing to live closer to work which raises rent. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Elle,
      Looks like you can manage rent in the $1,000 range and maybe even have a little room for saving an emergency fund. See below. Double check the numbers. Good luck!

      Elle’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $25.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $50,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 30% ($15,000)
      After tax take-home $35,000
      Per month take-home est. $2,917
      Max. rent 35% of take-home -$1,021
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$204
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance -$400
      Student Loans -$300
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $447
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  52. Sherena

    Hi! I make 17.75 an hour and work 40 hours each week. I have a car payment of 488.43, phone bill 119 and car insurance of 115. What can I afford?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Sherena,
      Based on your income you should be able to afford a rent in the $800 range. However, as many of our readers you get tripped up with your high car expenses. Your car, insurance and gas is estimated to cost you about $650 a month, so you are looking at max rent in the $600 range and even that will not leave a lot of room for savings. Double check all the numbers below. Are you still on parent’s health insurance, or pay for your own, for example? Make sure you have $2,000+ saved before you move and then put aside some money every paycheck fro an emergency fund. Good luck!

      Sherena’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $17.75
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $35,500
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($8,875)
      After tax take-home $26,625
      Per month take-home est. $2,219
      Max. rent -$600
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$120
      Car payments -$488
      Car insurance -$115
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$118
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $388
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  53. Austin N

    Starting a new job in NYC in a month: $45.19/hr, 40+ hrs a week. No debt, take home would be $2k every week after maxing out my 401k (I can adjust this). No idea what to budget for a decent place in the city because everything there is ridiculously expensive. Spending $2k on rent seems absurd, and studios/1br are all at least $3.5k.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Austin,
      First, we assume that you mean you take home $2,000 every two weeks, not weekly. And since your employer offers 401K, we further assume you have health insurance and vacation benefits, so we estimated your annual gross income at 52 weeks pay. (We normally use 50 weeks, to build a little safety, because many of our readers work hourly jobs that don’t provide sick or vacation days.) You are in a very high tax bracket, so it’s really smart of you to max. out on your 401K.
      We estimated your max. rent from your calculated gross income ($93,995/40) and utilities at 10% rather than normal 20%, because in NYC heat, water and trash collection are included in rent, so you only pay electric and cable/internet. You should be able to find a decent studio for $2,350. Look uptown in the Bronx, in Long Island City (1-2 subway stops from Manhattan) or Upper East Side near East River where the new Second Avenue Q subway line has made the area more attractive to the millennial crowd. In NYC, you’ll pay high rent, but you do not need a car, which is a huge saving. (Those $3,500 places are in luxury rentals with doormen, roof deck, gyms, basketball courts, etc. You do not need to spend that kind of money to have a great first apartment experience in NYC!)
      Because of your very high income, even after high taxes and high rent, it looks like you have plenty of room left for additional savings and all the other living expenses. Good luck!
      Austin’ Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $45.19
      Total/yr (52 wks paid) $93,995
      Est. taxes/deductions 48% ($45,118)
      After tax take-home $48,878
      Per month take-home est. $4,073
      Max. rent -$2,350
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (10% of rent) -$235
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      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) -$407
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $536
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  54. Cherry Creek Apartments

    Thank you So Much for this informative Post Share with us.

    Reply
  55. Karen

    Hi! I’m looking for a studio or 1 bedroom under $625 a month. I make 14.19 an hour and work 40 hrs a week. I take home about $815 every other week. My monthly expenses include 128 for car insurance (car was paid in full), 120 for cell phone, approx. 70 for my cat, less than 100 for groceries. I’m also saving about $100 a month as well. I know it says 700 in the chart above, but I would rather be conservative and aim cheaper. Can you break it down for me and show me what I can afford? Thanks!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Karen,
      Using your numbers, it looks like you could afford the take-home pay formula maximum of 35%. Your taxes/deduction seem a bit high, maybe you put money into a 401K at work (great!) or have high health insurance. You should be able to find a better phone plan. Also, we are suspicious that you spend less than $100 a month on groceries. If that’s the case, would you be willing to share how you do it. Looks like your cat eats better than you do. Good luck!

      Karen’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $14.19
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $28,380
      Est. taxes/deductions 30% ($8,514)
      After tax take-home $19,866
      Per month take-home est. $1,656
      Max. rent 35% of take-home -$579
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$116
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance -$128
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$100
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$120
      Credit Cards $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Cat -$70
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$100
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $352
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  56. Lei

    Hello, I make $17.50 per hour & work 40 hours per week. Car payment $370, Insurance $120, phone $50, & $65 for two credit cards. Would I be able to move out with a roomate?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Lei,
      If you can find a roommate share in the $500-$600 range you could do it and even save money. Double check your expenses, and add any that are missing. And try to pay off those credit cards. Good luck!

      Lei’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $17.50
      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 -$370
      Car insurance -$120
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$50
      Credit Cards/Gym -$65
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$219
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $374
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  57. Nicholas Wilson

    I make $20/hr @ 40 hours a week. My expenses monthly are 100 for car insurance, 60 for phone, 20 for gym membership, around 240 for fuel.
    I’m extremely hesitant to move out.
    Can I afford the suggested rent max and still save money for a house?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Nicholas,
      $240 for fuel? What do drive? A camper?
      Anyway, the formula max. rent on your income is $1,000. You could probably afford it and still save some money, but if you are looking to speedsave for a house, find a less expensive place. Or if you stay where you are and save at least half of your take-home, you could accumulate a $30,000 nest egg in 2 years, enough for a down payment of at least a small condo in many areas. Moving out on your own is an important step in adulting, so you might want to do it anyway before you buy your own place. Good luck!
      Nicholas’ 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% of rent) -$200
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance -$100
      Gas est. -$240
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$60
      Credit Cards/Gym -$20
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$250
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $290
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  58. Nicole

    Hi!! I make $12 an hour and I work between 33-36 hours a week. My car note is $265 mo. Phone bill is $48. I haven’t yet started paying back my student loan of $22k which will be income based if i do. Can I afford to move out of my parents house?!!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Nicole,
      The answer is no. Even a roommate share seems to be out of reach, after you start paying your loan. (We estimated payment at 10% of your take-home.) Stay at home, save as much as you can, if possible pay off your car, and wait to move until you are on a firmer financial footing and have received a raise or two at work. A year goes by very fast. You did not mention car insurance and gas, so we estimated on averages. If your parents cover those costs, a roommate share is within reach, but you’ll be still scraping by, especially after you start paying off your loans. Good luck!
      Nicole’s Budget:
      Hours 35
      Pay/hr $12.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $21,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($4,200)
      After tax take-home $16,800
      Per month take-home est. $1,400
      Max. rent -$350
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$70
      Car payments -$265
      Car insurance -$150
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$48
      Credit Cards/All Bills $0
      Health Insurance $0
      Student Loans (est 10% of take-home) -$140
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month -$13
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  59. Emily

    Hi! I make $20/hr and work anywhere from 20 to 60 hours a week. My work is pretty seasonal, but I work overtime every chance I get to make up for the lean-hour times. It probably averages out to 50 hrs/wk over the course of the year, as I also use my paid time off/vacation hours to fill out hours on short weeks. My monthly bills include student loans at $100/month, car note $300/month, car insurance $120/month, and a credit card I’m currently paying off at $100/month. I’m currently driving approx. 2 hrs to get to work (and another 2 to get back home) usually six days a week. I need to move ASAP to save my car. How much rent can I afford to pay in a major city?

    Reply
  60. Rachel

    Hi, I make $14.19 an hour, and a dollar more on weekends. I work anywhere from 32-40 hours a week. My monthly expenses are my car note $320, car insurance $150, health insurance $88, internet $60, cell phone $130 and two credit lines which total up to around $100 per month. How much would I be able to afford per month rent wise? I do plan on paying off both my credit lines before I move out, however.

    I also plan on getting a second job that should start around $11 an hour. I am planning on working that job part time. Would I be able to handle rent with my first job though?

    Reply
  61. RYAN

    I make 13.50 per hour and I work 40 hours a week with a 350 monthly car payment. HOw much rent can I afford afford?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Ryan,
      The max. rent chart says $675 based on your pay and hours, but that car is a budget killer, plus you must also pay car insurance and gas. It looks like you’ll be starting out in a roommate share like so many others. Even at $400 for a share, you still don’t have enough to start saving some money. Stay where you are for a while longer and keep saving, so you’ll be a a better position to move out in a few months. Good luck!

      Ryan’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $13.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $27,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($5,400)
      After tax take-home $21,600
      Per month take-home est. $1,800
      Max. rent -$400
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$80
      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) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $350
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  62. Alex

    Hello, I work 2 jobs and currently attend college and have a loan of 5000 insofar but will be transferring over to community college instead within the next year or so seeing as it’ll be easier on my wallet in the long run.

    job 1 pays 9 an hour and I work about 30-40 hours a week at night and get on average a paycheck of about $320 usually a little more.

    Job 2 pays 10.50 an hour and I work 40-50 hours a week during the day (I love both my jobs don’t worry, I just prefer working rather than sitting at home doing nothing) and get on average a paycheck of about $420+

    i’m searching for a roommate to move in with but that doesn’t seem very likely to happen so i’m looking for apartments in the $700 zone. Is this enough or should I search cheaper? I also do not have a car currently though I am studying for the test and am saving for a sturdy 1000-2000 dollar one to get me by by next year and by then I’ll try to get car insurance under my parents name so I will pay 200 or less for insurance.

    cell phone bill is $30
    I do laundry at home
    I am currently saving all the money I am receiving until I officially go out and move within the next two years so i’m only allowing myself to have 100 in spending money for food, activities, and the such. $50 automatically gets put into my bank account every Friday (I just started this last month and had an emergency in which I had to spend 100 so I currently have $50 in there) and whatever I have leftover at the end of the month I take out and put in a little piggy bank (‘ve yet to count it)

    (sorry for the long message)

    Reply
  63. Andre' Battle

    Hello, I make $17 an hour and work 30 hours a week. My checks after taxes is $400 and I’m paid weekly. I don’t own a car and currently I’ll soon be married. I would like to buy an apartment. How much rent would I be able to afford?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Andre,
      As you can see on the rent chart, at $17 an hour/30 hours your max. rent is $638. However, you are planning to get married soon and you should start saving a little so that you get off to a good start, so look for something in the $500 a month range. If you live frugally, you can start putting 10% of your income into savings. This is especially important if you are planning to buy your own place at some point. Good luck!

      Andre’s Budget:
      Hours 30
      Pay/hr $17.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $25,500
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($6,375)
      After tax take-home $19,125
      Per month take-home est. $1,594
      Max. rent -$500
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$100
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards/ Gym Membership $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$159
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $290
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  64. Jaz

    Hi, i work 30hrs a week and make 13 per hour. How much rent can i afford?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Jaz,
      You can get your number right from the chart in the post.
      https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/
      For $13/30 hours, the max. formula rent is $488 a month. If you don’t have any fixed bills that should work for you OK, even if you’ll have less for discretionary expenses than we’d like to see. Why don’t you consider a roommate share to start with, so you’ll see how well you manage with your finances, before you sign for your own lease. Good luck!
      Jaz’s Budget:
      Hours 30
      Pay/hr $13.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $19,500
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,925)
      After tax take-home $16,575
      Per month take-home est. $1,381
      Max. rent -$488
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$98
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards/ Gym Membership $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $251
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  65. Carlos

    Hi I’m Carlos I make 10 an hour and I work 56 hours a week so I work every day, I get 16 hours of over time every week so I would get paid 15 an hour for 16 hours and my gf is going to start working and not then likely she will get paid 10 an hour 40 hours a week we would waste about 100 on food what would we be able to waste on a apartment ?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Carlos,
      Anyone who works 56 hours a week is going places, but we would not recommend that you stretch your rent to the point that you must always work those hours. We did a rough budget for you and your GF using 40-hour weeks for both, and calculating max. rent at 35% of combined take-home. See below. (We estimated higher tax rate for you because the overtime money kicks you up to higher tax bracket.) Now, as we always say, if you can get a nice place for less than that $933 formula rent, the better for you and more money to savings. If you can find something in the $800 range, you’d have more money for discretionary expenses. Also, we don’t know if your employers provide health insurance. If not, you need to add that cost to the expenses.
      What we recommend that you do with the extra overtime money is to save it towards your own place or for education or for starting your own business. Good luck!

      Carlos’ Budget:
      Hours-Carlos 40
      Pay/hr $10.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $20,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($5,000)
      After tax take-home – Carlos $15,000
      Hours-GF 40
      Pay/hr $10.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $20,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($3,000)
      After tax take-home – GF $17,000
      Cash take-home -combined $2,667
      Rent -$933
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$187
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance payments $0
      Gas est. ($50 each) $0
      or Commuting 2 peole at $125 each -$250
      Groceries/food est. for 2 -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. for 2 -$60
      Cell phone est. for 2 -$160
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loan $0
      Target savings 10% of take-home -$267
      Amount left for discretionary expenses $360
      *Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Carlos’ extra hours income/month:
      16 hours*$15*4 weeks less 25% tax $720

      Reply
  66. Nate A.

    I make $15 an hour, 40 hours a week, and I get paid weekly. My checks are about 460 each week with taxes taken out. My cell phone bill is $140 a month. What rent should I shoot for?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Nate,
      Our basic formula for $15/40 hours (https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/), or $750 a month rent, works pretty well for you, covering typical expenses and leaving $370 for discretionary expenses and savings. However, if you can find a nice place in the $500-600 range, you’ll be able to start building your savings account and still have enough money to enjoy your first apartment experience. Good luck!
      Nate’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $15.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $30,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($7,500)
      After tax take-home $22,500
      Per month take-home est. $1,875
      Max. rent -$750
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$150
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$140
      Credit Cards/ Gym Membership $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $370
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  67. angel

    Hello, I make $19.06 an hour and I work 22.5 hours a week. Also I am getting a second job which will bring in an extra $100 every two weeks. My expenses are $100 a month for various bills. How can I save for an apartment?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Angel,
      If you are now living rent free, you are in a great position to hyper-charge your savings. After paying your monthly bills, food, cellphone, etc, take $100 a week for discretionary expenses and save the rest. That will also show you how much housing expenses (rent + utilities) you can comfortably carry when you move. Our rule-of-thumb is that you need to have 3 times your monthly rent saved before moving, but you should aim to save more, in order to leave you an emergency fund after your moving-related expenses. Good luck!

      Reply
  68. Taylor Nielsen

    Hello, I make 21$ an hour and I work 40 hours a week. I have a huge car insurance payment of $260 a month. I do not have a car payment, cell phone payment, or any debt.My work pays for all of my work and personal gas. I am looking to get into an apartment for 700$ a month including utilities. Will I be able to afford this apartment and still save for vacations?

    Reply
  69. Jordan Gilbert

    Hi, I make 21/hr and get 25-50+ hours a week. Usually 30-40 hours on average. My car payment is 225, insurance is 155, 75/month credit cards, 120 student loan.

    Reply
  70. Alani

    Hi I make 10.75 every two weeks full time, I have a car payment of 351 and insurance is 100. Will I be able to afford a one bedroom of $575?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Alani,
      The answer is no, you cannot afford that $575 1BR. That rent and typical expenses leave you $88 short each month. Your car expenses take a third of your take-home and that does not leave you enough room for rent and other living expenses. Look for a roommate share in the $250-$300 range and you could make it living frugally but still not have room for savings. If you are living at home, stay there and pay off your car before you move out. Or trade it in for a cheaper one. Good luck!

      Alani’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $10.75
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $21,500
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($3,225)
      After tax take-home $18,275
      Per month take-home est. $1,523
      Max. rent -$575
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet 20% -$115
      Car payments -$351
      Car insurance -$100
      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
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month -$88
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  71. Jenna

    Hello i make 15/hr at 32 hours a week…i can pick up extra shifts to make it 40..getting paid weekly. I currently have a car note of $80 and car insurance $120. Single parent of 1. I pay about $100 for credit card payments. What would be my target rent amount?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Jenna,
      There are many things we don’t know about your situation, such as how old is your child. Does increasing your hours increase your childcare costs? Using the information you shared, it looks like you should be looking in a $400 range. (We hesitate to run the numbers with 40-hour weeks that would increase your target by couple of hundred a month, because that may increase your childcare costs.) Even though the numbers at 32 hours look tight, you do have a little flex with the extra hours that you can use to make up any monthly shortfall or use for savings. Can you try to get rid of the credit card debt before you move? That would ease your monthly bill stress. Good luck!

      Jenna’s Budget:
      Hours 32
      Pay/hr $15.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $24,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($3,600)
      After tax take-home $20,400
      Per month take-home est. $1,700
      Max. rent -$400
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$100
      Car payments -$80
      Car insurance -$120
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards -$100
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $280
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  72. Chase

    Hi I make $11 an hour 40 hours a week. My gf Servs at a restaurant and maybe averages 250-300 a week 5 days a week. The apartment we are looking at is 630 a month (includes cable/internet) we have no kids. I have a 419 car payment a month and that’s it. We don’t have to put down a deposit because we are taking her parents apartment and we’re just using there’s (thank god, saves us $1k)

    Could we afford it ?

    Reply
      • zach

        that car payment likely would end up screwing you. $400 a month??? thats nearly rent where i live

        Reply
        • MFA Editors MFA Editors

          Zach, you are so right. When someone has high car expenses, 25%, 35% of take-home,or even more, they will have really hard time finding a place they can afford.

    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Chase,
      It will be tight at $630 because 25% of your take-home goes to your car expenses, and with all the other typical expenses there’s no room for savings. Also, how does your GF get to work? Is one car enough for both or does she use public transportation? Before you sign the lease, double check all the numbers. Good luck!
      Chase’s Budget:
      Hours-C 40
      Pay/hr $11.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $22,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($3,300)
      After tax take-home – Chase $18,700
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) GF $12,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($1,800)
      After tax take-home – GF $10,200
      Cash take-home -combined $2,408
      Rent -$630
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$126
      Car payments -$418
      Car insurance payments -$130
      Gas est. ($50 each) -$50
      or Commuting $0
      Groceries/food est. for 2 -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. for 2 -$60
      Cell phones 2 est. -$160
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loan $0
      Target savings 10% of take-home $0
      Amount left for discretionary expenses $384
      *Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  73. Julio

    Average 18-20/hr ($10 base pay + delivery/tips), working 36 hours. Pay is pretty consistent
    Car paid off
    $40 phone bill
    $70 car insurance
    Still living at home and looking to see what i can afford, once i pay off all 5k worth of credit card debt

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Julio,
      Looks like you can easily afford the basic formula rent, 35% of your take-home, or $709 a month, even $800 if you must. Now, if you can find a nice place you’d love to call home for less, the better for you because you’ll have more room for savings and you won’t ever get into a credit card trap again. Good luck!
      Julio’s Budget:
      Hours 36
      Pay/hr $18.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $32,400
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($8,100)
      After tax take-home $24,300
      Per month take-home est. $2,025
      Max. rent -$709
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$142
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance -$70
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phones -$40
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$203
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $472
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  74. Griselda

    Hi my husband and i are a family of 5 we have three children under the age of three 2,1,and a newborn he makke 14.50 and works 40 hours bi weekly pay we need our own place what kind of rent would be best for us
    Please and thank you

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Griselda,
      It is very hard to try to figure out a budget not knowing any of your monthly expenses. Do you have a car? Do you have credit card debt? Any loans? Assuming that you don’t have any fixed monthly bills and you are home taking care of the babies, so no childcare expenses, we think that $600 or so rent should work for you and even leave you a little room for savings. (You should find out if you qualify for some rent assistance.) Take a look at the budget below and adjust it with your actual numbers. Hopefully, you live in an area where apartments are available in the range that you can afford. Good luck!

      Griselda’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $14.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $29,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 10% ($2,900)
      After tax take-home $26,100
      Per month take-home est. $2,175
      Max. rent -$600
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$120
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$500
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$80
      Cell phones -$160
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$100
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $490
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  75. Kyle

    I make 13.90 and work 44 hours per week.
    150-car insurance
    410-credit cards
    I plan to move in with my boyfriend and a close friend into a two bedroom. What should I try to keep my rent under?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Kyle,
      You are getting killed by your credit card payments. You need to start chipping off that balance.
      If you can get a place in the $1,000 a month range, you should be able to manage your one third share of the rent and still save 10% of your take-home each month. See below. Living with your BF and a friend, you’ll probably save some more in groceries and other apartment expenses, so you should end up a little more than $270 for discretionary expenses and be able to save that 10%. Good luck!
      Kyle’s Budget:
      Hours 44
      Pay/hr $13.90
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $30,580
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($7,645)
      After tax take-home $22,935
      Per month take-home est. $1,911
      Max. rent -$350
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$70
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance -$150
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards -$410
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$191
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $270
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  76. Lydzz

    Hi I’m making 18.50/hr 36 hours per week. Currently pay 650 for rent, 60 for internet, 50 for student loans and 112 for phone bill. I want to save up around 6000 for upfront payment for a car. Will it take me a long time to save up for this?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Lydzz,
      It will take you about year and a half, with typical living expenses. The rough budget below estimates 19 months, saving 15% of your take-home. If you can save 20%, it will go down to 14 months. If you want to do it faster you need to live very frugally, or, if you have the space, take in a short-term roommate. Or find a side hustle that pays couple of hundred a month. Good luck!

      Lydzz’s Budget:
      Hours 36
      Pay/hr $18.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $33,300
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($8,325)
      After tax take-home $24,975
      Per month take-home est. $2,081
      Max. rent -$650
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$130
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$112
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loans -$50
      Savings (target 15% of take-home) -$312
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $362
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.
      Months to save $6,000 19

      Reply
  77. Kyra

    I will be making 19.13/hour 40 hours a week in 2 months. Currently at 17.69/hour. I pay 160.00 phone bill, 100.00 for car insurance, min for 2 credit cards -40.00/piece, and 410.00 car payment, currently staying with parent. Looking to move into 1 bedroom 896.00/month no utilities included. Do you think this would work ? Thanks for your advice.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Kyra,
      It looks like even with the higher pay you’ll be getting in 2 months, it’s really too tight to pay $896 in rent. It does not leave you enough for discretionary expenses and nothing for savings. Even a rent in the $700 range would leave you little for savings. Why don’t you stay with your parents a bit longer and try to pay off your credit card debt before you move. And look for a cheaper phone plan. Yours is double our reader’s average. Good luck!

      Kyra’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $19.13
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $38,260
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($9,565)
      After tax take-home $28,695
      Per month take-home est. $2,391
      Max. rent -$896
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$179
      Car payments -$410
      Car insurance -$100
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$140
      Credit Cards -$80
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $196
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  78. Annika

    I work about 27hr/ wk at $10 per hr. I want to rent an apartment at $640 a month. I have some money saved for rent at that amount for 6months. With all of the usual expenses, do you think I can afford an apartment at that amount and get approved?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Annika,
      The numbers tell that you are not yet ready to move out. With your estimated take-home of less than $1,000 a month, you cannot afford $640 rent. And we’d hate to have you spend all your savings just to make the rent for a year. What would you do when the lease is up and the savings are gone?
      If you can get your hours up to 40 a week, you’ll have a better change of getting your own place, but even then $640 is too much, target closer to $500. See below.
      Good luck!
      Annika’s Budget:
      Hours 27

      Pay/hr $10.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $13,500
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,025)
      After tax take-home $11,475
      Per month take-home est. $956
      Max. rent -$640
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$128
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards/ Gym Membership $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month -$357
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Annika’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $10.00

      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $20,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($3,000)
      After tax take-home $17,000
      Per month take-home est. $1,417
      Max. rent -$640
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$128
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards/ Gym Membership $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $104
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  79. Stephanie

    Hi I work 45 hours a week getting paid 15.30 an hour , I pay 520 in child care $50.00 a month in dance $ 75 phone bill . What would be an ideal rent amount . I can’t seem to budget myself properly .

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Stephanie,
      Being a single mom can make budgeting really tricky, so we understand your dilemma.
      Based on your income, your formula max. rent is about $844. However, you have child care costs that take out a big chunk of your cash flow, so we’d estimate that you should target rent no more than $600 a month. (Before you move try to save up closer to $3,000 so you have a little emergency fund left after all the move related expenses.) See rough budget below. As always, we advice you to make sure to test the budget with your actual numbers to confirm that it works for you. Good luck!

      Stephanie’s Budget:
      Hours 45
      Pay/hr $15.30
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $34,425
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($5,164)
      After tax take-home $29,261
      Per month take-home est. $2,438
      Max. rent -$600
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$120
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting est. -$125
      Groceries/food est. -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$60
      Cell phone -$75
      Credit Cards $0
      Dance -$50
      Child Care -$520
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $438
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  80. Sean

    I make 18.25 an hour working at least 40 hours a week. I have a $400 car payment $190 for insurance $80 for student loans $140 for phone bill. What rent amount would I be looking at here?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Sean,
      You make a nice pay per hour, but, as we have seen many times before, your budget is foiled by your high car expenses. With gas, loan and insurance payments you are spending over $600 a month on your car, so as you see below there is no way you could afford a place you should based on your income. You also pay a lot for your phone. You should be able to find a better plan. Our chart says that your max. rent target at $18/hr. 40 hrs/week is $900, but with your fixed expenses that will leave your only $1 a month towards discretionary expenses and 0 for savings. As we have said before, we like to see about $100 a week, or $400 a month, for discretionary. In your case that would mean max. rent of $500, instead of the formula $900. And, you’d still not have much flexibility for saving. Hope this helps. Good luck!

      Sean’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $18.25
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $36,500
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($9,125)
      After tax take-home $27,375
      Per month take-home est. $2,281
      Max. rent -$900
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$180
      Car payments -$400
      Car insurance -$190
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$140
      Credit Cards/ Gym Membership $0
      Student Loans -$80
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $1
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  81. Drew

    I make 10/hr but i should be getting a raise sooner this year to 11/hr, but if you could please calculate for me with 10, or both, up to you. My car insurance is 75/month, i pay 65/month on my phone. Its just me so there is no way im spending 300/month on food, not if i do it right, i’m talking rice, pasta, peanut butter, you know, cheap shit. I have 9k in the savings. I work roughly 35 hours a week and get paid every two weeks, but i make about 50 (low)- (130)high on tips every two weeks. so 100 (low) – (260)- high a month. And my car saves a lot of gas, so i only spend really 20$ a month on gas…., but to keep the car maintained thats a whole different expense we can put that under the priority potential spending’s.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Drew,
      Because of the extra safety valve you have from your tip income and your high savings, you should be able to manage up to the max. formula rent for $10/ hr. and 35 hours, or $438 a month, maybe even a little more. You may be able to spend less than $300 for groceries/food, but also keep in mind that should cover your work lunches and all non-food supplies you’ll need. Anyway, we took it down to $250. If you work in food service and get free work lunches that would help. Keep your good savings record going by trying to put away your tip income. Good luck!

      Drew’s Budget:
      Hours 35
      Pay/hr $10.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $17,500
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,625)
      After tax take-home $14,875
      Per month take-home est. $1,240
      Max. rent -$438
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent or $100) -$100
      Car payments/loans, etc. $0
      Car insurance -$75
      Gas est. -$20
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$250
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$65
      Credit Cards/ Gym Membership $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $252
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  82. theone

    hi. i make $13/hr currently and have student loans/car payment totaling near $700/month. how much can i afford considering this? i have been renting a room for $400/month.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Theone,
      It seems that even that $400 you are now paying for a room is tight because of your high other fixed expenses. Stay where you are for now and try to chip away some of your high payments before moving to a more costly place. Good luck!

      Theone’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $13.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $26,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($5,200)
      After tax take-home $20,800
      Per month take-home est. $1,733
      Max. rent -$400
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$80
      Car payments/loans, etc. -$700
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards/ Gym Membership $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $83
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  83. Marla

    Hello, I make 22.00 an hour. I normally work 64 hours (overtime pay) or more per week. I currently live with my parents but I will be leasing a duplex in August with rent of $950.00. I will not have a roommate. Other expenses include sewage, electric, gas and trash. I pay $388.00 for car insurance, $300 for my car payment, $90 phone bill, $25 for gym membership, about $100 gas for car monthly. Just wondering if I’m good with this rent payment on my income.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Marla,
      It looks like you can afford that $950 apartment even if we just include a 40-hour week. With your heavy overtime, you can pay all your bills and even have an opportunity to save substantial amounts out of your extra overtime pay. Good luck!

      Marla’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $22.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $44,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($11,000)
      After tax take-home $33,000
      Per month take-home est. $2,750
      Max. rent -$950
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$190
      Car payments -$300
      Car insurance -$388
      Gas est. -$100
      or Commuting est. $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$90
      Credit Cards/ Gym Membership -$25
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $367
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  84. Samantha K

    I make 13.75 and there are apartments around here that are a 2 bedroom, 1019 with utilities included and no need for a deposit. I have a truck and know others with a truck so I won’t need to rent a uhaul. So…can I afford it ???

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Samantha,
      With your income, your max. rent target is in the $650-$700 range, so $1,019 is far above your affordable rent. Do you need a 2BR? A smarter plan would be to look for a smaller place in your target rent range. Good luck!

      Reply
  85. Caleb

    I make $17 a hour and work 40 hours a week and get paid weekly I pay $60 a month for my car and $100 a month for phone and pay $105 a month for phone but that’s it what can I afford???

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Caleb,
      It looks like you’ll be able to afford up to the formula rent for $17 an hour/40 hour week of $850 and even have money left for some savings.
      Of course, you do not have to pay $850 rent if you can get a suitable place for less than that. Good luck!

      Caleb’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $17.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $34,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($8,500)
      After tax take-home $25,500
      Per month take-home est. $2,125
      Max. rent -$850
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$170
      Car payments -$60
      Car insurance $0
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting (includes gas?) $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$105
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $550
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  86. Daisy

    Hi I make 8.75 hrly 40 hrs a week & I have a 196 car insurance. 30 cell bill What would be my affordable rent?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Daisy,

      Our rent chart indicates that your max. rent is about $400. However, you’d be safer looking for a roommate share in a $300 range. Even at that level it will be tight, leaving less for other discretionary expenses that we’d recommend, only about $65 a week vs. $100 we like to see, and probably nothing for savings. See rough budget below. Good luck!

      Daisy’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $8.75
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $17,500
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($2,625)
      After tax take-home $14,875
      Per month take-home est. $1,240
      Max. rent -$300
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$60
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance -$196
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting (includes gas?) $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$30
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loans $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $264
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  87. Savy

    My boyfriend and I want to get a 2 bedroom apartment in the $775 – $815 range. We both make $11 an hour. The only amenities included are high speed internet and cable. He has no car payment, but my car payment is $350 a month. Our phones are $100 a month. Would this be a good investment?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Savy,
      Assuming you both work 40 hours a week, it looks like the rent of $815 is easily doable for you, leaving you enough for savings and discretionary expenses. If that gets you a place you love, it’s a good move but paying rent is never an investment, it is always an expense. See budget below. Good luck!

      Savy’s Budget:
      Hours-S 40
      Pay/hr $11.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $22,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($3,300)
      After tax take-home – Savy $18,700
      Hours-BF 40
      Pay/hr $11.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $22,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($3,300)
      After tax take-home – BF $18,700
      Cash take-home -combined $3,117
      Rent -$815
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$163
      Car payments -$350
      Car insurance payments $0
      Gas est. ($50 each) -$100
      or Commuting $0
      Groceries/food est. for 2 -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. for 2 -$60
      Cell phone est. -$100
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loan $0
      Target savings 10% of take-home -$312
      Amount left for discretionary expenses $767
      *Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  88. Dylan

    I make $15/hour . Only expenses are $250 car payment , $40 phone payment , and 80 insurance . What would be my ideal monthly apartment rent cost ?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Dylan,
      Looks like about $600 rent would be max. that is doable to you, but it would not leave much room for savings. If you can find something for less, that much better. (It may be a roommate share.) You’ll need at least $2,000 in bank before you move and anything over that will be a starting emergency fund. Good luck!

      Dylan’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $15.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $30,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($7,500)
      After tax take-home $22,500
      Per month take-home est. $1,875
      Max. rent -$600
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20%) -$120
      Car payments -$250
      Car insurance est. -$80
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$40
      Credit Cards $0
      Student loan $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $395
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  89. Anne

    Hello, I am making $20 per hour and work 40 hours per week. I also have to pay car insurance ($200) and utilities ($100) per month. Can I afford to pay $1000 per month for rent?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Anne,
      Looks like you’ll be able to manage $1,000 rent and still cover all your expenses and even put money in savings. Good luck!

      Anne’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. -$200
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Student loan $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$250
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $380
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  90. Alex

    Hello i was wondering what would be my max rent I can afford at 18.50/hr 40hrs. I do get bonus every 3 months but I won’t add that. My expenses are 120 car, 50 car insurance, 60 credit card, 50 cell, and 60 dollars internet

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Alex,
      It looks like you could go up to the formula max. rent of $925 and still comfortably cover your expenses and put money in savings, although probably not the full 10% we included in the rough budget below. Now, if you can get a nice place for less, more power to you and your savings! Meanwhile, pay off that credit card balance ASAP. Good luck!

      Alex’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $18.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $37,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($9,250)
      After tax take-home $27,750
      Per month take-home est. $2,313
      Max. rent -$925
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20%) -$185
      Car payments -$120
      Car insurance est. -$50
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting (includes gas?) $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$50
      Credit Cards -$60
      Student loan $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$231
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $301
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  91. Teresa

    Hello I am in Tpa FL I make 13$ an hour and work 40 hours per week. I have cell phone of 85.00 per month electric is appx 150 per month and cable is 145.00 per month. My cars paid for and so is my car ins paid for yearly. I get 540.00 a month in child support. What should my target rent be?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Teresa,
      If you base your rent target on your income only, without child support factored in, you could go to max. $650 a month. (If another $100 will get you into significantly better school district it may be worth a stretch as long as you can trim some expenses vs. our estimates.) At that level you should have enough to cover your other living expenses and put some money to savings. See rough budget below. This assumes that your child is young. (If you have a growing teenager or a couple of them there is never enough money to keep them fed and in shoes!) We included an estimate for car insurance because you need to put money aside for that bill so you have it when it becomes due. Family budgeting is not really our specialty but we hope this helps. Good luck!

      Teresa’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $13.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $26,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($3,900)
      After tax take-home $22,100
      Per month take-home est. $1,842
      Child support $540
      Total Cash in $2,382
      Max. rent -$650
      Utilities, electric + cable/internet -$295
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance est. -$150
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting $0
      Groceries/food est. -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$60
      Cell phone -$85
      Credit Cards $0
      Student loan $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) -$184
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $458
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  92. Patricia

    Hi I’m a senior citizen living on social security alone. I receive $925 a month. Could you please tell me what rental price I should be looking for please and thanks!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Patricia,
      If we use our rough rule-of-thumb of 35% of your cash income, then your max. rent is $324. That would leave you about $150 a week to cover all your other expenses. Not knowing where you live, $324 may not be enough to get you any type of rental. You may look into a senior co-housing/roommate situation if any are available in your community.
      Good luck!

      Reply
  93. Karch

    Hi, I make $16 an hour and work 40 hours a week.
    My current expenses include:
    $700 in student loan debt
    $230 car payment
    $100 car insurance
    $40 cell phone bill
    I am looking to get an apartment in the $650 to $700 range. Does this seem reasonable?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Karch,
      It does not look like you’ll be ready to get your own place right now. Between your student loan and car payments and estimating typical food/grocery expenses, you cannot even cover your most necessary expenses. If you can stay where you are, take a year and try to pay off as much of your debt as you can and also save at least $2,000 for the initial rent and moving expenses. See your rough budget below. Good luck!

      Karch’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $16.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $32,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($6,400)
      After tax take-home $25,600
      Per month take-home est. $2,133
      Max. rent -$650
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20%) -$130
      Car payments -$230
      Car insurance est. -$100
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting (includes gas?) $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$40
      Credit Cards $0
      Student loan -$700
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month -$107
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  94. Stella

    Hi, I make $17 a hour & work 40hrs a week, so that’s $2,720 a month, before taxes. I just found an apartment for $1,150. The $1,150 includes free heat, electricity & hot water. My only major bill is my daughters child care which is $86.40 a week/ $345.60 a month. I also have a credit card with a small limit of $500, that I signed up for just to build my credit. I only use the credit car to pay bills, then I turn around and pay it off so that I can re-use it again for bills. I own my car and I’ve paid up my car insurance for the next 6months. What do you think, is $1,150 a good price considering utilities are included? Can you create a budget for me? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Stella,
      We are sorry to have to tell you that $1,150 is far too much for rent. It would take 48% of your estimated take-home pay and would leave you less than $100 for discretionary expenses. See rough budget below. We included an estimate for car insurance, assuming that you pay the average amount a month. Even though your insurance bill was just paid you’ll have to start saving for the next one each month. Perhaps you have some child support money coming in. Is it possible to find a place in the $750 range that would work for you and the girls? Then you’d have about $500 a month for other expenses and maybe even put a little into savings and not be under stress every month to make your rent. Good luck! We are rooting for you.

      Stella’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $17.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $34,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 15% ($5,100)
      After tax take-home $28,900
      Per month take-home est. $2,408
      Max. rent -$1,150
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet -$50
      Car payments $0
      Car insurance est. -$150
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting (includes gas?) $0
      Groceries/food est. -$450
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Childcare -$346
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $92
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  95. Jessica

    Hello,
    I’m trying to figure out how much rent I can afford. I make $15/hr on 40 hours a week. My car payment is $230, car insurance is $200, phone is $127, groceries $160 a month, gas roughly $80 a month. I was looking to get a two bedroom with a roommate but currently have no one that will move out with me. So i’m looking into a 1 bedroom but need to know how much I can afford on a one bedroom with my current expenses. Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Jessica,
      The formula rent with your hourly rate and hours is $750, but it is too much, because you spend $510 on your car expenses. Also, your grocery/food estimate looks low by about $100, unless you cook at home and bring lunches to work and avoid those afternoon runs to the Starbucks. Keep on looking for a 2BR and a roommate. You’ll save about third in rent and still have your own bedroom. (See this post http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/04/how-much-can-you-save-in-rent-living-with-roommates/) Then you’ll have room in your budget also for savings. See rough budget below. Good luck!

      Jessica’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $15.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $30,000
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($7,500)
      After tax take-home $22,500
      Per month take-home est. $1,875
      Max. rent -$750
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$150
      Car payments (incl. insurance?) -$230
      Car insurance est. -$200
      Gas est. -$80
      or Commuting (includes gas?) $0
      Groceries/food est. -$160
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$127
      Credit Cards $0
      Other Debt $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $138
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  96. Fahed Alhalaby

    Hi im 25, I get paid $11/hr and I work about 62 hours a week, so I get paid overtime after the 40 hour limit. I’m looking to move to an apartment I also will be having a roommate as well since I don’t really like to live alone. What do you think is the best budget option for my situation?

    Reply
  97. Ashley

    Hi im 22 and i get paid 9.00 hourly 40hours a week And I get over time I’m trying to rent an apartment for 722 month will i be able to afford this or get approved with is pay?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Ashley,
      That $722 apartment is far too much for you. Our formula says that your max. rent is $450.
      Based on your hours and pay, you probably take home after taxes about $1,300 a month, so your $722 rent plus at least $100 for utilities would leave you $478 a month for food, getting to work and back, and all other living expenses. You’d be rent poor, always stressing over bills, and not have any money left over for fun. Why don’t you look for a roommate share and see how you manage with all your expenses when your rent is in the $400 range. Good luck!

      Reply
  98. Luisa

    Can you help me figure out what I can afford as a single parent? I make $2,500 monthly on salary, working 40 hours a week. I also get $200 a month for child support. My car note is $600 a month aside from my car insurance of $181 a month, phone bill $120 a month, and other misc bills like gas, food, my child’s necessities, etc

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Luisa,
      We calculated your budget without the child support because you’ll need that money for the child’s expenses. Based on your salary (we assume it was pretax), you should be able to afford 35% or $788 in rent, but as you see below, it is not going to work. Like many of our readers you are tripped up by your high car costs. In your case even $400 rent would be tight. Is there any way you could trade in that car for a less expensive one. It would also cut your car insurance bill. Looks like you have to stay put where you are until you get some relief on your car costs. Good luck!
      Luisa’s Budget:
      Monthly salary $2,500
      Less: est. taxes 10% -$250
      Per month take-home est. $2,250
      Max. rent 35% of take home -$788
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$158
      Car payments -$600
      Car insurance -$181
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$125
      Credit cards $0
      Student loan $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $9
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  99. Eric Long

    Hey i was wondering if you can help me figure out my budget as well. As of right now I am living in my moms house trying to save up and figure out a budget to move out on my own once again successfully. I make approx $16.25/hour and 80 hours every two weeks. I live in Cleveland, Ohio. My current expenses not including what i will need for rent and utilities is: Car payment: $350, Car Insurance: $146 (hopefully going down), cellphone: $140, approximate gas: $95. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Eric,
      Based on your hours and pay max. rent for you is just over $800. However, because of your high car expenses and high cell phone bill, that is far too much. You should be targeting rent below $500 to have enough money for other expenses and even be able to save a little. Continue living with your mom and start saving at least $500 a month to test out how you’d manage on your own. If you have a few thousand saved by the time you move, you’ll have a safety net when unexpected expenses hit. You’ll probably end moving in with a roommate or two, as do so many first time renters, in order to bring your rent down to an affordable level. Good luck!
      P.S. Remember to get your mom a nice present for Mother’s Day. You are lucky that you have the option to stay with her until you are ready to move.
      Eric’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $16.25
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $32,500
      Est. taxes/deductions 25% ($8,125)
      After tax take-home $24,375
      Per month take-home est. $2,031
      Max. rent -$500
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$100
      Car payments -$350
      Car insurance -$146
      Gas est. -$95
      or Commuting $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone -$140
      Credit cards $0
      Student loan $0
      Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $360
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  100. Billy

    Hey I know you’ve been helping a lot of people fine tune there budget on here and I’ve been struggling to make my own any help is greatly appreciated I make 21/hr and pay 675 for my car 80 for phone 375 in other debt as well as 200 for commuting to work I work 40+ hrs per week what do you think I could afford???

    Reply
  101. Jesston Johnson

    I make 9.14 dollars an hour and i work 35 hours every two weeks would i be able to keep the rent paid with a 9 year old son and no other help what should i do

    Reply
  102. Purefire21

    Hello, I work two jobs. Job 1 I make 13.40 per at 35 hrs a week. Job 2 I make 12.35 at 40 hrs per week.
    Car note with insurance is 359 and I am looking for a Apartment in East orange NJ.

    Reply
  103. Socram

    Hello i make $13 per hour 35 hrs a week. commute is $140 a month, gym membership $100 a month, phone bill $45, groceries $100 a month. How much can i afford on rent?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Socram,
      Let’s see if our formula works for you. See below. Looks like the $500 range would be doable for you for rent. You probably underestimate how much you spend on food. $3.33 a day = $100 a month is really skimpy for groceries/food – are you on a Ramen only diet? A typical monthly grocery bill for a man is about $300. Plug into the budget format your real numbers and see how it looks. Good luck!

      Socram’s Budget:
      Hours 35
      Pay/hr $13.00
      Total/yr (52 wks paid) $23,660
      Est. taxes 15% ($3,549)
      After tax take-home – $20,111
      Per month take-home $1,676
      Max. rent -$569
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (10% of rent) -$150
      Car payment est. $0
      Car insurance est. $0
      Gas est. $0
      or Commuting -$140
      Groceries/food est. -$100
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone est. -$45
      Gym -$100
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loan $0
      Savings (10% of take-home) -$168
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $364
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
      • Lisa

        Hello, I’m trying to see if I can afford to move out and how long it’ll take until I can. I make $13.50/hour 40 hours a week and get paid weekly. My phone bill is about $90/month, food $150/month, student loans $282/month (at the moment, might go up to around $400 in a yr or two), gas for my car $60/month. These are all rough estimates, could be off by a few bucks. No car note or insurance.

        Reply
        • MFA Editors MFA Editors

          Hi Lisa, with your hours and pay your max. rent is $675 in our chart. However, that looks a too high because of your student loans, particularly as you expect the payments to go up to $400. (Keep your credit rating up and you can probably refinance for lower payment in the future.) The good news is that your car seems to be paid by someone else (parents?)so all you have to cover is gas. Your food/grocery expense looks low by at least $100, keep in mind you have to also pay for toilet paper and detergent, etc. when you live on your own.
          See rough budget below. If you can find a nice place in the $500 range, you should be able to manage nicely and even be able to save a little money in an emergency fund. Make sure you have $2,000 or so in the bank by the time you start looking. Good luck!
          Lisa’s Budget:
          Hours 40
          Pay/hr $13.50
          Total/yr (50 wks paid) $27,000
          Est. taxes/deductions 20% ($5,400)
          After tax take-home $21,600
          Per month take-home est. $1,800
          Max. rent -$675
          Utilities, incl. cable/internet (20% of rent) -$135
          Car payments (incl. insurance?) $0
          Car insurance est. $0
          Gas est. -$60
          or Commuting (includes gas?) $0
          Groceries/food est. -$150
          Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
          Cell phone -$90
          Credit cards $0
          Student loan -$282
          Savings (target 10% of take-home) $0
          Cash left for all other expenses/Month $368
          Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

  104. David

    Hello I need help, I am 30 and I make $30 hourly 40 hours a week plus ot, what should my budget for rent be just me by myself no room mates I live in the DC metro area

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi David,
      The chart says that at $30/40 hours your max rent is $1,500. You should be able to get a nice place on your own for even less than that in the DC area. However, you did not mention any other bills you may have, so let’s see how it would work with typical first apartment expenses. See below. Looks like you should be OK, even at $1,500 rent, but you would be able to really boost up your savings if you got a place for less, but still nice enough that you’d be happy to walk in your front door after long day at work. Good luck!
      David’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $30.00
      Total/yr (52 wks paid) $62,400
      Est. taxes 30% ($18,720)
      After tax take-home – $43,680
      Per month take-home $3,640
      Max. rent -$1,500
      Utilities, incl. cable/internet (10% of rent) -$150
      Car payment est. -$300
      Car insurance est. -$150
      Gas est. -$50
      or Commuting $0
      Groceries/food est. -$300
      Laundry/dry cleaning est. -$40
      Cell phone est. -$80
      Credit Cards $0
      Student Loan $0
      Savings (10% of take-home) -$364
      Cash left for all other expenses/Month $706
      Clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc.

      Reply
  105. Shonda

    Hi, I make15.43 an hour and I work full time. My car payment is $275 a month and my insurance is $100. I plan to have a roommate and wanted to know how much I can afford to pay for rent.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Shonda,
      Based on the chart in this post, your max. rent at $15/40 hours a week is $750. Your rough budget below, shows that you could manage at that level but it is tight – we like to see at least $200 a week for other living expenses and savings. Of course, you need to look at your actual paychecks to see how much you take home after taxes and what other fixed monthly bills you have. (We estimated your tax deductions at 20%.) Good luck!
      Shonda’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $15.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $30,000
      Est. taxes 20% ($6,000)
      After tax take-home – $24,000

      Per month take-home $2,000
      Max. rent -$750
      Utilities (20% of rent) -$150
      Car Payment -$275
      Car insurance -$100
      Cash after fixed exp. $725
      Per week $181

      Reply
  106. Capucine Duncan

    I really need help!

    I live in Chicago,IL. My goal is for me, bf, and son to have our own apartment, preferably two bed 1 bath. I just started working at a place where I make 16/hr , 40 hours a week. My bf makes 11.50/hr and will probably drop to part time to watch our child. As far as expenses will pay 50 per pay period on health insurance, 28 a week on bus fare and my bf pays 100 on our mobile bill and pays his student loans every month. Based off that could you tell me how much will we be able to afford in rent?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Capucine,
      Below is your very rough budget based on the information you gave. (The wild card that we don’t know is the amount of student loan payments your BF has, if that’s much more than $100 a month, go with the safer rent.) It looks like the rent in the $1,000 range would be doable for you based on your and BF’s incomes. However, you would be safer basing your rent target on your income alone, because your BF plans to take of your son. In that case you’d be looking something in the $800-$850 range. Good luck and let us know what you end up doing.
      Capucine’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $16.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $32,000
      Est. taxes 15% ($4,800)
      After tax take-home – Capucine $27,200
      Hours – BF 20
      Pay/hr $11.50
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $11,500
      Est. taxes 10% ($1,150)
      After tax take-home – BF $10,350

      Per month after tax take-home $3,129
      Max. rent (before tax pay/40) -$1,088
      Utilities (20% of rent) -$218
      Health insurance $50/week? -$200
      Bus fare $28/week -$112
      Phone -$100
      Student Loan ???
      Cash after fixed exp. $1,412
      Per week $353

      Reply
  107. morgan badd

    Hi , guys I currently live in Michigan bring home 12.85 get paid every 2 weeks im contigent but I chose to work everyday sometimes 5 12hr shifts an 2 8hrs whats the max rent I can afford im think 600 – 650?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Morgan,
      If you work at least 40 hours a week, you should be able to afford $600-650 rent, unless you have unusually heavy other fixed expenses (car, credit cards, loans, etc.). We like to see at least $200 a week left for all your other living expenses and savings, after deducting from your take-home pay rent, utilities and all fixed expenses. Do the math with your actual expenses and see what it shows. Good luck!

      Reply
      • Ivana

        Hi
        I live in New York and make $12.62 going on $13 possibly this summer. I may experience a large increase in salary since I applied for a high position yet I still have no idea where I should start saving for rent deposit and moving fees. Any ideas?

        Reply
        • MFA Editors MFA Editors

          Hi Ivana,
          Our chart in the post shows that at $13/40 hours your max. rent target is $650. If you live upstate New York, you can certainly get a small apartment at that, but not in New York City. In NYC, you’ll be looking at a roommate share, most likely with several roommates. In any case, you should target to save at least $2,000 before you move. Once you get that higher paying job, take another look at the numbers, but most likely you’ll be still looking at getting a roommate share. Good luck!

  108. Zoe

    Hello,

    I just got a new job and I will be getting paid $20.90 per hour and I will be working 40 hours a week. I currently have a cellphone bill which is 100, and credit card bill which is 80, and 114 for a monthly metro card. Will I be able to rent an apartment in Brooklyn with the income that I will soon make?Thanks

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Zoe,
      According to the chart on the post, you max. rent is just over $1,000 a month. You will not be able to get your own place in Brooklyn, but everyone starts out with a roommate share, anyway. NYC has high taxes, so we estimated your tax bite at 25% of income. See a rough budget below. If you go down to $200 a week for your other living expenses, you could go up another $250 or so in rent to about $1,250. Best way to afford living in a high cost city like NYC and have a great first apartment experience is make friends with people in your income bracket, take advantage of all the free and cheap events and entertainment options, and learn to cook. Eating out is budget killer. Good luck!
      Zoe’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $20.90
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $41,800
      Est. taxes 25% ($10,450)
      After tax take-home – $31,350
      Per month take-home $2,613
      Max. rent -$1,000
      Utilities (10% of rent -high rent market) -$100
      Metro Card -$114
      Phone -$100
      Credit card -$80
      Cash after fixed exp. $1,219
      Per week (30 day month) $284

      Reply
  109. Nikki

    Hi,

    I’m transitioning into a new career of which I’ll be making $16.06 per hour and will be paid biweekly. I have a car payment of about $232 and the insurance is $160. I’ve been considering an apartment that states rent would be about $625 per month with a one time deposit of $750. Would I be able to afford this? What could I expect to spend on clothes, food, renting insurance, etc? Would be first time on my own.

    Reply
  110. Lisa

    Hello, I’m trying to see if I can afford to move out and how long it’ll take until I can. I make $13.50/hour full time and get paid weekly. My phone bill is about $90/month, food $150/month, student loans $282/month (at the moment, might go up to around $400 in a yr or two), gas for my car $60/month. These are all rough estimates, could be off by a few bucks. No car note or insurance.

    Reply
  111. Lori

    Hello! Moving to Nashville and will be making $17hr. I won’t have a car payment, but will pay for gas. Maybe a phone bill $100 a month. How much can I afford for a one bd w/enough to spare for utilities? Thanks! :)

    Reply
    • Danielle Ruggiero

      how many hours a week will you be working? If 40, you can afford about 800-850. 850 being your max :)

      Reply
  112. Mariah Davis

    Hi, I recently received a raise and make 18.10 an hr. I have a car payment of $450, insurance $190. What is the highest rent I can afford? Am I even able to move out and still live comfortably?

    Reply
    • Keya

      Sheesh that car note & insurance is a big load. If you work 40hrs per week, that’s about $2,896/month before taxes. If you pay your car note & insurance plus maybe a $700 rent that would leave you with about $1550 per month left over for personal use. If you move into an apt you may not have to worry about utilities. Factor in phone bill and maybe $100-150 per month on food & you’re in good shape. I also claim more dependents on W4 so federal isn’t taken out, but that’s personal preference depending on whether you’d like more money in checks or prefer a big refund. If you have any kids you won’t owe back taxes by claiming excessive dependents either. Just some tips on getting more out your pay check. Good luck!

      Reply
  113. Larry

    Hello I make $13 an hour 40 hrs a week
    I don’t have to any car bills or cellphone bills
    My girlfriend would be living with me and would be paying all our groceries
    Can I get an apartment ?

    Reply
  114. Jenny

    Hi guys, I have a question regarding the estimator showed above. I go to college and I earn $10.75 per week. My expenses are limited to grocery shopping (around $60 monthly) and my $15 cellphone bill. Other expenses are paid around every (3-4 months). My question is this, if I live in a shared house with 3/4 other people and we share expenses, would it be a wise idea to pay a $450 rent + utilities?

    Reply
    • Kitsune Miko

      I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you meant $10.75/hour, because earning $10.75 per week wouldn’t even cover your grocery bill. However, it’s hard to give you an answer because we don’t know how many hours per week you get. Refer to the chart above (use the $10/hour listing) and if the hours you get are not exact, round to the nearest number on the chart (lower is better).

      From the sounds of it though, you might make enough to cover it, because part time work is usually around 20-25 hours per week. Based on the chart, that would mean a maximum of $313 for rent. You might be able to go a little bit higher, but it would be a better idea to save that for emergency expenses instead.

      The chart does not take into account utility expenses, but the rule of thumb is 20% of your rent amount or $100, whichever’s higher (10% in high rent areas like NYC). 20% of 313 is 62.60, so the $100 amount would be the working number for budgeting. Added to the rent amount, that’s $413 per month for rent and utility costs.

      Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Jenny,
      Hope you saw Kitsune Miko’s earlier advice. Here’s our take on your situation.
      Assuming you make $10.75 an hour and work 20 hours week, you cannot afford $450 a month rent. See below Budget A. However, at 30 hours or more you could make it. Your cell phone looks low, so you are probably on your parents’ plan, which is a great savings. You don’t have any car/commuting to work expenses, so we assume you walk or bike. Your grocery/food/laundry expenses will be much higher when you live on your own, so estimate $50-$75 a week, if you cook at home. You would have to live frugally but you should be able to manage. Good luck!
      Jenny’s Budget A:
      Hours 20
      Pay/hr $10.75
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $10,750
      Est. taxes 15% ($1,613)
      After tax take-home – $9,138
      Per month take-home $761
      Max. rent -$450
      Utilities Est. -$50
      Phone -$15
      Groceries/laundry -$200
      Cash after fixed exp. $46
      Per week (30 day month) $11
      Jenny’s Budget B:
      Hours 30
      Pay/hr $10.75
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $16,125
      Est. taxes 15% ($2,419)
      After tax take-home – $13,706
      Per month take-home $1,142
      Max. rent -$450
      Utilities Est. -$50
      Phone -$15
      Groceries/laundry -$300
      Cash after fixed exp. $327
      Per week (30 day month) $76

      Reply
  115. Joy

    Hi,
    I will be making $25/hr for an internship in Chicago. I will be taking the train to/from work as I do not have a car. I will be working 40 hours a week, have no phone bill, and have a cat to provide for. What are my options in terms of monthly rent?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Joy,
      Yours is one of the rare cases where you could reasonable afford the max. rent on our chart, or $1,250, and still be able to pay all your other living expenses, including entertainment, plus put a fair amount into savings. However, you maybe able to find a place that you love for less in Chicago, giving you even more flexibility. Good luck!

      Reply
  116. Ana

    Hello guys! Would love some help! I make around $455 biweekly, around 900 monthly, would I be able to afford a rent of $525?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Ana,
      The answer is no. After rent and utilities you’ll have less than $300 a month for commuting to work, food, clothing and all other living expenses. If you can stay where you are, save money and wait to move until your income improves. If you must move, look for a max. $300 roommate share. Good luck!

      Reply
  117. Danielle Ruggiero

    Hi, could you help me out?
    I make 15/hr working full time. I want to move out with my girlfriend on one income. I’m looking to move near Framingham, MA if that helps. I currently don’t have any car payments, although I do have a car. I pay about 100$ in bills like phone and credit card a month. Could I afford 800 safely if it includes things? What about 700, that includes nothing? It would be just us two. I’m really worried about not having enough money to afford everything to move out :(

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Danielle,
      As you saw on the chart in the post, at 40 hours/week and $15/hour, your max. formula rent is $750. Let’s see how that looks on a budget worksheet below.
      As long as you don’t have car payment, you should be ok in the $700 range, but is does not look much margin for error. If your car goes, it will be tough, but maybe your GF will be able to pitch in. Good luck!
      Danielle’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $15.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $30,000
      Est. taxes 20% ($6,000)
      After tax take-home – $24,000

      Per month take-home $2,000
      Max. rent -$750
      Utilities (20% of rent) -$150
      Phone & credit cards -$100
      Cash after fixed exp. $1,000
      Per week $250

      Reply
      • Danielle Ruggiero

        awesome, thanks so much :) I love this website so much, I’ve read every single article on it within the last three years. Keep it up, I love it and you guys :)

        Reply
  118. Shena Montoya

    Hi I make 14. 00 and I work 20 hours a week will I be able to find a apt to rent

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Shena,
      You probably take home about $1,000 a month. Can you find a place for around $350 a month? That’s most you could reasonably afford. Good luck!

      Reply
  119. Nadia

    I’m full time making 12.74 hourly and have a 4 year old daughter. I’m trying to move along with my roommate who makes way more than me, 20 something an hour. What price range should we look for and if I decide to look for just me and my daughter, what should I like for?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Nadia,
      Your max rent from our chart http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/ at $12/hr. and 40 hours/week is $600. In your case that would be really pushing it because you also have a child and they cost a lot of money. If you have to pay for daycare, you probably cannot afford your own place. Your roommate at $20/hr and 40 hours/week could go as high as $1,000 in rent. Try to get something in that $1,000, so max. you would pay is $500. If you roomie wants to go higher, they should pick up the extra rent. Good luck!

      Reply
  120. Kelsey

    I work full time and i get paid $15/hour, would i be able to afford a one bedroom apartment that is $800, would i need to get a roommate or could i do it alone?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Kelsey,
      $800 is pushing it, but if you work a full 40 hours a week and have no other fixed costs and know how to live frugally, you should be able to do it. Why don’t you see if for a little more you can get a 2BR and share the cost with a roommate. You’d be less stressed and able to save some money. Good luck!

      Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Ben,
      Of course it is, if your pay per hour is high enough. Even if you make minimum wage, you should be able to get a roommate share somewhere, although it may not be an area or situation that is ideal for a long term. Good luck!

      Reply
  121. Angelica

    I make 10.50 an hour and i get payed every two weeks and i do about 49 Hours per week .i found a apartment for 800 a month do yoi think i could afford it

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Angelica,
      $800 is too high by about $200. If you eyeball the chart at $11/45 hour/wk, the max. rent is $619. Don’t overextend on rent, consider a roommate share to start with that will allow you to save money and move to your dream place in a year or two. Good luck!

      Reply
  122. Clara

    Hi. I am currently making $20/hr and I am offered an apartment with utilities included for $700/month in los angeles. I do have loans and car insurance but my car is paid. Im going to be living on my own so i want to make sure that I am making the right move. Please help me by informing me if I should take this opportunity?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Clara,
      As you can see on the post http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/ at 35 hours a week, your max. rent is $875, so $700 that includes utilities is well within your means. You need to run the numbers anyway just to make sure, because you say you have loans and we have no information on the size of those payments. Add up your take-home pay for the last month, deduct the rent and all your other monthly bills and see whats left. We like to see at least $200 a week for your other living costs. Good luck!

      Reply
  123. Jan

    Hi i get paid $10 per hour, and I work 40 hours a week. I am looking at a $560 apartment. I don’t pay any bills right now. Could you please go in depth as to how much I could afford on an apartment.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Jan,
      You have no bill to pay? Will someone continue paying your bills after you move? Commuting to work, phone, credit cards, etc.? What will happen when they stop paying your bills? How much do you have in savings? Should be a lot, since you work and have no expenses! Somehow all this sounds unrealistic to us. Before you jump to rent, why don’t you at least write down where your cash went last couple of months. We suspect you’ll find a bunch of expenses you’ll have to pay, in addition to rent after you move. That “budget” tell you if you can afford the apartment. Good luck!

      Jan’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $10.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $20,000
      Est. taxes 15% ($3,000)
      After tax take-home – $17,000

      Per month take-home $1,417
      Max. rent -$560
      Utilities (20% of rent) -$112
      Car Payment $0
      Car insurance $0
      Phone $0
      Student Loan $0
      Cash after fixed exp. $745
      Per week (30-day month) $174

      Reply
  124. Stefania

    Hello, I make 9.00 an hour, i work everyday 5am-12pm except Wednesday.So I get a little over 40 hours a week guaranteed plus tips which is only like $15 a day ( I’m a cashier) and was wondering if I could afford a efficiency apartment for 430 a month & only pay electricity, which will probably only be like 60-70 a month at the most. Thank you.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Stephania,
      Our chart says that you should be able afford $450 in rent, even without your tip income that you should save for an emergency fund. However, you must have some expenses. How do you get to work? Do you have a phone? Any credit card bills? Those expenses have to be paid before you even get to paying for food and clothing. Another way to look at the affordability is to look at how much you are saving each month right now or spending in totally discretionary items. Do those things add up to $500 a month and could cover your rent? if yes, you could move. Good luck!

      Stephania’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $9.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $18,000
      Est. taxes 15% ($2,700)
      After tax take-home – $15,300

      Per month take-home $1,275
      Max. rent -$430
      Utilities (20% of rent) -$70
      Car Payment ?
      Car insurance ?
      Phone ?
      Credit cards ?
      Cash after fixed exp. $775
      Per week (30-day month) $181

      Reply
  125. Yamilka Gonzalez

    Hello, I make 9.00 an hour, So I get a little over 40 hours a week guaranteed plus tips which is only like $15 a day ( I’m a cashier) and was wondering if I could afford a efficiency apartment for 430 a month & only pay electricity, which will probably only be like 60-70 a month at the most. Thank you.

    Reply
  126. Vanne

    I have two jobs my day job pays 14 hr I work 40 hours a week and the other one is full time as well I got paid 13 hr what price would I be able to afford for rent.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Vanne,
      Do you really work 80 hours a week and want to commit to working those hours continuously. We would recommend that you get an apartment that you can afford with just one full time job, or $700 that you could afford on your $14/40 hours/wk job. If that rent range is not doable in your market, you could go a little higher, but that will increase the stress in your life, knowing that you must work both jobs, no matter what. Good luck!

      Reply
  127. saira

    Hello, just need help on estimating a good rate for rent. I make $15 an hour and work 37.5 hours a week getting paid weekly. I pay for my car note ($290.83), car insurance ($219.17), phone bill (about $96), gas ($25 weekly), as of right now I’m paying medical bills monthly but hopefully soon I can pay those off and save more money. If I ever move out I can imagine I’d have to include gas, water, sewer, electricity, groceries, cable and internet, etc etc. Would I able to able to move out and live comfortably?

    Reply
  128. Kina

    I make $16/hr biweekly and work 40 hours a week. My monthly bills include my cell phone bill $113, insurance $30 (I split that with my family), gas for car $35, and my groceries and toiletries usually come up to $150. It’s just me and I want to know if I would be able to afford moving out on my own with my income?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Kina,
      Based on our rent chart http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/, your max is $800. Using that number in your budget and adding your other expenses, we estimate that you’d still have $200+ a week for all your other expenses. So, if you can get a place for $800 or less, you should be able to manage it. Good luck!
      Kina’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $16.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $32,000
      Est. taxes 20% ($6,400)
      After tax take-home – $25,600

      Per month take-home $2,133
      Max. rent -$800
      Utilities (20% of rent) -$160
      Gas -$35
      Car insurance -$30
      Phone -$113
      Groceries/toiletries -$150
      Cash after fixed exp. $845
      Per week $211

      Reply
  129. Nick toups

    I make 13 am hour 40 plus hrs a week. And once a month I usually get a 175 dollar bonus it could change alittle but with the bonus. But I pay a total of 85 dollars for my car and phone bills. And my girl friends makes 9 dollars an hr 35 hrs a week. Could you help us out alittle?

    Reply
  130. Shanika

    Hi im 24 and i get paid 9.00 hourly 27hours a week im a student and im trying to rent an apartment for 590 month will i be able to afford this or get approved with is pay?

    Reply
  131. Kimberly

    Hi, I’m about to rent an studio for 650 a month with everything included and is less than 5 minutes walking to my job. I get paid biweekly, 8.38 hourly and every monday of the month we get tips which i use to pay my phone, netflix, health insurance, internet and some food. I could approximately make 35-40 a week and sometimes I do 10-15 hours overtime. I would like to know if Im gonna make a good decision by renting this apartment based on my income and expenses.

    Reply
    • Maggie

      Kimberly, you want to budget for the low weeks. If you make 8.35/hr@35hr/week x 4 weeks/month -1/3 (taxes) take home is $850 this would leave you $200 for food/renters insturance/savings/shopping/misc. Now some months you will have extra but the $200 do you think that’s enough? The more you can save now the better off you will be in the long run

      Reply
  132. Craig

    Hello, I’m moving to Dallas, TX. I plan to work a full-time job that pays $13 per hour, 40 hours per week as a lockbox/document processor for Citigroup. As well as work a part time job with Instacart. I’m not sure what the pay for Instacart is but I’d say $12 per hour and 15 hours per week. I’ve been calculating ALL day and I don’t think I can afford a studio apartment, not a safe one anyway :). I have bad work history of getting fired (once) and quitting (twice). I’ve been out of work for 4 months, am a college student (not good either b/c i transferred multiple times making more debt) graduate end of this year with a certificate in illustration. I did an example, not sure exact percentages: took 20% taxes, 12% health/medical insurance (job offered insurance) & 10% for donation organization from my weekly check for the full time job. For the part time job I didn’t take out the 12% b/c most part-time jobs don’t offer it.

    full-time $15,683.20/year + part-time $6,552/year = $22,235.20/year

    An apartment in Dallas currently has a studio apartment for $695 per month, cable ready (not sure what that means), I don’t see any utilities included, nor internet.

    rent: $695+ internet, electricity, water, & gas = $850/month
    car (insurance, note & gas): $588/month
    cell phone: $32.54/month (tracfone, budget talking/texting :)
    Food: $250/month
    Miscellaneous (clothes, hair, car repairs…): $150/month
    Student loans (still in college not sure): $298/month
    TOTAL: $2,168.54/month

    $22,235.20/year is $1,852.93/month, I can’t afford this. :( unless I calculated wrong. I hope theres Illustration jobs that pay $20/hour there when I graduate. I don’t see any now, at least not any that don’t include graphic design.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Craig,
      According to our hourly pay rent formula, you should be able to afford $650 in rent on just your “day job”, so $695 is not that much of a reach. Where your budget gets blown up is that $588 a month in car expenses. We suspect that you have destroyed your credit rating during all your job and school changes and are paying top dollar for car loan interest and car insurance.
      We did a rough budget for you below using 20% for taxes, etc. deductions. You are probably a little too high with your estimates. Anyway, even with that it’s still too tight for that studio.
      Why don’t you take this year to get back on track. Get a roommate share. Stay in your job. Get your credit rating up. Trade down to a more affordable car. Refinance your student loans after your credit score is better. Use that second job to build a savings account. When 2018 rolls around you’ll be in a good shape to get your own place. Let us know how it goes. Good luck!
      Craig’s Budget:
      Hours 40
      Pay/hr $13.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $26,000
      Est. taxes 20% ($5,200)
      After tax take-home – $20,800
      Hours 15
      Pay/hr $12.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $9,000
      Est. taxes 20% ($1,800)
      After tax take-home – GF $7,200

      Per month take-home $2,333
      Max. rent -$695
      Utilities (20% of rent) -$139
      Car Payment/ insurance/gas -$588
      Phone -$32
      Food -$250
      Misc. -$150
      Student Loan -$298
      Cash after fixed exp. $181
      Per week $45

      Reply
  133. Teya

    Hello I make 15 a hour 40 hours a week I was wondering would I be ok with a 2 bedroom (900) rent everything included but electric I have a 2 year old I also do hair on the side bringing home 100 in 3 days

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Teya,
      Our formula shows that on your pay your max. rent is $750, so $900 is pushing it. Is a 2br absolutely necessary or could you make do with a 1br to start with? We usually do not include the side jobs in rent calculations because those things can change but your rent does not. Use the money you make from your hair job to start an emergency fund.
      Not knowing what other fixed expenses you have (car payments, credit cards, etc.) it’s not possible to estimate how much of a risk would that $900 rent pose, but try not to get into a stressful financial situation. Being a single mom with a full time job is tough enough. Good luck!

      Reply
  134. TY

    Hello,
    Great chart! My question is this. I make 20/hr but 4 is put away for retirement. My hours are 40-50+ per week. I only get paid once a month. It comes halfway through the month plus I get an advance for the last half of the month. My girlfriend is also going to move with me. She makes 13/hr that will be moving to 15 in a couple months. she also works about 35-40 hrs/ per week and works one day on the weekend as a server and makes about 150 cash. what would you recommend as a price range for apartments? We live in Montgomery County which is one of the richest county’s in United States I believe so even really crappy apartments are expensive enough.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Ty,
      You can calculate your max. rents separately and then add them up for your combined maximum. So, if you look at 40 hours at $16 for you, it’s $800 a month rent. Your GF will make $15 and work 35 hours, with max. rent of $656. Maximum total rent for you two is $1,456. That said, you do not need to go to the maximum, leave yourselves a little leeway for any job hick-ups. Also, try to save the extra you make on bigger weeks and weekend gigs. Good luck!

      Reply
  135. TC

    hi i make $13.75 an hour 40 hours a week. i wanted to know if i could afford a apartment $807 a month i would have to pay electric and gas heat only. my other expenses are 75 for car insurance a month and 25 for phone bill a month. as well as food. will i be ok?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi TC,
      Our formula max. rent for you is about $675, so $807 is pushing it. However, your other monthly bills are on the low end, so you probably could make it. Add up your after-tax take-home pay for the last month, deduct the rent, deduct about $150 for utilities and all your other monthly bills. If you still have at least $200 a week left for food, commuting, clothing, entertainment and savings, you should be OK. Let us know how your calculation works out. Good luck!

      Reply
  136. Jose

    Hello everyone,

    I recently picked up a position for 55k yearly. Around $26.50 hourly (gross income) will I be able to live comfortably in a Suburb for 1,100 monthly rent? I have to pay insurance, student loans, utilities, phone, benefits, *No car payment*. Will I be able to live an ok lifestyle?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Affordable Rent Calculator

      Click below to open calculator.
      Hi Jose,
      Did you see our Affordable Rent Calculator. It shows that at your salary, with typical expenses, your max. rent is $1,375, so $1,100 should be well withing your means. But only way you can really tell is to do a budget that starts with your take-home pay, deduct rent, about $200-$250, depending on where you live, for utilities (including cell phone), your loan payments, and all monthly fixed expenses. If you end up with $1,000 or so left a month you should be able to save some money and still have OK lifestyle. One piece of advice: learn to cook. You’ll have a lot more money for fun if you don’t spend it all on eating out. Good luck!

      Annual salary $55,000
      Affordable Monthly Rent: $1,375
      Estimated Utilities: $275
      Maximum Affordable Housing Expense: $1,650
      Target Savings To Move Out: $4,125

      Reply
  137. Eric

    So what about 2 people getting a place? I know that complicates things heavily, different hours and all… but assuming they got the same number of hours, and both worked at 8$ an hour, can I simply follow the price guide for 16$ an hour?

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Eric,
      The simplest way two roommates can figure out combined rent is to look each roommate’s number in the chart separately and then add up the two rent targets.
      If the rates are same, like in your case, you can also add the hours up and get the rent target that way. Good luck!

      Reply
  138. tyrye jenkins

    Hello, I make 10.50 an hour 40 hours a week get paid every 2 weeks. I’m looking for a one bedroom apartment.My car insurance is 60 every month phone bill 150 and credit bill is 25 a month.

    Reply
  139. Researcher

    Hello,

    I live in Texas and recently got a job paying $18/hr and will be working a minimum of 40 hr/wk. Paychecks are bi-weekly with a calculated annual gross salary of $37,440. (Side Note: With the nature of my job I expect to work overtime at 50-55 hr/wk from February to July which will give me extra money to save.)

    I am a single person looking at 1 bedroom apartments on the west side of Dallas that are $700 to $800 a month, but all the apartments that can accommodate for my disability and are within 30 minutes to work are $900-950 excluding utilities. It should be noted that I do have student loan to consider along with of course various insurances and I need to move within two weeks.

    Needing to settle my family’s peace of mind,
    Researcher

    Reply
    • Researcher

      Will I be able to live in the $900 to $950 a month with added utilities for the year while I look for another during that time?

      Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Researcher,
      Based on your income, our formula says that your max. rent is $936 or $37,440/40. Not knowing how much your student loans are, it’s hard to know if $900 rent is doable. Do the calculation starting with your take-home income, deduct rent and maybe $150 utilities, your loans, your car cost and see what you have left. If you have couple of hundred left each week for other living expenses, you should be OK, particularly in light of your upcoming overtime that you can bank for an emergency fund.
      Because you have to also deal with accommodating a disability, you may have to spend that $900 anyway, even if it means skimping on other expenses. Your heavy overtime opportunity makes even that less risky. Good luck!

      Reply
  140. Desi

    I have no car payment, no debt and my work pays for me to travel back and forth. I make 13.09 a month at my job I just started and have a chance at a raise in 4 months. What would you suggest for someone who lives in a high rent area. For a apartment in the Beaverton area that is safe the rent is going to be 1,100( this includes water,sewer,garbage) I also have a large savings. What would you suggest ? Getting a roommate isn’t an option for me either.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Desi,
      If you work 40 hour week, at $13 an hour, you could afford a place up to $650 a month. $1,100 is far above your means. In your case, with savings and no other bills, maybe you could stretch the rent to $750, but anything more would be precarious. If moving from your current place is a must, roommate share is your best option. Roommate share is also flexible option. If things don’t work out you can move on. The fact that you have large savings is great, but do not waste your savings on rent on an apartment you cannot afford. Good luck!

      Reply
  141. Bahtia

    I get paid 12.39 a hour but I only work 20 hours a week , I want a two bedroom apartment b/c I have a child . What should I be looking for

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Bahtia,
      If you look at the chart on this post http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/
      at $12 and 20 hours you can only afford $300 a month rent. That will not get you a 2BR place anywhere we know. Now, many babies share a room with a parent and grow up to be perfectly normal people. How important it is for you to move? Maybe you should try to get more hours or boost your pay before you move. If you can work 40 hours, then you could maybe afford a 1 BR place, but your childcare cost would go up. Have you checked with social services if you’d be eligible for some help with rent, because you have a child? Good luck!

      Reply
  142. Cruz

    Hello! This is super helpful considering I am planning on moving into a studio apartment soon. Would you be able to break it down for me ? I am currently getting paid 13.50 working about 40-50 hour a week. (And almost getting a second job which pays about 11/12 an hour, 36 hours a week.) Thanks!

    Reply
  143. Lynn

    Hello! I had my costs all planned out then saw this chart, if I’m making $9 an hour and work for 30 a week and renting a place for $1000 a month (Splitting the cost with a room mate, say they have the same pay; maybe a little more) and say we were to split costs such as furniture, groceries, internet, gas, heat, whatever apartments don’t cover + only 1 car to make payments on, and if I had 1-2 years worth of rent saved- would it be a good decision to get my first apartment? And what expenses would add up? Thanks! Trying to figure out if this would be a good situation or not

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Lynn,
      $500 a month rent is steep on your income. Of course, if you have 1-2 years of rent saved, you could make it, but we hate to see you use your savings on rent. Our formula on the rent chart (http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/) says you should not spend more than $338, so with typical expenses you’ll be pulling couple of thousand a year from your savings for rent. And when the savings run out where are you then? Here’s what your numbers looks like at $500 rent. We’d like you to boost your hours or pay rate so you can comfortable afford to move out before you do it. Good luck!
      Lynn’s Budget:
      Hours 30
      Pay/hr $9.00
      Total/yr (50 wks paid) $13,500
      Est. taxes 10% ($1,350)
      After tax take-home – $12,150

      Per month take-home $1,013
      Rent -$500
      Utilities (20% of rent) -$100
      Cash after fixed exp. $413
      Per week $103

      Reply
  144. James C. Rives

    Hi!

    I’m working 2 jobs currently– both part time. One pays $12/hr for 25/week and the other is $7.75 for around 15-20/hrs a week (I’m new and it’s retail). I was wondering how to accurately portray my income, given my expenses. I have a $50 phone bill every month, $150 loan interest payment with full loan payments starting in November. My grocery expense is generally $80-140 a month, given I’m 22 and still live at home with my parents so we share everything. I don’t think it’s accurate to add my incomes and hours to say I make $19.75 for 45 hour work weeks, so how would I best combine them to accurately see what I can afford? By my calculations, adding up my potential incomes separately, I’d be making around $1800 a month gross and assumably around $1400 net.

    Reply
    • James C. Rives

      After reviewing a different source specifically made to calculate multiple hourly incomes, I’ve discovered that it averages out to $10.11/hr for a 45 hour week, making my income approx. $1819/mo gross.

      Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi James,
      You have to calculate first the amounts you earn from each job separately and then add them together. 12 X 25 = $300 plus 7.75 X 15 = 116, totaling $416 a week, or $20,800 a 50 week year (we don’t use 52 week year in the calculation, because hourly workers often don’t have paid vacations or sick days.) With our max. rent formula, your rent is $20,800 divided by 40 = $520 a month. If you pay about 15% in taxes, you take home about $17,600 a year or $1,470 a month. Your income calculation is right on.
      To figure your monthly budget:
      Cash in $1,400
      Less: Rent $500, utilities $100, phone $50, loan $150 (in November more??), groceries $140, totaling $940
      Money left for other expenses: $460 (car, commuting to work, clothing, entertainment, etc.)
      You need to decide if that is enough. Your groceries and other supplies will certainly be higher living on your own.
      Good luck!

      Reply
  145. Scarlett

    Hello I already checked out the chart but do you mind going into depth for me, I want to make sure that I will be able to move out next year. I make 13 dollars an hour and work 40 hours a week. In November I will be getting a raise for 15 dollars and hour and still working my 40 hours.

    Reply
    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Scarlett,
      After your raise your max. rent target is $750 = $15 * 40 hours * 50 weeks divided by 40. (We use a 50 week year in the calculation because many hourly employees do not get any vacation or paid sick days, so they tend to miss a few days’ pay during the year.) Your minimum savings target is 3*$750=$2,250. If you start right now saving $600 a month, you’ll have $2,400 by the end of the year, enough to move out in the new year. Good luck!

      Reply
  146. Danielle Ruggiero

    thank you! I’ve been waiting for an hourly paid article for a while.

    Reply