# 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.

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.

### Comments (590)

1. Claire

Hello,
I work 40 hrs/wk at \$12/hr. My car payment is \$250, insurance \$200 (welcome to Michigan), phone \$120; I budget \$200/month for groceries and \$80/month for gas; monthly entertainment costs are around \$35, and I would like to have a little bit of extra. The average 2 bedroom apt around here is around \$800. How much do I need to be making an hour before I can afford a place?

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2. Damian

Hello I make \$13 an hour 39 hours a week and my bills add up to \$645 a month what could I afford for rent?

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3. Ryan George

I make 20 an hour. I get o.t often and can work every Saturday if I want. I’m an electrician In Orlando Florida. Rent here is insane. Please help

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4. elyjah paisley

i make 25hr living in nyc and feel hopeless…..how can i find cheap rent and car insurance??? on a 25hr budget living in ny….this is crazy

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5. Mark Vincent Muriel

Hello if i make 9/hr have a car insurance of 200 a mont entertainment for 20 a month can i afford \$450 apartment

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6. Heaven

Hey, I looked at your sheet I work 55-60+ hours at a 9.75 dollar hour. Could I afford a apartment at 575\$

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7. Clay Hall

Hi there! I make \$15.00 hr and I work full-time, most times I get 1-5 hrs of overtime if that matters. I have an \$80 phone bill and a \$100+ auto insurance bill right now. Would I be able to afford an apartment at \$1,000+ a month?

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8. Pauline L

Hello,

I work 40.5 hours a week and I make \$19 an hour as my starting pay rate.
My city has become more and more expensive. Can I afford to move out? I am not willing to pay more than \$600 a month in rent

Here are my current monthly expenses:
Gas- \$250
Hair care- \$75
Food- \$250
Car note (refinanced to \$274.50)
Car insurance- \$162
Job does not offer health care or 401k/Pension
Phone- \$52
Entertainment (netlix/xbox/spotify)- \$17
Student loans- \$109
My credit cards will be paid off soon \$200 balance, I usually carry a \$0

Reply
9. Ashley

I make \$13 a hour 96 hours every two weeks , \$216 car note \$70 car insurance and \$130 phone bill . Plus \$245 cable bill can I afford an \$725 a month apartment ?

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• MFA Editors

Hi Ashley,
Use this budgeting worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to see what you could afford. It will be less than \$725, because of your higher monthly bills. You need to get better deals for cable and phone to start with. Look for ways to cut the cable cord and go down to internet only plan and use Roku, or other streaming device for TV. You should be able to cut up to \$200 a monthly in total from your cable and phone bills. Just call the companies and ask for better deal or leave for a competitor. Good luck!

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10. Troy

Hi I make \$10 an hour with 35 hours a week and my girlfriend makes \$7.75 with 30 hours do we make enough to rent anything together?!

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• MFA Editors

Hi Troy,
You do not mention any other monthly bills you may have to pay, but if they are not very high (no car/student loans, etc.) then \$700 range a month should be doable for you two. Take from the rent chart your 35 hours and \$10/hr pay and the max rent is \$438. Add to that your GF’s 30 hours at \$7.75 which is a bit under \$300, so combined you should be able to handle \$700 rent. Use this budgeting worksheet to do a more detailed estimate. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Aim to have about \$500 left a month after your fixed monthly bills for any other expenses and savings.
Good luck!

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11. Lashay

Hi I make between \$1,200 – \$1,400 a month. The average rent out here is \$800 and \$900 for a 1 bedroom. I have \$6,000 in savings. I spend about 40 a week on metro, \$50 for my phone bill, \$100 a month on groceries and the rest I spend on clothes and maybe a bar once a week ? Is this affordable

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12. Kiya

Hi, I currently make \$12/hr and bring home 300-550 a check or 1,200-2,200 a month. My fiancé makes \$15/hr and brings home 1,440 a month. Our max rent that we’ve been searching is \$750. We have car insurance \$500, groceries \$330, gas \$80, and phone \$30. Can we afford to move ? We’re not moving until December and will have about \$13,000-14,000 saves up. I’m worried we’ll struggle being full time students and all

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13. Tomas Ramos

Hi I get paid \$9.00 an hour and I work for 10 hours straight for 3.days how much will I earn in my paycheck

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• MFA Editors

Hi Tomas,
We are not tax experts, but if you only work 3 days a week and have no other income, then the biggest tax that will be deducted from your pay check is your payroll tax. Your annual income will be slightly above the \$12,000 standard deduction, so you may also owe a few dollars in federal income taxes and maybe a little state taxes. You will definitely pay 6.2% social security tax and 1.45% medicare tax, for a total of 7.65%. You will earn \$9*10 hours*3 days =\$270 less about \$21 social security/medicare taxes = \$249. Even after any state and federal income taxes, you should take home at least \$240. Good luck!

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14. Joseph Leonard Heyward Jr.

I’m 25 in Tampa FL make about 9.25 an hour could I possibly even live alone in Tampa?

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15. Tori

Ok i make 14.25 an hr get paid every week..car note is 528 an my insurance is 293 a mth plus phone bill 80 dollars a mth gas to work is 40 dollars a week i have a 4 yr old son..can i afford 753 for rent?

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16. Scott

Hi I make 14\$/hr and work 30/hrs a week phone paid by family looking at a place for 500\$ can I do it.

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17. Riley

Hey, I currently live in Wisconsin with my parents and have a 40hr 11.17 job. I was wondering what Id be able to afford? Im having trouble finding any kind of average utilities… Any help be appreciated!

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18. Shawn

HI,

I’m looking to move out on my own and my hourly pay is 12.16 an hour (when I get my check it totals 40 hours)I also have time and a half on Sunday’s (18.00) which I at least get once a month. My cell is 66.00 and my parents agreed to help me out and they’ll pay the car insurance. I have no credit cards (but was looking to get one for just paying my utilities every month and paying it off from next check) and internet is on auto pay. Is 600 rent workable for me?

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19. Raquel

Hello!
Looking to move out on my own for the first time ever. I’ve always either lived with my parents or with a significant other. I get paid \$15.85 an hour, 40 hours a week but I also travel for work and every month I usually get an extra \$155-\$182 a month depending on how much traveling I’ve done.
My phone bill is usually \$100, my gar insurance is \$67 & my car payment is \$372 a month.
What do you believe is the smartest and best max rent I should look at including these expenses + utilities?
(paystubs are usually always \$1,018 on the stubs that added travel expense isn’t on. (monthly income usually \$2191-\$2218) also, I drive a Toyota Rav4 so gas is pretty reasonable.
Thanks so much!

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• MFA Editors

Hi Raquel,
First, we recommend that you estimate your rent target on your base pay and put all the travel extra pay to savings. Also, it is not clear if the \$1018 take-home pay is every two weeks or twice a month. If it is every two weeks, then twice a year you have a 3 paycheck month.That third paycheck should also go to your savings. Based on your numbers, it looks like you could comfortably afford up to \$600 a month in rent and still have enough left for discretionary spending and savings. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Monthly take-home pay 2036

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -600
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -120
Car loan or lease payment -372
Car Insurance  -67
Gas -100
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -100
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -1699

Cash left and Discretionary Spending 4.) 337
Savings TRAVEL EXTRA PAY 155
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
20. Jenny

Hi I make \$15 hr, I work 40 hr weeks and my gross bi-weekly pay is \$1,200.00 and after taxes I make \$989.20 which equates to \$1,978.40 monthly. I currently pay \$382 for my car not, \$352 for my car insurance, \$117 for my cell phone, \$80 monthly for gas, \$13.99 for Hulu, \$4.99 iTunes, and \$44.95 for my health insurance. My credit cards are currently paid off and I have no student loans! What can I afford?

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• MFA Editors

Jenny,
Is your car insurance number for a month? It seems high, unless you have a terrible driving record.

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21. Chris

I make \$10 hr 40 hrs week i pay 60 .Month for internet 140 for food i dont drive so no gas or car payments. 70 for phone month. What can i afford??

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22. alejandra

Hi! I make \$11/hr at 40 hrs/week for my first job. Then second job I make \$10/hr at around 13 hrs/week. Please help!

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• MFA Editors

Hi Alejandra,
Try to base your rent target on your FT job and use the second job monies for savings and discretionary expenses. Based on \$11/hr and 40 hrs, your max. target rent from the chart is \$550, but because you have that second job you could probably safely push it up to \$600. Use this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to run your actual take-home income and expenses to see what rent makes best sense and still leaves you enough to enjoy your first apartment experience. Good luck!

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23. melia

Hello I make 14.60 soon 15 40hrs a week I’m looking for 1 bedroom only bill car 400 insurance 100 phone 50

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24. Step O

I make \$18.26 annualized at 38,000. I bring home \$1,100-1,200 every 2 weeks.
monthly:
Phone =90
Car insurance&car note =288
Gas=80
Food=200
Student loans=in process
How much can I afford….

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25. Tiffany McVay

I bring in 400 per check ever 2 weeks after taxes 770 per month for child support 500 in back pay per month 17.12 a month til i finish paying off bg not wanting to renew bg pass wanting to leave home with family and move out on my own child still potty training 40 for pullups and 25 for wipes per mont so only thing going out is 40 in pullups 25 in wipes and 17.12 in bg pass how much do need for a place of my own

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• MFA Editors

Hi Tiffany,
It is a bit difficult to understand how your income breaks down, and what is bg pass?
Anyway, assuming that you bring home \$770 paycheck plus \$500 child support each month, you would have hard time affording even \$400 a month in rent after you pay for commuting to work, groceries, your cell phone and the baby’s expenses. It leaves you very little left over for discretionary expenses, such as clothing. We like to see about \$400 a month and you have \$80. See rough budget below. Please print out this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and fill it out with your actual income and expenses, so you can see what you can actually afford. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,270

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$400
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$80
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) -\$125
Groceries/Food -\$400
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$80
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care pullups/wipes -\$65
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,190

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$80
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
26. Olivia

Hello!
I’m 23 years old and ready to move out of my parents house later this year as I just secured a job paying me \$23.19 an hour with occasional/optional overtime. By the time I will have paid off my credit card debts and my expenses will include:
Student Loans: \$400
Phone: \$50
Car: \$275
These are what I know I’ll be paying however I haven’t factored in utilities or internet/cable as I’m not quite sure what the cost would be. Can you ball park the range my rent should be? How much can I afford?

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• MFA Editors

Hi Olivia,
Based on the limited information you gave us, it looks like you could afford About \$1,000 a month for rent. (We added other typical expenses that you did not mention.) This rent does not leave a lot of room for savings so use any overtime moneys to start a savings account. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$46,380
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$11,595
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$34,785
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,899

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$1,015
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$203
Renter’s Insurance -\$15
Car loan or lease payment -\$275
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 -\$50
Student Loans -\$400
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,497

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

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

Reply
27. Michael Ziehfreund

I make \$19hr x 40hrs a week.
I have \$600 in total extra loan payments a month / phone is \$80 a month.

Sometimes I get some overtime, and I do get PTO.

Thank you!!

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28. Valeria

Hi! I make 13\$ an hour, I work 40hrs a week. my monthly payments are Car note 260, insurance 120, and phone 150. Can i afford to live with a roommate?

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29. Angel A Ortiz

I make 12 an hour i dont have to pay car im looking for a one bedroom apartment whats my range?

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30. Damian

I make 11.50\$ an hour and get paid around 700 every 2 weeks and my car is paid off what would likely be a good apartment for me

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Damian,
You did not tell what other fixed monthly bills you may have, so it’s hard to estimate. Assuming some typical expense levels, you might be able to handle rent in the \$400 range, which indicates a roommate share. If your car insurance is much less than the average and you are a frugal cook, you might be able to get the rent target up to \$500. Try to leave room in your budget for some savings to build an emergency fund. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary \$11.50*40*50 \$23,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$5,750
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$17,250
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,438

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$400
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$80
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$150
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$80
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,100

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$338
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
31. Briana Yvette

Hey,

I make \$20 an hour on 35 hr work week and i have a cell phone of \$30-\$40 a month, Verizon bill \$150-\$200 a month or \$130-\$150 every 2wks if I’m able and no car right now. My work expenses via commute tally roughly \$70 a week. For to n from. What do you think is reasonable and affordable with that breakdown?

Thanks,
B

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Brianna,
It’s a little unclear what all your fixed expenses are, so double check all the numbers below. How we understand your numbers, it looks like you could afford around \$750 rent and still have money for savings and discretionary spending. Good luck.

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$35,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$8,750
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$26,250
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,188

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$766
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$153
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas
Commuting -\$70
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone & Verizon -\$240
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,569

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$619
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$219
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$400
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
32. Nicole

I make \$11 an hour and it is literally impossible to find any apartment in my area for less than \$600 monthly, lol

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Nicole,
Many, maybe even most first apartments are roommate shares, so explore that route. Or, stay with your family until your pay improves. Good luck!

Reply
33. Tyler

Hey I make \$10.30 a hour. Around \$680 every 2 weeks. My phone bill is 50 a month my phone car is \$80 a week & insurance is \$115.70 a month. How much you think I can afford on apartment

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Tyler,
If we understood your expenses correctly, as long as your car loan, insurance and gas costs are almost \$500 a month, you cannot move out until your income increases. See below. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$20,600
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$4,120
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$16,480
Monthly take-home pay \$1,373

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent @ 35% -\$481
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$96
Car loan or lease payment \$80*4 -\$320
Car Insurance  -\$115
Gas -\$50
Commuting \$125/mo
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone & Verizon -\$50
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,452

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) -\$78
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car -\$78
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
34. Aiyanna Bethune

Hi, I work 40 hours a week while making \$11 an hour! Only payments I have to pay right now is my phone bill that is \$60 a month and car insurance that is \$184, would I be able to afford a place between \$500-700 rent..

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Aiyanna,
It looks to us that \$500 rent will be tight if you want to have some money for savings and discretionary expenses and \$700 is clearly out of your range. If this is your first apartment, maybe look into a roommate share to start with. Double check the numbers below. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$22,000
Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -\$3,300
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$18,700
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,558

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 Paid
Car Insurance  -\$184
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$60
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,234

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$324
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$156
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$169
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
35. Jay

Hi my name jay I make 10\$ an hour and an 50\$ phone bill my car is payed off my gas is about 20\$ how much rent I can afford monthly

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Jay,
Depending on your car insurance expense (we estimated \$150/mo.) and any other bills you may have, rent in the \$500 range should be doable for you. See below, but double check all the numbers with your actual take home pay and expenses. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$20,000
Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -\$3,000
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$17,000
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,417

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$496
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$99
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$150
Gas -\$20
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$50
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,115

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$302
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$142
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$160
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
36. Antonio

Hi I make \$15.25/hr , how much rent can I afford ?

My car note is \$276/m almost fully paid off as well
Insurance \$190
Phone \$50
Student loans \$20/month almost fully paid off as well

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Antonio,
Wait until your car loan is paid off. With that loan, you can hardly afford \$500 a month, without the loan you’ll move into \$600-\$700 range. Just make sure you build up a emergency fund, so you don’t get into trouble if your car needs repairs. Double check the numbers below. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$30,500
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$7,625
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$22,875
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,906

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$667
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$133
Car loan or lease payment Paid
Car Insurance  -\$190
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$50
Student Loans -\$20
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,451

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$456
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$191
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$265
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
37. Ty

Hello! I make 14.50/hr this isn’t my first apartment but it will be my first apartment alone, so need help figuring out the price range i should Be looking at.

Reply
38. Cris

Hi. So first time trying to move out since mom wants me to do my own thing. I work 35-40 hrs a week \$12 hr biweekly. I only pay for gas, car is paid off and a small loan of \$60 a month, cell phone is already getting paid by family. Can I afford anything at this time?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Cris,
Your mom is right. Moving out and living on your own is a big step on your “adulting” journey, it will teach many life lessons. Because your car is paid off and your family pays for your phone, you can probably afford a rent in the \$500-\$600 range. It might mean a roommate share, which is how many young adults start their independent life.
Use this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to estimate with real numbers what rent would still leave you about \$400 a month for discretionary expenses plus something for savings. Don’t over-reach on rent because that often leads to filling the gaps with credit cards and creates a long term problem. Good luck!
P.S. Before you move out, ask your mom to teach you some basic cooking skills, if you don’t have any yet.

Reply
39. Chelsea

MY Husband makes 14 per hour with 40 hrs a week minimum. NO Car note, a two year old son and our phone bills come up to 110 altogether.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Chelsea,
We added to the budget estimate some typical expenses car insurance, gas, groceries, etc. With these it looks like you could target rent in the \$600-\$700 range. Make sure you leave some room in your budget for savings, targeting over time to build an emergency fund of 3-months worth of expenses. Double check the numbers with this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$28,000
Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -\$4,200
Less: Other deductions
Estimated annual take-home pay \$23,800
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,983

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  -\$150
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$110
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,600

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$383
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$198
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$185
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
40. Candice

Hi, I make \$15.50 an hour with 38-40 hours per week. I pay \$120 for insurance, \$200 car payment, \$350 in student loans. Am I able to afford \$750-\$800 with my other bills?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Candace,
Based on the chart, your max rent is somewhere in the \$750 range, but you cannot afford that (see below). Between your car and student loan expenses, your rent budget will be much lower. Us this budgeting worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ , starting with your actual income, to see what rent leaves you enough money after all your other bills are paid to cover such discretionary items as clothing, entertainment, vacations, etc. Ideally, we like to see at least \$90-\$100 a week after all “musts” are paid and 10% of your income is put into savings. It looks to us that you’ll be starting out in a roommate share, like so may of new grads. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$31,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$7,750
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$23,250
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,938

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$750
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$150
Car loan or lease payment -\$200
Car Insurance  -\$120
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 -\$350
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,040

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) -\$103
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
41. Vanessa Borgelin

Hi, I make \$9.50 an hour and work 20-25 hours a week. I get paid weekly and I plan on moving with 2 other roommates soon. My monthly expenses are:

car insurance: <\$145
gas: \$36
credit card bill: \$25 min

I live with my parents so I don't pay for groceries as of yet. But I'd like to know how much can I afford for rent with the income I make. Thank you!

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Vanessa,
Use this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to estimate what would be a comfortable rent level. Average your last 3 months of actual income and expenses and use those numbers as a starting point. With the few numbers you gave, and assuming sharing groceries with roomies, it looks like in the lower income months you’ll have hard time making ends meet and could be tempted to fill in with your credit card. That would just build a future problem. Can you stay with your parents until you can get more steady hours at work? Or maybe your parents are already eyeing your room for a new den and are willing to subsidize your rent. It’s been known to happen! Anyway, good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$9,500
Less: Estimated taxes 10% (see below 2.) -\$950
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$8,550
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$713

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$249
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$50
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$145
Gas -\$36
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$200
Laundry/Dry Cleaning
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone
Student Loans
Credit Cards -\$25
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$705

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$7
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
42. Moe

Hello, i make \$19.50 hr and work 40hrs/week. Paid by weekly. Monthly expenses are

Auto insurance – \$140
Loan – \$105
Cell phone – 75
Internet – 75

Could i afford rent at \$775 ?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Moe,
The answer is yes, you can afford it. But double check the numbers below by using this budgeting worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$39,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$9,750
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$29,250
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,438

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$775
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$155
Car loan or lease payment -\$105
Car Insurance  -\$140
Gas -\$50
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
Child care
Other fixed bills -\$75
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,715

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$723
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$244
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$479
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
43. Fionna

OK so I make 12 an hour at 34-42 hours per week. My checks average at around 367 per week. My car payment is 244\$, insurance 147\$, food runs about 250\$, and phone is 100\$ even. Can I afford 775\$ a month?

Reply
44. 1181rose .

Ok so I make 28.50 hourly according to this chart I can afford 1400 dollars rent but that’s one whole check(net pay). I get paid every 2 weeks. So from my other check I have to pay food, utilities, internet don’t need cable, cell, transportation for subway, I want to save money, and have money to spend. Is this doable? For reference I live in NYC

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Rose,
The formula gives you the maximum you could pay with other typical expenses. Use this worksheet to estimate what you could pay, including your savings target. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Living in NYC, you pay more for rent that you would in smaller cities, but on the plus side you don’t need a car that would cost a lot more than \$125 or so your monthly Metrocard costs. Another plus for NYC is that there are million things you can do that are free. Good luck!

Reply
45. William

If I make 11.80 a hour work 40 hours a week making 1,360 a month only expensise are phone 97 food 100 insurance 116 gas 50 and the apartment is 540 a month utilities included can I afford the apartment

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi William,
It will be very tight, but because you do not have other big bills it may be doable. We are a little suspicious that you can eat and cover groceries for a month for \$100, unless all your eat is rice and beans and Ramen. Double check your numbers, to make sure you did not forget anything. Use this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Monthly take-home pay 1360

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -540
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -108
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -116
Gas -50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -100
Laundry/Dry Cleaning
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -97
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -1011

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) 349
Savings (target 10% of take-home) 136
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car 213
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
46. Parie

I make 22hr and guarantee 36hr (max 40) a week. Bills: carnote 370
Insurance 130
Cc 200
Phone 60
Student loan 129

Can I afford an apartment 893 a month?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Parie,
No, you cannot. Between your car costs, credit cards and student loan, you can afford no more than \$650-\$700 rent and still have enough money left for discretionary expenses. Even then you cannot save much for an emergency fund. We like to see at least \$90-\$100 a week left after all the essential expenses are paid. Use this worksheet to double check the numbers. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$39,600
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$9,900
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$29,700
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,475

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$893
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$179
Car loan or lease payment -\$370
Car Insurance  -\$130
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$60
Student Loans -\$129
Credit Cards -\$200
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,351

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$124
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
47. Monae

Hi, I make 14/hr and I’m wanting to rent a apartment for \$655. Will I be able to afford rent and the following expenses
Car note \$321
Insurance \$199
Gas \$50
Savings \$100
Internet \$45
Utilities \$130

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Monae,
The answer is no. See below. You are using your rent money for your car. Use this budgeting worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to double check the numbers. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$28,000
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$5,600
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$22,400
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,867

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$655
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$175
Car loan or lease payment -\$321
Car Insurance  -\$199
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$80
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,820

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$47
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$100
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car -\$53
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
48. Rose

Hi, I make 13/hr and usually work 30-35 hours a week and am trying to rent out a room for \$850. Is that reasonable?

The only expense I have is food which I probably spend around \$300 a month on, I do have a laptop bill of \$262 a month but that’s ending in December. I don’t have a car so no gas and I prefer to walk most places but I guess if I had to take the bus that’d probably be around \$90 a month

Reply
49. Alanna

I work for a state agency in South Carolina and make \$30,359 a year. How much rent could I afford based on my following expenses:
Car payment: \$244.79
Car insurance: \$164.24
Phone bill: \$40
CC: \$28 or more every month (every check)
I have not yet started paying back student loans
What would I have left over?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Alanna,
Based on your expenses your rent target should be in the \$600-\$650 range. See below.
Double check your actual numbers using this worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/.
Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$30,359
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$6,072
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$24,287
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,024

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 -\$245
Car Insurance  -\$164
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$40
Student Loans
Credit Cards -\$28
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,647

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$377
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$377
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
50. Eliana

I’m planning to move out soon but don’t know what price range for rent to look at. I make \$15/hour plus about 5 hours or more of overtime every week. Don’t have much expenses, car is paid off

My expenses:
Car insurance: \$50
Phone payment: \$35 ( parents pay phone bill)
Internet: \$60 Max ( theoretically)
Gas: \$80
Food: \$125

Reply
51. Aisha

Hi, my name is Aisha and I make 13.00/HR and I get 54 hours a week aside from all of those hours I alose receive commission ( I am leasing consultant ) so for every apartment I get is 75\$ so if for September I get 8 move ins ( which is my average amount of move ins ) that’s 600\$ added to my first check of october normal hourly check so the commission plus my regular check will always be my first check of the month. can I afford a 850 rent?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Aisha,
You did not give us enough information about your other expenses, so we assumed that you use public transportation and have no debt.
If that’s the case, you can easily afford that \$850 on your salary alone, without having to rely on commissions that can vary. Check the numbers using this worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ In general we recommend that you find a rental you can pay for on your salary alone, without bonuses, and put any extra income into savings. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$35,100
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$8,775
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$26,325
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,194

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$850
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$170
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) -\$125
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$80
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,565

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$629
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$219
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$409
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
52. Reagan

Hi, I currently make 15.00 per hour at 40 hours a week. I have no car payment, student loans are about 77 per month. 150 dollars for food every month. Car insurance is 96 per month. My sister pays my phone bill but I burn about 270\$ in gas every month. Apartments around my area run for about 1000-1100. Could I realistically move out now?

Reply
53. Fen

Hi! I was wondering if you could tell me if I could afford \$700 rent on a job paying minimum wage. I won’t be using cable, or paying any fees besides internet and public transportation as I don’t have a car and don’t intend to get one any time soon. I have a cat who will be staying with me, which might add extra expenses, but not much I don’t think. Thank you, looking forward to your reply!

~Fen

Reply
• Fen

I forgot to mention, I made this graph; do you think it’s realistic?

\$1400 monthly pay if \$12hr
Average \$700 rent
\$745 left over from rent
\$200 groceries for next month
\$200 other necessities like clothes and cat sand (save what I don’t use in emergency fund)
\$50 internet
\$50 for fun (Spotify, movies, fairs, vacations)
\$200 emergency fund

Reply
54. Marie

I’m looking to relocate to the Philadelphia area. Potential job offer starts at 40\$ per hour. It is a full time position at a hospital . I am a single girl in my mid 20s. Id like to continue to put 10% of my salary toward a 401k as well as saving around \$300 per paycheck . I pay \$400 per month for phone car insurance and to help care for my mom . Most rents I’m finding around around \$1700 per month for a 900 square foot apartment with renter being responsible for all utilities . Is it realistic to think with utilities I would be spending around \$2100 per month. Would this be something I could afford this ?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Marie,
First, congratulations for picking a high-paying profession. With your potential for high income it looks like that \$1,700 apartment is well within your means. See below. However, double check all your numbers with this budgeting worksheet
https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and make sure you include all your expenses. You did not mention how much savings you have but realistically you’ll need about \$5,000 to cover all your move related expenses. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$80,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$20,000
Less: Other deductions (10% to 401K) -\$8,000
Estimated annual take-home pay \$52,000
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$4,333

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$1,700
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$340
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  ?
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills -\$400
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,830

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$1,503
Savings (target \$300/paycheck) \$600
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$903
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
55. Samantha

I work 40 hrs a week but I’m cutting it down to 30. I currently pay 740 a month in rent all utilities included but it’s a room that I rent. I make 13.50/hr I pay 75 for my phone bill with no other expenses. If you add in food what apartment can I afford ?

Reply
56. Kane

So I see you use 35% of take home pay for rent then add utilities. Would it be accurate to assume 40% of take home for rent and utilities combined? Or if not is there a combined % for both?

Either way love the app very helpful!

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Kane,
According to our research, utilities range from 10% to 20% of rent, so if you want to adjust our max. rent percentage to include utilities, the range would be 38.5% to 42%. The lower number would apply to apartments in large rental buildings where heat, trash collection, cooking gas and water are usually included in rent. If you are renting in a suburban development, use the higher number because more utilities (such as water and heating) are metered and paid separately. Happy you like the app.

Reply
57. Alex

I currently make \$14.50/hr and work approximately 84-86 hours a week (the extra hours are overtime) I have \$100 in student loans, \$220 for car insurance no car note . My dad pays cell phone. I would say \$200 for groceries .I have \$5000 saved up. about \$50 for gas / month . I would like to have the internet as well . Could I afford an apartment for \$650-700 a month?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Alex,
It looks like up to \$700 would be doable for you, but before you run to sign a lease double check your numbers using this worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/. You have built a nice savings account. Make sure you don’t over-extend on rent so that you have to start making up shortfalls from your savings. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$29,580
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$7,395
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$22,185
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,849

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$700
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$140
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$220
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$200
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone
Student Loans -\$100
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,450

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$399
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$185
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$214
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
58. Alex

I currently make 14.50 and work approximately 84-86 hours a week (that extra hours are time

Reply
59. Austin Louis biglow

I make 585 a week but I bring home 392 a week and I have 367 car payment and 94 dollar phone bill what can I afford for an apartment

Reply
60. Haley

Hi. I work 2 jobs and bring around 700-800 home every 2 weeks. My fiancé works 40 hours (sometimes more) a week at 13/hr. The only bills I have are my car insurance at \$120 a month and gas (around \$20 a week) and he pays the phone bill at \$200 a month and his insurance around \$100. I was just curious of our price range in case we wanted to move out together.

Reply
61. Will

Making \$17/hr, working 40 hour weeks. Currently looking at \$174.58 each month for car insurance, but it’s due every 6 months = totals to \$1047.48. On the chart I see the max affordable rent is \$850, so I have been hunting places for that price. Will also have to start paying cell phone bills. How tight will living on my own will be making \$17/hr?

Reply
62. Brandon

I’m looking at an apartment in Charlotte, NC. It’s \$809/monthly. My total bills are approximately \$1162 (excluding rent). I’ve factored in utilities and all living costs in this number. My only concern is looking at the \$809. I make \$18.25 / hourly @ a steady 40 hour week. I have monthly bonus incentives but choose not to include as it’s not guaranteed. Is this feasible?

Reply
63. Raymond

Looking for a apartment for myself i make 18.20hr work 40hrs a week. Found a 1 bedroom for \$1000 furnished heat and hot water included. hard to find anything cheaper in my city.
car insurance is \$120
Phone is \$140
Mma gym is \$150
I have 10k saved

Reply
64. AJ blount

Looking at apartments for a family of 3 (wife and 18month old) on a single income. \$23.66/hr moving to \$27.12/hr guaranteed (signed contract for attended school. Work 40 hrs min so my check is about \$720 on 40, normally work 50+ at 1.5x OT (not always though). So often I get \$1000-1200 checks after taxes.

I’ve found a few at \$800, can I afford that?

\$390 car loans
\$210 car insurance
\$176 phone bill
\$35 union dues
\$150 in gas (work all around the state)
\$100 give or take for the young ones necessities
Stay at home mom so there’s no child care bill
Hopefully I’m not forgetting anything. Thanks.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi AJ,
To be conservative, we estimated your income on current pay and 40 to see if that rent worked even if you got no overtime. The good news is, it’s close enough. See below. You will have extra flexibility from overtime and when you get your increase you can start pushing your savings up. You should be able to put at least 10% into savings plus take advantage of any retirement savings plan your employer offers. If there is a 401K plan make sure you save enough to get maximum match. Double check all the numbers using this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) (\$23.66 at 40 hr/wk) \$47,320
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$11,830
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$35,490
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,958

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 -\$390
Car Insurance  -\$210
Gas -\$150
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$176
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care/ expenses -\$100
Other fixed bills – union dues -\$35
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,531

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$427
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$296
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$131
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
65. Cheyenne

I’m currently looking at an apartment that is under \$600 a month. I am currently at \$9/hour and anywhere from 32-40 hours a week. I get paid every 2 weeks and bring home anywhere from \$420-\$520. I have no car payment or insurance as my parents pay for that I just have to worry about gas, credit card payment of about \$50 per month but I pay a little extra, I also have a small school loan that I pay monthly so that’s \$88, a gym membership at \$40 a month which I am planning on canceling when I move and a phone bill of \$48 every month. Gas for me is normally about \$25-\$30 per week but should come down after I move as I am trying to get closer to work. An really rough idea for utilities would be \$140 in my area that is water, electric, and heating and air. I believe it would be a little lower for me but just rounding up to be safe. Do you think it would be a good idea?

Reply
66. Makayla

Looking for an apartment, I’m a Shift Lead at beans and brews making 8 an hour with a possible promotion to 11.50 as an assistant manager. I make 5 dollars an hour in tips (regular). I will be going to school up at the U. I do have a car but I don’t need to take on the payments for a bit. Could I afford rent in the 700-800 range? I will mostly be taking trax but I get that for free.

Reply
67. Loni Smith

Hello. I’m 23 looking to move into my first apartment. I just started a new job and make 15.86/hour, 40 hours per week. I have a \$319/ month car note, \$170 car insurance & \$109 phone bill. I also have to consider a pet deposit and pet rent for a small dog. Is it a good idea financially to move out now?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Loni,
Double check the numbers, but realistically you can only afford a roommate share. It’s those pesky car expenses that eat up your rent budget. If you don’t have to move, stay put and save a nice nest egg while you wait for your income to go up a bit, or you can trade down or no longer need that car. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$31,720
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$7,930
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$23,790
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,983

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 -\$319
Car Insurance  -\$170
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$109
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills – pet
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,588

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$395
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$198
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$196
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
68. Elle

hi there i will be staying a new job at 28/hr and will be working a minimum of 40 hrs a week. after i pass one more registry i will earn 29/hr.

will i be able to afford 908 rent?
with 294 car payment monthly
200 credit card bill monthly
200 dog walker bill monthly
food?
renters insurance?
and utilities?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Elle,
Looks like you’ll be able to afford \$908 comfortable, but double check all the numbers. Try to pay that credit card balance off while you are in a good financial shape. With your good income, there is no reason to keep that balance rolling over month-to-month. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$56,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$14,000
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$42,000
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$3,500

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$908
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$182
Car loan or lease payment -\$294
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 -\$200
Child care
Other fixed bills – pet -\$200
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,404

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$1,096
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$350
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$746
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
69. Sara

Hello, I am 29 years old and have never lived on my own. I’m looking to move out to be closer to work as I have an 80 mile round trip commute daily, but I’m really worried about expenses. I make \$15.19/hr and I work 40 hours a week. I bring home about \$870 every two weeks after taxes and 401K deductions. I have a car payment of \$290/mo, I have about \$1500 in credit cards which I pay about \$100 total each month. As for other expenses I have are my cell phone \$60/mo, and car insurance \$75/mo. I just have one dog and myself that would be living alone. I have a small savings account, probably about \$3000.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Sara,
We are happy to hear that you are putting money into your 401K and it would a shame if you could not afford to do it after you move. As you see from the rough numbers below, at this time you can probably only afford a roommate share on your income and expenses and even that is tight. Why don’t you stay where you are and pay off your credit card debt before you move. Your car expenses are also high compared to your income but with your long commute you need a reliable car. We have no idea how much rents are in your area,
but in most markets you’d probably have to also trade down your car, if you want to live alone. \$3,000 in savings will pay your initial expenses and get you settled in, but you need to continue saving for an emergency fund after your move. If you pay off your debt and continue saving, you are probably in a good shape to move in 3-6 months. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Monthly take-home pay 1740

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -450
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -90
Car loan or lease payment -290
Car Insurance  -75
Gas -50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -60
Student Loans
Credit Cards -100
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -1455

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) 285

Reply
70. Danielle

Hello. I’m looking into getting my first apartment. I plan on getting a car but no car payments, just car insurance and gas. I make 14.00 per hour and get paid bi-weekly (80 hours). The place I’m looking at is \$725 in rent. I have 1 toddler and her father said he would give me \$100 towards rent and we split daycare payments (\$48 per week). My phone bill is \$50 per month and two credit cards that I pay on. Would I be ok to move out? I do have a savings account as well.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Danielle,
It will be very tight, even without the credit card payments, which you did not quantify. Please double check all the numbers and make any corrections. You should target to have at least \$100 a week left for discretionary spending after paying all your bills. Being a single mom is a challenge, so we are happy to see that the dad is pitching in. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$28,000
Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -\$4,200
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) \$0
Estimated annual take-home pay \$23,800
Monthly take-home pay/12 \$1,983

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent (35% of take-home) -\$625
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$125
Car loan or lease payment \$0
Car Insurance  -\$150
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$50
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care -\$192
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,682

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$301
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
71. JC

Hello I live in Jacksonville FL I make 11.91 an hour. I work nightshift and get a dollar more due to differential pay and a dollar more on weekends. I average about 72 hours with out Overtime.
My expenses are
Car payment 370
Car insurance 150
Phone bill 149
Gas 20
Pet food 21.49
Where would be able to rent alone?would you reccomend a roomate

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi JC,
You have decided to put your rent money into your car, so you really cannot move out yet. Most likely, even a least expensive roommate share is out of your reach right now, unless you plan to survive on a 100% Ramen diet. Even if you could find a \$350 roommate share, you’d still have only \$10 or so left for discretionary expenses each week. See below. Save money, and wait until your income picks up, before you move out. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$21,438
Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -\$3,216
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$18,222
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,519

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$350
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$70
Car loan or lease payment -\$370
Car Insurance  -\$150
Gas -\$20
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$149
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills -\$21
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,470

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$49

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

Reply
72. Briley

Hi my name is briley and I currently make 13/HR and I work 38 hours a week sometimes 40 I am looking at a 750 a month apartment can I afford it?

Reply
• Briley

Oh and I pay no other expenses not even my phone bill lol my phone bill is paid for through credit from my phone company for up to a year I have a son although daycare is paid for through CCIS and I currently receive EBT benefits for food

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Briley,
It’s really tight, but you could probably do with all the help you receive currently, if you know how to live frugally. You’d need to have at least \$2,500 saved before you can cover your initial moving expenses, first month rent, security deposit and some basic furniture. Look at the estimate below and make any corrections. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$24,700
Less: Estimated taxes 10% (see below 2.) -\$2,470
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$22,230
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,853

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$750
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$150
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) -\$125
Groceries/Food -\$450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,535

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$318

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

Reply
73. Brian

I live in Canada and am currently making 41800 a year. I have no car, no student loan, and no dependents. I have pretty much all the entertainment I will ever need. Unfortunately, I live in a rather expensive city, and I am looking to move closer to my workspace downtown without actually living downtown. I would like to live alone if at all possible.

What would you say is a reasonable monthly rent?

Thank you!

Reply
74. Shaneika

I make \$10 an hour working 30-35 hours. I’m looking at an apartment no more than 550 a month. My cellphone bill is 55 month and my credit card bill is 35 month. My car is owned and my dad pays the insurance. Can I afford it? I’m not sure how much utilities would be, but lets assume \$125-160.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Shaneika,
It does not look like you are in a position to afford your own place at this time. (We did this on 30-hour week, because rent is due regardless how many hours you work.) A roommate share would be a better option to start with. See below what other typical expenses you need to budget for when you live on your own.
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$15,000
Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -\$2,250
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$12,750
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,063

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$550
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$110
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) -\$125
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$55
Student Loans
Credit Cards -\$35
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,215

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) -\$153

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

Reply
75. Joce

Hi, I make about 600 each paycheck after taxes and make 14.40 an hour and then on the weekend I make 15.35. 4 hours on Friday it’s 14.40 and then the rest of my shifts it’s 15.35 I work 24 hours a week and I can work more if I want too. I pay for phone bill and car insurance and that’s about \$200. Looking for places is about 775-850. Can I afford that? Thanks.

Reply
• Joce

Oh I forgot to add I would share the apartment with someone and split rent. Thanks people pls help.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Joce,
Looks like \$800 range rent is doable for you, but double check all the numbers below. Most of that \$3500 savings will be gone to rent, security deposit and initial apartment expenses, so you need to start rebuilding your savings after you move in. The good news is that with your relatively low expenses that should be OK. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,400

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$840
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$168
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$150
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$50
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,598

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$802
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$240
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$562
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
76. Carla

Hello, looking to move in apartment ranged \$675-700 1 bedroom. I Make 12.50 an hr 40 hours a week, paid weekly, car insurance is 264, 13 dollar health insurance, gas about 20 dollars that lasts up to 2 weeks. Dont hardly buy groceries maybe fast food every day.I spend about 164 dollars on food a month. and phone bill comes to \$65-75. Thats it, just a single lifestyle no kids no spouse.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Carla,
First, learn to cook. It’s cheaper and healthier that fast food.
It looks like you need to boost your income another \$300 or so a month to cover all your expenses and have enough left over for some entertainment, clothing and other discretionary expenses. Double check the numbers to see if anything is missing. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$25,000
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$5,000
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) -\$676
Estimated annual take-home pay \$19,324
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,610

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$675
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$135
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$264
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$70
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,534

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$76

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

Reply
77. Morgan C Moore

Hi i make 16 an hour work about 85 hours bi weekly, car payment 425 insurance 159 phone 40 daycare will be cut out soon. Can i afford 1200 a month 2 bedroom.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Morgan,
We are assuming that there are two in the family. If that is the case, \$1,200 is far too much in light of all your other expenses, including typical expenses for food. Double-check the numbers and see what changes you need to make. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$34,000
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$6,800
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$27,200
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,267

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$793
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$159
Car loan or lease payment -\$425
Car Insurance  -\$159
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$40
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,136

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$131

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

Reply
78. Jennifer

Hello! I am in a bit of a hard place right now. I have a fiancee that lives out of the country and as a requirement for him to come to the U.S. I need to have an apartment to prove he would not be a public charge. I’m looking into a much better job (hope I get it), it would pay at minimum \$13 an hour and an average of 37 hours a week. My current job I get paid \$9.50 an hour and average 38-39.5 hours a week. My paychecks are bi-weeky and usually are \$545 give or take a few. I do not have a phone bill to pay ( my family pays it) and I pay car insurance semi-annually (about \$625). What is a comfortable monthly rent with my current pay and a possible pay? Thank you :)

Reply
• Jennifer

Also as a side note, I would absolutely need internet which is about \$40 a month

Reply
79. Dan

I am looking to move out this year whether I get a better job or not.(though it’s likely) However I was curious with my current rate and hours where I’d be at. I make 11.25 and hour and do around 40 a week. I don’t drive so no car payments, gas money or insurance. The apartment I’m looking into is 625. Using the information listed, I added 125 for utilities. My phone bill is about 100 and I include about 300 for food. I do not pay for health insurance. I don’t use cable either. Could I afford the apartment at 625?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Dan,
Do you know how to shop and cook? Do you bring lunch to work? You don’t have much leeway if you pay \$625 rent, so you have to learn to live frugally. Are you up to watching every dollar and sweating the rent due day? More manageable rent for you would be in the \$500-\$550 range. Double check all the numbers below to make sure they are reasonable. On the other hand, maybe having your own place will inspire you to boost your income. 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.)
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 -\$625
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$125
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) -\$125
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$100
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,315

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$279
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$159
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$119
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
80. Kristy

Hello I make \$14 an hour and get 40 hours a week . I have no kids n I only pay my phone bill which is \$85 .i don’t have a car yet can I get an \$700 apartment

Reply
81. Mariah Thomas

Hello, I’m Mariah. i make 8.95 an hour, paid by weekly in two weeks i have worked 80 hours. i’m seeing 600 and something dollar checks i need and apt for my 3 year old and my 6 month old. can i afford 700 dollar rent?

Reply
• Olando Fuller

You need a based on income apartment. It may not be the best neighborhood but its the best for your pocket. Try to save \$20 every check and cut out things like snacks, or cigs if you smoke. Look for a cheaper cell phone plan. Then ask God to give you a better life all around. Be blessed.

Reply
• christian andrew lopez

You can afford no more than \$450 a month for rent. Its going to be very hard for you to make it especially with 2 kids. Where are you working mcdonalds? Find a warehouse or factory to work at nearby. You will make \$12-\$13 an hour and there is opportunity for overtime.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Mariah,
If you bring home after taxes about \$1,200 a month and have two children to cloth and feed there is no way you could afford \$700 in rent. First, you need to have money for transportation to work, then you need money for food and childcare. You have to pay someone to take care of the children when you are working. Print out this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and put in it all your expenses. It will tell you how much is left to cover rent and utilities.
You should check out with your local housing services to see if you qualify for rent help. Good luck!

Reply
82. Rainae

I make \$25/hr for 32-40 hours a week. Then child support of \$620 a month. How much rent could I afford? Have a second job too but only want the first job & support to be considered.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Rainae,
You did not tell us if you have a car, so we assumed public transportation. If that is the case and you have no other big bills than the child support, you could afford rent in the \$900 range. Look at the numbers below and see what is missing. Print out this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and make your own detailed calculations. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$43,750
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$10,938
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$32,813
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,734

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$957
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$191
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) -\$125
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$80
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care -\$620
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,313

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$421
Savings (target 10% of take-home) \$273
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$148
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
83. Dione

I’m thinking about getting a place of my own. I make 12.37 an hour full 40 hours a week after taxes, retirement, and insurance is taken from my check, my take home is around \$711 The place I’m interested is \$550 a month.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Dione,
If we take your 2-paycheck month take-home of \$1,422, then at 35% your max. rent is \$498, so \$550 is not that far. But, we don’t know anything about your other expenses, so we cannot tell if that would work. Use this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to see for yourself how much you’d have left over each month after your essential expenses. We like to see about \$400, so you can live a little too, not just work to pay rent!
Good luck!

Reply
84. kmtz

Hello, I get paid monthly, \$14 and hour and I work 37 hours a week. I pay 110 on my car insurance and I pay 41 for my phone bill and I spend 20 dollars biweekly on gas. Would I make it to get my own apartment.

Reply
85. Jenn

Hi I’m looking for my first apartment and I need so much help, I make 16.50 an hour and work 40 hours a week. My car plus the insurance is 160 and my phone is 70

Reply
86. Maddy

Hi there!! My boyfriend and Inare looking to get our first apartment together. I currently make \$10/hour and work roughly 40 hours a week. My boyfriend works with his dad and brings in about \$500 a week. What would we be able to pay in rent/utilities??

Reply
• christian andrew lopez

With two incomes you could afford up to \$1000 a month. Also budget \$200 for utilities.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Maddy,
The basic landlord formula is annual before tax income divided by 40. If we assume that you each take 2 weeks unpaid vacation and work 50 weeks a year paid, here’s the calculation:
Maddy: \$10*40*50 =\$20,000
BF: \$500*50 = \$25,000
Total \$45,000
Divided by 40 = \$1,125 max. rent.
Est. Util. 20\$ \$ 225
Total housing \$1,350
However, a better way is do a real budget because this formula does not include your other fixed expenses, such as car costs. Estimate your after tax incomes and all your other expenses using this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/. Only then you can see if that \$1,125 will work. Good luck!

Reply
87. Kay

Hi I make 9.50 An hour an I work 80 hours I get paid every two weeks would I make it for an apartment

Reply
88. Camille Harrison

So I will be coming out of high school, I make 10/hour for my first job, and 9/hour for my second. The first being on call. I work around 25-30 hours a week. The apartment I’m looking at has free water and free utilities I would only have to pay electric. I dont pay for my car and my work pays for gas. The place is \$425, do I have enough?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Camille,
For us the bigger question is, why are you moving out now? Could you live at home for a while longer and use that time to save some money before you move out. Al least long enough to find out how you like those jobs. If you move out now, about half of your take-home pay will go to rent. Add to other essential living expenses and you have \$20 a week for all other spending. See below. We calculated your pay on the lower hours, because the rent is do no matter how many hours you get a month. When the extra hours come, you’ll be in a little better shape. Whatever you do, do not fall into a credit card trap to make ends meet! If you must move and only expenses you have to pay are rent, electric and food, you could probably squeeze by, but there is no room for error and you need all extra hours you can get. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (\$10*25*50) \$12,500
Less: Estimated taxes 10% (see below 2.) -\$1,250
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$11,250
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$938

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$425
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$85
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$850

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$88
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$88
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
89. Dell

So I make 16 an hour, 36hrs a week. My car note is 135 and insurance is 144. My phone is 35. I have no kids and I have a second job where I only go in a day or two and it adds a extra 100. With and without the second job…what can I afford? Thanks!

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Dell,
Based on your expenses, it looks like you could afford rent in the \$700 range. We’d like you to get a place that you can afford on your main job only, and use the second job to start building an emergency/savings account. When you are living on your own, you always want have a Plan B if something unexpected happens, and money in the bank is a good Plan B. As always, double-check the numbers. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$28,800
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$5,760
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$23,040
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,920

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$672
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$134
Car loan or lease payment -\$135
Car Insurance  -\$144
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$35
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,510

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

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

Reply
90. Tasha

This is awesome. I am thinking about going to work a temp job where the pay is \$22/hr. I am making a career change and my current pay is \$27/hr. I live in Boston so my concern was budgeting on less income with the current expenses I have. However, where I live the rent is 30% of your income which helps in situations like mine. I would definitely have to cut expenses where I can. My car is paid off as well so rent is my highest expense.

Reply
91. Stephanie

I really needed this chart. So I’m making 11.50 an hour, working 40 hours a week, my fiance is gonna be making around 20.00 an hour working 50 hours a week. Our phone bill is 54.00 but his truck payment is 320.00 and my jeep payment is also 320.00. Our insurance all together is 381.00. What are our options?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Stephanie,
Even with you relatively high car expenses, you could target rent in the \$1,500 range and still be able to save 10% of your paychecks. Of course, if you get a nice place for less, more power to you. Your fiance has a lot of hours at work right now, which really boosts up the rent target. but if those hours drop, it could get tight at \$1,500. At least, your savings will have to drop. Double check the numbers. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) Combined \$73,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$18,250
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$54,750
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$4,563

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$1,597
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$319
Car loan or lease payment -\$640
Car Insurance  -\$381
Gas -\$150
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$54
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$3,651

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$911
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$456
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$455
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
92. Jordan Greene

First off, I appreciate the help you’re providing people. I make 15 an hour and average 35 hours a week. My only bills are 60 for car insurance and 45 for my phone. What are my options?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Jordan,
With your low fixed expenses you should be Ok with the formula rent of \$656 for \$15/hr 35 hrs/week. However, if you go a little more conservative route and spend in the \$600 range, you’ll have enough money left over to put at least 5% of your take-home into savings. As always, make sure to double-check the numbers below. What can blow your budget easily is eating out (and especially the drinks!), so learn to cook and try to limit nights out. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$26,250
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$5,250
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$21,000
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,750

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$613
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$123
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$60
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$45
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,230

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$520
Savings (target 5% of take-home) -\$88
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$433
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
93. sabeegahalamin

“How Much Rent Can I Afford on My Hourly Pay?” which is really very good topic. Now a days paying rent is not easy. We have monthly pay so much things like phone bill, car bill, loans, provisions and so many things are there. Rent also same monthly monthly we should pay. So plan accordingly and do. You gave clear idea about renting. Thank you so much. Keep posting…

Reply
94. halee

make 14\$ an hr work 40 hrs a week. insurance 13 dollar ,car 274 and fne 63 thats it.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Halee,
For your hours and pay, you should be able to afford \$700 a month, but because of your car costs, you should not target more than \$600 and even that is a little tight. Make a real budget for yourself, using this printable worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$28,000
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$5,600
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$22,400
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,867

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$600
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$120
Car loan or lease payment -\$274
Car Insurance
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.) -\$13
Cell Phone -\$80
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills fne?? -\$63
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,540

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$327
Savings (target 5% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$327
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
95. Taylor

Hello,

I’m looking to move between june-july. I make \$21.84hr and my expense are as follow:

Car payment :\$341.26
CC Bills: \$100
Loan 1: \$127.23
Loan 2: \$230
Car Insurance :\$100
Phone Bill: \$94

Can you tell me how much rent I can realistically afford?

Reply
96. Jessica Tavares

Hi, my name is Jessica and I recently got a job in NYC that pays 40,000 a year 9-5 FT. Im trying to see what my budget would be for my first place! Other expenses I have are \$350 in student loan debt, \$100 metro card.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Jessica,
We have some good news and bad news for you. Bad news is, you most likely have to live with roommate(s) and spend as much as half of your take-home on rent. The good news is, you don’t need a car, commuting is cheap and the unlimited 30 day Metro Card is \$121. Also, you’ll find tons of free things to do. Cook your meals, bring lunch to work, limit your Uber to occasional weekend night and you’ll do fine. Get into habit of saving, even if it’s the change in your pocket every day. Use this worksheet to make a detailed budget and stick to it. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/. Good luck! Let us know how you are doing in a couple of months.

Reply
97. Destiny

Hi, my name is Destiny Im 21 and a part time student . I have been using this as a reference for a year for future plans and those future plans are very close and I’m planning on moving out very soon. I now make \$14/hour and work 40 hours a week. I have other expenses other than utilities such as car insurance, phone bill and WiFi. How much should I spend on rent then ?

Reply
98. Hubert

Hope I’m not too late to the party. I make 16.25/hr, work 30 – 35 hours every week. My car note is \$242, car insurance \$160. The apartment I want is \$575/month. Will this work out in my favor ?

Reply
99. Savana

Hey,
My sister and her boyfriend and my boyfriend and I have decided to save up and get a trailer (mobile home) together. Not counting the down payment and cutting on utilities, can we afford this? The men make \$1500 each a month, and I make \$800 roughly. My sister plans to go to work part time as she is having a baby, and childcare is free for her so she should make \$600-\$800. All of our bills combined is \$3,360. Total income after taxes is \$4,600/ mo. What’s the most expensive rent and utilities we can afford?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Savana,
So, your total income, after taxes is \$4,600 (including your sister who’s having a baby?) and your bills are \$3,360, leaving you \$1,240 to cover rent/mortgage, utilities, any repairs that may come up and any incidental expenses for 4 + baby. It does not sound like you are ready for this move, but maybe we are missing something. Use this worksheet to estimate how your full budget might look like. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
Good luck!

Reply
100. Sierra Bass

Hello , I’ve been looking for places for my boyfriend and I to move into. Right now I’m make 9 an hour but will be raised to 11 in a couple of months and 11.50 if I do night shift. We both make the same after the pay raise and on average of 25 hours a week for me. And the same or more for him. What would be the most if the split the bill for all of it down the middle??

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Sierra,
You could probably afford to pay in the \$600 range in you don’t have any fixed expenses and can use public transportation. Since you work only 25 hours each, you have plenty of room to increase your hours in a pinch, unless you are students. Double check the numbers with this worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$27,500
Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -\$4,125
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$23,375
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,948

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = Income/40 -\$688
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$138
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) -\$250
Groceries/Food -\$450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,585

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$363
Savings (target 20% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
101. Jessica Miller

HI I see you’re helping people figure out if they can fit their budget.

I’m making 15 an hour, work 31 hours a week.
I have a car payment of 289. Car ins of 186 phone is 50 and health ins is 50.

I’m looking into income based living for my first apartment should be between 564-570

Internet and electric will be separate. Probably about 100 a month….Can i swing this ?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Jessica,
The short answer is NO, you cannot swing it. Like so many of our readers, your expenses take a far too big bite of your income. See below.
Can you get rid of your car and use public transportation? Otherwise, with your expenses, you need to increase your income before you can move out. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$23,250
Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -\$3,488
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$19,763
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,647

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = Income/40 -\$581
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$116
Car loan or lease payment -\$289
Car Insurance  -\$186
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.) -\$50
Cell Phone -\$50
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,663

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) -\$16
Savings (target 20% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
102. Sylvia

Hi, I’ve been wanting to move out of my parents house for a very long time and I might be getting a new job that pays \$11 an hour and pays \$11.75 on the weekends, the new and only cheap apartment near me is already full so I am looking in the city near where my job is going to be, I’ve found one that would be \$650 and one that would be \$585 a month
Do you think I could afford either with a car payment of 256, car insurance of 120 and phone bill of 67?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Sylvia,
Unfortunately, you (like so many of our readers) have too high car expenses that don’t leave enough room for either rent. We like you to have \$90-\$100 a week left after your essential expenses, for items like clothing, entertainment and emergency saving, so that you have some flexibility to enjoy living on your own. If your car and rent take so much out of your budget that you have no money to leave your apartment to do anything fun, you are not going to be happy. If you can find a place near your work, so that you don’t need a car, you’d be able to afford a place. Double check the numbers with this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Good luck!

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

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$585
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$117
Car loan or lease payment -\$256
Car Insurance  -\$120
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$67
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care/support
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,535

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$23
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
103. Beth Reilly

Hi! My boyfriend is relocating to where I am. He’s thinking about moving into a 269\$ furnished studio apartment. He going to look for between a 10 to 11 dollar paying job. Can he support himself with that pay???

Reply
104. Yesenia

Hello I makes 18\$ an hour full time working 40 hours a week , my bills are
80\$ phone bill
208\$ car insurance
What can I afford ?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Yesenia,
Looks like you can comfortably afford the formula max. rent of 35% of your take-home pay, even after putting 10% to savings. See below. But before you start looking double check that you remembered all your expenses using this worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single
Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$36,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$9,000
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$27,000
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,250

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent @35% of take home -\$788
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$158
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$208
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/support
Other fixed bills \$0
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,623

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$627
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$225
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$402
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
105. Sarah Lou

I’m looking to move out soon but as I am disabled and unable to work due to the nature of my disability I am currently on benefits. Is there a list of affordable rents that would be beneficial to someone on benefits please?

Reply
106. Ash

Hi im going to be working downtown Chicago at 20 an hour for 40 hours a week. Rental is usually around 1500 a month in the area. What would be affordable rental for a 1 bed apartment and how much would utility bills cost me.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Ash,
Since we don’t know anything about your other expenses, we can only go by the chart in the post that says your max. rent is \$1,000.
If you use public transportation, you could easily afford that rent, but not quite \$1,500, as long as you don’t have any loans or other fixed bills. If you have a car, then it will be much tighter. Us this budget planning worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to double check with your real paychecks and expenses. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$40,000
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$8,000
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$32,000
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,667

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$1,000
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$200
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) -\$125
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone
Student Loans -\$80
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,745

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$922
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$267
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation \$655

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

Reply
107. Bryson

Hey me and my girlfriend is trying to move out and the place we found with rent and utilities included are about \$1,130 that’s rent, power, water, trash, cable, and internet
My income 40 hours a week at \$11/hour
Her income 35 hours a week at 9.50/hour
Other expenses
Car-\$89
Phone-250
Car insurance-250
Can we afford to do that?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Bryson,
Looks like you can manage that rent but will not have much room for savings. Our formula estimate for utilities is probably high for you so you may have \$100 or so savings there. Your car insurance looks high. Maybe you can lower it. Sometimes, taking a safe driving class can give you nice savings on your insurance. Double check your numbers with this worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$38,625
Less: Estimated taxes 10% (see below 2.) -\$3,863
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$34,763
Monthly take-home pay \$2,897

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$1,130
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$226
Car loan or lease payment -\$89
Car Insurance  -\$250
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) \$0
Groceries/Food -\$450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$250
Student Loans \$0
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,505

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$392
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$392
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
108. yonna

Hi I just got a job making 13 an hour, I found an apartment for 750\$ a month water included in rent. I live in Philadelphia it’ll just be me and my son moving in I work 38 hours a week with a possibility of more can I afford this rent

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Yonna,
Unfortunately, \$750 rent looks like too much on your income. See below. It does not leave you enough for discretionary expenses, especially when you have a child. In order to get closer to being able to afford that rent, you should try to grow your income by about \$75 a week. If you live frugally and learn to cook basic foods, you might be able to manage with extra \$50 or so a week. We are rooting for you and your son to be able to move to your own place soon. Check your numbers with this budget worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$24,700
Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -\$3,705
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$20,995
Monthly take-home pay \$1,750

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$750
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$150
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.)
Cell Phone -\$80
Student Loans \$0
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,615

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$135
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$135
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
109. Lauren

I am hoping to move out of my parents house when I finish college in a few months. The building I want to live in costs \$950 a month, then I would have my phone bill \$25, student loan \$140, and car insurance \$113. If I make \$20 an hour working 40 hours a week is that rent to high for me to afford? I also work a side job which makes an extra \$200 a month (after taxes).

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Lauren,
The good news is that with a \$20 an hour job you should be able to afford \$950 rent comfortably. You could even start a very nice savings plan, especially if you’ll bank that extra \$200 from your side job. Getting your own place is a big step but you’ll be ready, at least financially. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$40,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$10,000
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
Estimated annual take-home pay \$30,000
Monthly take-home pay \$2,500

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent of take-home -\$950
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$190
Car loan or lease payment \$0
Car Insurance  -\$113
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$25
Student Loans -\$140
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,808

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$692
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$250
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$442
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
110. Sophie

Hello, I take home about 2,060 a month. My car payment is 480, insurance 100 and my cell phone is 80 a month I also pay the minimum of 25 on my credit card. How much rent can I afford?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Sophie,
You being tripped up by your car expenses and therefore cannot afford the rent our basic formula calculates, 35% of take-home or \$721. It looks to us that you could only afford about \$500 in rent and still have enough for all your essential expenses plus close to \$100 a week for discretionary expenses and emergency savings. See below. Double-check your numbers with this https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Monthly take-home pay \$2,060

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent of take-home -\$500
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$100
Car loan or lease payment -\$480
Car Insurance  -\$100
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$80
Student Loans
Credit Cards -\$25
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,675

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$385
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car

Reply
111. Paulie L.

Hello, I have an update. Last year my salary was \$24,772.08, but I have been offered another position making \$32,220. My expenses have not changed much. How much rent can I afford with the following expenses?
Car note \$225 ( I usually pay more than the min.)
Student loans \$150 (this may change)
Car insurance \$169
Food \$250
Gym membership \$25
Gas \$200+ (new job is 35/40mins away)
Hair care \$75
Cell phone \$15
Netflix/Hulu/Spotify/xbox gold \$25
Pension 1% of gross income
401K currently 13% of gross income (may change)
IRA contribution \$50
I don’t pay for health insurance and my credit cards are at \$0

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Paulie,
Look at our answer to Logan, below. You are in a similar situation and with your current expenses could only afford an inexpensive roommate share. If you have to move, you’d need to stop all savings contributions to 401K, etc. That would be very unfortunate. Stay where you are for a while, save what your rent would be and build a nice emergency fund before you move. Double-check your numbers with this worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$32,220
Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -\$4,833
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) -\$4,511
Estimated annual take-home pay \$22,876
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,906

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$667
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$133
Car loan or lease payment -\$225
Car Insurance  -\$169
Gas -\$200
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$250
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone / Netflix, etc. -\$40
Student Loans -\$150
Credit Cards
Child care
Personal care -\$100
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,975

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) -\$68
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$50
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car -\$118
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
112. Brianna

I make 14.90 an hour 40 hrs a week with paid vacation and sick time. I also receive 429 a month for child support. I pay:
Car: 268
Phone: 150
Insurance: 195
Credit cards: 50
What would be ideal for rent?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Brianna,
Below is a budget worksheet that you can use as a starting point. Print out a blank worksheet here https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and input all your real numbers. That formula \$750, based on your hourly wages and weekly hours may be too much, or just right, depending what all your real essential expenses add up to. You need to target to have at least \$400 or so left over for discretionary spending a month, and a little something to start an emergency fund. Our estimate only left \$101, that is far too little. Being a single mom, it’s doubly hard to make the numbers work, but you do have a job with benefits and get child support, which helps. Let us know how things work out – the right apartment is out there. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$30,992 (at \$14.90/40hours*52 weeks)
Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -\$4,649
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) \$0
Estimated annual take-home pay \$26,343
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,195
\$429
Estimated monthly cash in \$2,624

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Rent at \$15 /40 hours from chart. -\$750
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$150
Car loan or lease payment -\$268
Car Insurance  -\$195
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$150
Student Loans
Credit Cards -\$50
Child care -\$400
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$2,523

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$101
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car

Reply
113. Logan

I’m really just trying to figure out what I can afford, my car payment is 244.53 phone is 116 and car insurance is 233 I make 13 per hour 40 hours a week

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Logan,
Same advice to you as to Sabrina, so here goes.
Take another look at the chart in this post https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/. Your max. rent is \$650. Now, print out this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and add to it all your income and expenses, including your target rent. What does it say? Does it show that you have enough money left over for food, clothing, commuting to work and all your other essential expenses. It will probably tell you that \$650 is far too high, because of your car expenses. However, after you do the math, you’ll know your right rent range. It may tell you to look for a roommate share for now. Let us know what you find out and good luck!

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Logan,
Like with so many our readers, your rent money is going into your car expenses. You cannot afford anywhere near our formula max. rent of 35% of your estimated take-home, or \$607. If you want to play it safe, you’d be looking for a roommate share of under \$400 a month and still you’d have hard time saving even a small emergency fund. Now, starting out in a roommate share is what many do, so if you have to move try to find one via personal connection. Or stay where you are, start saving your estimated rent, so you know what it will mean to your lifestyle, and look for a place in a few months.

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$26,000
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$5,200
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) \$0
Estimated annual take-home pay \$20,800
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,733

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$607
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$121
Car loan or lease payment -\$245
Car Insurance  -\$233
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$116
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,712

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$21
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
114. sabrina

Hi
The apartment I am looking into the rent is 1300.
Full time 40hrs week I bring how \$902 every two weeks. I make about \$15.87hr
My expenses:
car insurance every 6months \$500
Credit Car: \$200
cable about 160

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Sabrina,
If we understand your numbers correctly, your take-home is about \$1,804 a month and you want to rent a \$1,300 a month place. Let’s do a little math here: rent \$1,300 + utilities at least 10%, or \$130 + car insurance \$83 + credit cards \$200 + cable \$160 = \$1,873!!! Clearly, that rent is not going to work and no sane landlord will rent you that place, anyway. Take another look at the chart in this post https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/. Your Max. rent is \$750-\$800. Now, print out this worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ and add to it all your income and expenses, including your target rent. What does it say. Does it show that you have enough money left over for food, clothing, commuting to work and all your other essential expenses. It may tell you that \$750 is too high, but after you do the math, you’ll know your right rent range. Let us know what you find out and good luck!

Reply
115. Bianca Weston

First Job:
Full Time – \$10/Hour – 40 Hours per week (approximately \$650 bi-weekly)

Second Job:
Full Time – \$700/Week

Don’t have any car expenses yet
Loan- \$100/Month
Small credit card- \$10/Month

What should my target rent be?

There’s an apartment I REALLY want for \$1500

Reply
• MFA Editors

Bianca,
Two full time jobs? Working 80 hours a week. And you want to get an expensive rental that will force you to continue working both jobs as long as you live there.
Before you take on that burden, reflect on this poem by BY EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY
“My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!”
Good luck!

Reply
116. Tabatha

Hi i live in Chicago. I work in the city; I make \$15 an hour and work from 35-40 hrs. I get paid every week.
Car Payment: \$205
Insurance Payment: \$190
Parking for work: \$60/weekly
Phone Bill: \$120
Credit Car: \$200-300

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Tabatha,
You probably take home a bit under \$2,000 a month and your fixed expenses are in the \$1,000 range, before rent, utilities or food. If you live and work in Chicago, do you really need a car? Your car expenses take about third of your take-home, so if you get rid of your car, you can use that money for rent. Right now, it looks really tight for you to be able to afford your own place. Maybe you can find a roommate share that would work.
Use this budgeting worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to estimate what you could realistically afford in rent. Good luck!

Reply
117. Rafael

I make 13.50 per hour and work 40 hours a week how much rent can i afford my only bill as of now is a cellphone bill of \$70 a month I’m looking to find a place

Reply
118. Amy-Jo Grace

Thank you this was really helpful, and completely validated my decision to move to more affordable housing.

Reply
119. Makenna

Hello! I make 9.50 (I’m getting a raise soon which will help), work 39 hours a week, and I am going to have 3 other roomates to help out. Is it possible for me to move out within a month? I do have 3 months rent saved up, but I’m still scared I’m not going to be able to afford everything.

Reply
120. Paige

I make \$11 an hour i pay \$230/month on insurance and \$188/ car payment am i able to move out of my moms?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Paige,
As you can see on the chart in the post, at 40 hours @\$11, your max. rent would be \$550.
https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/07/how-much-rent-can-i-afford-on-my-hourly-pay/
However, Your car expenses are so high, relative your income, that you could not pay them, rent, utilities, phone, food, etc. with your take-home income.
Below is a rough budget for you at \$550 rent. It shows that after paying your most essential living expenses, you’ll have \$10 left for any discretionary expenses. It does not even cover one movie ticket. Stay at your mom’s for now, save as much as you can, get a raise or two, and then move out and be ready for a great first apartment experience. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$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 -\$550
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$110
Car loan or lease payment -\$188
Car Insurance  -\$230
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$80
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,548

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

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

Reply
121. Carly

I don’t agree with this to be quite honest. I work 36 hours a week and get paid around \$26, and my rent is WAY more than \$1,138

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Carly,
Your situation is a perfect example why formula rent is only a starting point and you really need to do a budget with your own income and expenses. (You can use our printable budgeting worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/.) If you live in an urban area with great, cheap, public transportation, cook for yourself, and limit your pumpkin lattes and Uber rides, you can probably manage \$1,500-\$1,600 in rent and put some \$\$ to savings and still have enough left over for discretionary expenses. We did your rough budget below assuming NYC monthly transit pass for commuting costs. However, if you spend \$500 a month on your car that you need for commuting to work, then even that \$1,138 could be tight.
Thanks for your comment and good luck in your apartment.
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$46,800
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$11,700
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) \$0
Estimated annual take-home pay \$35,100
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,925

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$1,138
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$228
Car loan or lease payment \$0
Car Insurance  \$0
Gas \$0
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) -\$125
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$80
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,911

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$1,014
Savings (target 10% of take-home) -\$293
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$722
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
122. Sasha

\$12.50 an hour averaging 32 hrs a week.
Rent \$365
Hulu/Netflix \$20
Internet \$51
Electric/Water \$300
Cell \$50

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Sasha,
Your budget looks very tight, with those super high electric and water expenses. It does not seem to leave you enough for any discretionary expenses, unless you go on a full Ramen diet. If you can increase your hours closer to 40 you’ll be in a much better place. But I’m sure you already know that. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$20,000
Less: Estimated taxes 15% (see below 2.) -\$3,000
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) \$0
Estimated annual take-home pay \$17,000
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,417

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent 35% of take-home -\$365
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$371
Car loan or lease payment \$0
Car Insurance  \$0
Gas \$0
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) -\$125
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$50
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,251

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

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

Reply
123. Johanna

Hello! I make \$18 an hour working full time 40 hours a week. My bills are
phone bill \$85
Car insurance \$70
Child care \$480
Credit card \$80 or less
What can afford to move into my own place with my little one?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Johanna,
A very rough budget shows that you could probably carry \$500-\$600 in rent (see below), but you should use our printable budgeting worksheet to double check all your numbers. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
Hope you and your little one get your own place soon. Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$36,000
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$7,200
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) \$0
Estimated annual take-home pay \$28,800
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,400

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent Est. -\$600
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$120
Car loan or lease payment \$0
Car Insurance  -\$70
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) \$0
Groceries/Food -\$450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$85
Loans \$0
Credit Cards -\$80
Child care -\$480
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,995

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$405
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
124. Vincent trey

Hey I live in Ohio, I’m 20 just start making \$15 a hour 40 hours a week and thinking about getting a second job soon but right now I live with my parents. Only bills I pay is car insurance which is \$160 and gas. What rent Can I afford?

Reply
125. Eveyana Anchondo

Hello I work 40 hours a week and 10\$ an hour all I play is my 53\$ phone and gas for my car? What could I afford ?

Reply
126. Layla

Hi I make \$10 an hour and I work 37-40 hours a week I’m looking for a 1 bedroom and 1 bath apartment and the only two bills I pay are my cell phone which is \$45, and rent at my grandmas which is \$100 how much will I be looking at for rent each month and how much do I need to save?

Reply
127. Paul23

Hello I make 14.50 a hr I work 40 hrs a weeks I’m a mother of one and looking to move the only thing I pay is a phone bill 186.00 and my car insurance 100.00 my car is paid for how much am I looking at for rent each month?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Paul23,
We have so little information that it’s hard to estimate what would be the reasonable rent for you. You may have childcare expenses and credit card bills that will have a big impact. Using typical levels of expenses for groceries, etc., it looks like you could manage rent in the \$600 range and still have some money for discretionary expenses and savings, See below.
But, as we always advice, please print out our budgeting worksheet and estimate more closely all your expenses and income. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$29,000
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$5,800
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) \$0
Estimated annual take-home pay \$23,200
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,933

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$600
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$120
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance  -\$100
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$450
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$60
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$186
Student Loans \$0
Credit Cards \$0
Child care
Other fixed bills \$0
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,566

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$367
Savings (target 10% of take-home) Emergency Fund
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$367
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
128. Felicia

Hello, I make \$18.50/hr and work 40 hours a week
I am looking to move out but am nervous to do so.
Here are my monthly bills:

Student loan: 182.00
Car insurance/phone: 125.00
Emergency fund: 150.00
Hulu/Netflix/Spotify: 33.00
Credit Card: 40.00
Food: 200.00
Gas:150.00
Misc: 75.00
beauty/clothes expense: 100.00
Entertainment: 100.00

Reply
• Felicia

To make things clearer, I am renting a room right now for 500.00 a month, they are not charging utilities so I can get on my feet. I am wanting to be on my own in at least 6 months, I moved in about a month ago. My health insurance is taken out of my pay check and am on my parents dental insurance, after taxes and my 401K plan, I take home around 2100.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Felicia,
It looks like our basic formula rent at 35% of take-home, or \$736 is a little too high for you. See below. If you find a place in the \$600 range, you should be able to manage. Aim to have at least \$2,000 in the bank before you move and then continue saving that \$150 a month, in addition to the 401K. Double check your budget with this printable worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$37,000
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$9,250
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) -\$2,500
Estimated annual take-home pay \$25,250
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,104

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$736
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet)+Hulu, etc -\$180
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance /phone -\$125
Gas -\$150
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$200
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone
Student Loans -\$182
Credit Cards -\$40
Child care
Other fixed bills -\$275
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,929

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$175
Savings (target 10% of take-home) Emergency Fund -\$150
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car \$25
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
129. Quisha

I make \$12.25/hr 40 hours a week I get paid every two weeks.
Rent for a room at a Lodge-\$380 for 2 weeks in all around \$760 a month
Phone-\$90
Uber rides to and from work- average \$150
Health insurance \$86
Dental-\$1.37

I am working on getting a car and a more affordable place to stay. I just don’t know for sure what I can afford. I don’t want to get stuck.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Quisha,
Right now it looks like you could manage a place in the \$500 rent range if you live frugally. If Uber works for you and costs only \$150 a month you’d be better off continuing with them than getting a car. Even a least expensive used car will cost you \$300+ a month, between the loan payment, insurance and gas.
In any case, do your own budget by using this printable worksheet. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
Good luck!
First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$24,500
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$4,900
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) -\$2,272
Estimated annual take-home pay \$17,328
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,444

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$505
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$101
Car loan or lease payment
Car Insurance
Gas
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125) UBER -\$150
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$90
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,186

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$258
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
130. Dustin

I make \$20 an hour and I work about 45 hours a week I have a \$60 phone bill \$288 car payment \$125 car insurance a month what would I be able to afford apartment wise a month

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131. Dexter

Hi my name is Dexter and I work 40hrs a week I’m making \$18.82 dollars an hour and I sometimes work 10 to 16 hours overtime. And I already have \$5,000 on my savings.

Car insurance: \$735 (6 months policy)
Car payment: \$165
Dental insurance: \$9
Health Insurance: \$71
TSP (401k): \$72 (5% every paycheck) I get paid every two weeks.

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Dexter,
You can estimate your max. rent two ways. First, with the basic landlord formula of annual pay, before taxes and deductions, divided by 40. That number is \$941. Second, look at your take-home pay and pay no more than 35% of that amount for rent. That number is \$717, that we used in the rough budget below. With your nice savings, potential extra overtime pay that we did not include in the rent formula, you should be comfortable in the \$700-\$800 rent range and still be able to put at least 10% of your pay in savings (including the 401K).
Use our budgeting worksheet for a more exact estimate. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$37,640
Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -\$9,410
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) -\$3,648
Estimated annual take-home pay \$24,582
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,049

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -\$717
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$143
Car loan or lease payment -\$165
Car Insurance  -\$123
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone -\$80
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,618

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$431
Savings (target 10% of take-home)
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car
Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

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

Reply
132. Miya owens

Hello, I current work 40 hours every week at 11.00 an hour I do not have to pay rent for now but have two kids a toddler and teen.

Phone is 35 a month
Diapers 45
Car insurance 220
Wifi 10
Gas 80
Misc 300
Food 400
Health paid for

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Miya,
You are lucky that you do not have to pay rent now, because after paying your expenses, you really don’t have enough left over for rent. With two kids it’s tough to make the ends meet. Hope their dad is contributing to their expenses. Once the teen gets old enough to pitch in that will help.
If you can bring your hourly pay to up to \$14-\$15 range, then you could afford a place in the \$500-\$600 rent range. The numbers below were done assuming \$14 an hour. Use our budgeting worksheet https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ to estimate more closely when you might be able to move. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) At \$14/hr. \$28,000
Less: Estimated taxes 10% (see below 2.) -\$2,800
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) \$0
Estimated annual take-home pay \$25,200
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$2,100

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  -\$220
Gas -\$80
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$400
Laundry/Dry Cleaning
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone WiFi -\$45
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care -Diapers -\$45
Other fixed bills -\$300
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,690

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

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

Reply
133. Gina

Hello my name is Gina. I get paid 17.25/hr with a 15% differential on sat (19.83) and 20% on Sundays (20.70) and I work 40 hrs/week about \$1150 every two weeks, my bills are as listed:

Car Ins: 629.76
Car Note – 290.22
Phone – 121
CC – 50
Gas – 50
Misc – 93.61

Would like to see how much rent I can afford per month as I am moving in March 2018

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Gina,
Your car insurance is an absolute budget buster for you. Together with your car note and gas, your transportation expenses almost eat up one paycheck a month. Our basic rent affordability formula, 35% of your take-home pay, say that you should be able to afford about \$800 a month in rent. However, with your car expenses that would not leave you enough for food, clothing, etc. essential living costs, let alone savings, and even \$400 could be a struggle. Use this worksheet to see for yourself how your numbers would look. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/
Is there any way that you could find cheaper car insurance? You must have had some bad accidents or really serious traffic violations to get hit by 4 times the insurance rate we normally see. Find out if a safe driving class would help you lover that bill. Let us know if you find a way to lower that insurance bill. Good luck!
P.S. If your car insurance amount you gave is not your monthly bill, but perhaps semi-annual bill, then that \$800 rent might fit into your budget. Still, double -check with the budgeting worksheet.

Reply
134. Lorenzo r

Hello, I just started my new job that pays 14.25 an hour with 40 hours a week, my car payment is 329.00 and other bills are 300 I’m wondering what the highest amount of rent I can afford?

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Lorenzo,
Since we don’t know what is in the other bills, it’s impossible to give a good rent target. We did a rough plan below and it looks like it will be in the \$400-\$450 range. To get a better idea, you need to use our printable budgeting worksheet and put in it your real take-home pay and real expenses. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2017/08/budgeting-bootcamp-budgeting-worksheet-single/ Depending where you live, you may have to look for a roommate share to start with. Good luck!

First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
Your Budget
Annual Salary (see below 1.) \$28,500
Less: Estimated taxes 20% (see below 2.) -\$5,700
Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.) \$0
Estimated annual take-home pay \$22,800
Monthly take-home pay (above /12) \$1,900

Monthly Essential Living Expenses
Maximum Rent -\$400
Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -\$80
Car loan or lease payment -\$329
Car Insurance  ?
Gas -\$50
Public transportation monthly pass (est. \$125)
Groceries/Food -\$300
Laundry/Dry Cleaning -\$40
Health Insurance (See below 3.)
Cell Phone
Student Loans
Credit Cards
Child care
Other fixed bills -\$300
Total Monthly Essential Expenses -\$1,499

Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) \$401
Savings (target 10% of take-home)

Reply
• MFA Editors

Hi Lorenzo,
The answer is still pretty much the same. The bills just move to other places on the budget planner. As long as your car loan and related costs (insurance, gas) take \$500 or more off the top of your monthly take-home, you have to live very frugally with all your other expenses if you want to spend \$500-\$600 on rent. Being rent poor will not make it a great first apartment experience. Keep in mind that you should also have room in your budget first to build an emergency fund and then try to set up a regular savings plan. Use the budget planner worksheet to see what you’ll be comfortable with. Good luck!

• MFA Editors

Hi Lorenzo,
Just noticed a mistake in the previous reply. While it initially said that being rent poor will make a great first apartment experience, what we meant to say is that
“Being rent poor will not make it a great first apartment experience.” Being rent poor is an experience, definitely, and a memorable one years from now, but it is still tough to go through IRL.

135. 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

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
136. 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

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
137. 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

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
138. 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

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
139. 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

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
140. 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
141. 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
142. 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

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
143. 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
144. 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

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
145. 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

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
146. 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

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
147. 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

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
148. 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

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
149. 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
150. 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

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

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.

151. 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
152. 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

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
153. 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
154. 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?

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155. 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?

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156. 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

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• 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.

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157. 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.

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158. 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?

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159. 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.

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160. 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)

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• 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.

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161. 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 ?

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• 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.

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162. 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 .

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• 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.

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163. 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?

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• 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.

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164. 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?

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165. 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

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.

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166. 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

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
167. 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\$

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• 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
168. 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

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
169. 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?

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• 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.

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170. 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

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.

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171. 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

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• 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
172. 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?

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• 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
173. 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

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• 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
174. 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

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.

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175. 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.

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• 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.

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176. 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.

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177. 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

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.

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178. 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

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.

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179. 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

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.

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180. 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

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
181. 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

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

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

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.

182. 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

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
183. 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

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
184. 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

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
185. 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

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
186. 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

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
187. 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

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
188. Cherry Creek Apartments

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

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189. 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

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
190. 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

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.

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191. 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

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
192. 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

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
193. 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
194. 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
195. 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

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
196. 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
197. 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

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
198. Jaz

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

Reply
• 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
199. 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

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
200. 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

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
201. 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

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
202. 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
203. 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
204. 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

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
205. 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

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
206. 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

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

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.

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207. 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

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
208. 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

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
209. 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

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
210. 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

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
211. 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

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
212. 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

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
213. 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

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
214. 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

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
215. 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

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
216. 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

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
217. 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

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
218. 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

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
219. 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

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
220. 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

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
221. 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

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
222. 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

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
223. 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

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
224. 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

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
225. 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

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
226. 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

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
227. 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

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
228. 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

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
229. 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

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
230. 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
231. 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

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
232. 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

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
233. 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

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
234. 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
235. 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
236. 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
237. 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

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

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.

238. 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

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
239. 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

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
240. 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

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
241. 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

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

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!

242. 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

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

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243. 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.

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244. 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.

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245. 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! :)

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• Danielle Ruggiero

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

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246. 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?

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• 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!

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247. 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 ?

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248. 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.

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• 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

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249. 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

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!

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250. 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

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!

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251. 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 :(

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• 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

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• 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
252. 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

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!

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253. 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

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!

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254. 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?

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• 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

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!

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255. 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

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• 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!

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256. 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

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!

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257. 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.

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• 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

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258. 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.

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• 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

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259. 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.

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260. 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.

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• 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!

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261. 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?

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262. 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

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

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263. 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?

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264. 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?

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265. 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

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266. 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.

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• 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

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267. 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

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• 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!

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268. 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.

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• 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!

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269. 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?

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• 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!

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270. 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

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• 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

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271. 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?

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• 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!

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272. 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.

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273. 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

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• 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?

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• 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!

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274. 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.

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• 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!

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275. 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

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• 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!

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276. 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!

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277. 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

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• 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