MFA IRL: Can Kiya and Her Fiancé Afford $750 Rent?

Kiya asks:

“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 saved up. I’m worried we’ll struggle being full time students and all.”

Hi Kiya,

You guys are in a great shape financially, especially considering you are full time students. You are working hard, saving money and still carrying full time load at school. We projected the budget with the lower end of your income range and we have no doubt that you can afford $750 rent without having to dip into your savings. You should also be able to continue adding little to your savings and pay for typical discretionary expenses (clothing, vacations, an occasional night out with friends, etc.).

Now, you do not say anything about how you are paying for your school? If you are running up big loan balances, then the budget might look different. And, you don’t mention car loans, only insurance. If there are loans, they would need to be included in the expenses. But, assuming that all you ongoing expenses were included, you are good to start checking rental ads.

Having that very nice savings cushion gives you flexibility even to cut back work hours during exams and still make your rent. We don’t like using savings for ongoing rent, but in your case the top priority should be doing as well as possible in your studies. That’s another form of saving for the future! You can also dip in a bit to furnish your new apartment so you’ll have a nice place to come home to after a long day of work and school.

Don’t forget to have fun. YOLO!


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