Sunlit Water

August 5, 2007


Filed under: Personal,Urban Living — by teofilo @ 6:17 pm

What’s a reasonable portion of one’s monthly income to spend on rent?



  1. Generally, “they” say not to spend more than 1/3 of your after-tax income on rent+utilities but that can be harder to swing in big cities than other places.

    Comment by Becks — August 5, 2007 @ 6:55 pm |Reply

  2. I think the usual figure is no more than 1/3 of your pre-tax income.

    Comment by standpipe — August 5, 2007 @ 6:55 pm |Reply

  3. Net vs. gross: FIGHT

    Comment by standpipe — August 5, 2007 @ 6:56 pm |Reply

  4. Hmm, 1/3 of gross would be pretty easy for me to do; 1/3 of net, less so.

    Comment by teofilo — August 5, 2007 @ 9:12 pm |Reply

  5. I heard 1/3 of take-home pay (or whatever you call what you get after withholding), which I suppose could be even more strict than after-tax income. More recently I heard someone saying that more people are going up to 40% in some areas.

    Comment by eb — August 5, 2007 @ 9:28 pm |Reply

  6. A few factors to consider:

    1) Whether you are getting roped into a 12-month (or longer) lease (in which case, be conservative)
    2) Whether you have to pay for your own health insurance (if not, more money free to spend on rent)
    3) Whether you are familiar with the area and what your other living expenses are likely to be (i.e., if you’re going to move to a new part of the country, be conservative, because there will be random weird stuff like sewer rent or parking-space fees or whatnot that may not be part of a default budget)

    Comment by Witt — August 5, 2007 @ 10:09 pm |Reply

  7. Important questions. In my case:

    1) I’m trying to avoid a long lease, since I’d like to move away as soon as possible (i.e., whenever I find a job somewhere else). I’m basically going for a six-month lease if necessary, month-to-month if possible. This does seem to mean slightly higher rent, but I’m willing to pay to not be tied down for a year.

    2) No, I’m still on my parents’ plan (and it’s a damn good thing, too).

    3) I’m quite familiar with the area, and my other expenses are likely to be minimal–basically just food and whatever utilities aren’t included in the rent. I won’t have a car.

    I’m hoping all this means I can afford to pay somewhat more than 1/3 of net income in rent, because otherwise I don’t think I’ll be able to live alone, which is my main goal right now.

    Comment by teofilo — August 5, 2007 @ 10:18 pm |Reply

  8. Oh, well, pah. In that case, you can definitely go higher than 1/3. Heck, you might even go to 1/2 if you don’t have a car. Do you have a car? One big expense with a car (i.e., it gets “totaled” in a relatively minor accident) can totally screw you up financially.

    Comment by Witt — August 6, 2007 @ 4:04 pm |Reply

  9. I.e. should be e.g. That’s what I get for switching thoughts midstream.

    Comment by Witt — August 6, 2007 @ 4:04 pm |Reply

  10. I have a car right now, but I’ll be giving it to my sister very soon (before the end of the month).

    Comment by teofilo — August 6, 2007 @ 4:28 pm |Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: