What can you afford?

Check your Spending Plan and use the formulas below to help you to evaluate your financial situation.

A good general guideline is that housing should not exceed 32% of your gross salary, or gross income. (Your gross salary is the total amount of your paycheck before taxes and other deductions.)

Want to know how much you can afford to spend on rent? Use this formula:
Multiply your gross monthly income by .32 to find your suggested maximum rent.

Want to know how much gross income you’ll need to afford a particular apartment? Use this formula:
Take the rent of the apartment you want and divide it by .32 to find your suggested gross monthly income.

Remember that in addition to your monthly rent you may have to pay for some or all of your utilities. Many landlords also require tenants to pay a security deposit. (If the tenant damages the property or leaves owing rent, the landlord can use these funds to cover what the tenant owes.)

Note: Consider getting renters insurance. Even though you’re a renter and don’t own your apartment, this insurance may cover your costs if your belongings are damaged or stolen.

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