Refining Your Budget

Now let's dial in your budget based on your situation.

There are good reasons to spend more than 30%. Maybe you live in an expensive city or want to live with friends in a certain neighborhood. The U.S. Census estimates that 41.5% of American renters spend over 35% of their annual income on rent.

There are good reasons to spend less than 30% too. Maybe you have loans you're paying off or you're saving up for something. In New York City, many landlords specifically prohibit tenants from spending more than 30%.

Keep in mind when deciding your rent budget that rent isn't your only living expense. There are utilities, internet, TV, broker's fees, etc.

Enter your income again, then the rent budget you're considering. We'll tell you what percentage of your income that would be.

Now that you've given it some thought, write down what your rent budget is, so you'll stick to it.