How Much Rent Can You Afford?

So yesterday, we talked about the total cost of renting. Today, we’ve got links through to some nifty rent calculators to help you figure out how much you can afford in rent alone. Bear in mind that these are ballpark figures, Davis apartments are more expensive than Merced, and cheaper than Santa Barbara.

Domu’s Rent Calculator. This calculator couldn’t be easier to use. Simply enter the amount that you earn each year (before taxes) and immediately you’ll see how much rent you can afford. Rather than one number, this calculator presents the low end (20%), middle of the road (30%), and high end (40%), along with a succinct explanation of the pros and cons of pursuing each route.

First Apartment Guide’s Rent Calculator. Simply enter your weekly, biweekly, or monthly paycheck amount and indicate if you live near a big city. Then, click to see what you can afford. You’ll learn the maximum amount for a monthly rental to live comfortably, plus whether you’ll need roommates (and how many) to afford the rent. Although this calculator’s formula is based on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines that suggest a household should spend no more than 30% of gross income on rent and utilities, First Apartment Guide also estimates that most people can “live fairly well” allocating as much as 45% of their gross income toward rent and utilities. Further down on the page, you’ll also find helpful statistics related to your rental situation.

HousingConnections’ Affordability Calculator. This calculator offers a “general recommendation for the amount of money you should be spending on rent and utilities each month.” Start by selecting the number of people in your household who earn income. If you live with other adults but you’re the only person who earns income, then select one person. Enter the income (yearly, monthly, weekly, or biweekly) of each earner, then click to calculate the results. You’ll see your household’s total monthly income along with the maximum monthly expense for rent and utilities that the calculator recommends.