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How Much Rent Can I Afford? (Free Rent Affordability Calculator)

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How Much Rent Can I Afford? Use This Rent Calculator

When you are looking for an apartment, there are all kinds of rent affordability calculators out there. Sadly, most of them fall short of our standards. We will get into that shortly. When you are figuring out your monthly rental calculation, you need to consider a few things that just aren’t seen on other rent calculators. Let’s dive into what you need, and then you can fill out the rent calculator at the bottom and get a better grasp of your finances.

How Much Rent Can I Afford?

How do rental affordability calculators work?

Most of the other calculators use your gross monthly income and take your debts into account. From there, they use a percentage of your gross income and less any monthly debt payments to get your monthly rent amount.

This is a good start, but, in my opinion, those other income on rent calculators miss the mark.

The issue with this is that using your gross income and not what you actually take home, which we all know after our first paycheck, we take home a lot less than what we earn. That’s why we made this apartment affordability calculator to help you get a clearer picture. It works for renting a house or renting an apartment.


The rule of 40

The quick calculation most other rent budget calculators use is the rule of forty. Using this rule of thumb, they take your gross annual income and then divide it by 40. That gives you your monthly rent amount. So if you are making $40,000 a year, then your rent can be $1,000 a month.

This is a good start, but it doesn’t go deep enough.

Why? Because it doesn’t take into account things like your after-tax income, your financial goals (are you planning on being a lifelong renter or is this a temporary choice), and other things like rent increases. This is a good quick way to start, but before you go apartment hunting, you should consider.

How much rent can I afford based on my salary?

If you are on a salary, here is a quick chart of your rent using the rule of 40.

How much rent can I afford $40 000 salary?

$40,000 = $1,000/ month

How much rent can I afford $50 000 salary?

$50,000 = $1,250/ month

How much rent can I afford $60 000 salary?

$60,000 = $1,500/ month

What’s my rent on a $70 000 salary?

Based on $70,000  your amount to spend on rent is  $1,750 per month.

What’s my rent on an $80 000 salary?

$80,000 means your amount to spend on rent is  $2,000 per month, however, at this point, you may want to keep buying a house in mind, depending on the city you are living in. 


How much rent can I afford chart

To give you a better visual here is a chart for how much rent I can afford based on different earning levels using the rule of 40. While it is a straightforward calculation it can be slightly misleading depending on your personal situation. But this “how much rent can i afford chart” is a good start  in knowing how much rent you can afford based on salary or income.

how much rent can i afford chart

Can I afford $1000 rent?

Using the rule of 40, if you are making $40,000 a year, you should be able to afford a rent of $1000; of course, other things can influence this, like your debt servicing amount and how much you take home net salary. This is a good place to start, but please don’t use this as the basis for picking a living space. Rent costs can go up, and your income level may not rise with it. It’s much better to have a budget and work around that.

One of the things this number doesn’t consider is the type of renter you are. Are you a frugal renter (could do with a shared one bedroom), one of those fancy lavish renters (only looking for the dream apartment and nothing else will do), or are you more of a standard renter who doesn’t need a lot but definitely wants certain things in a place.

Rent Affordability Calculator

Rule of 40 Rent Calculator


While this method is quick, it can put you in a bind depending on your living expenses. There is a better way, and we have our rent affordability calculator to help you find out what you can afford for your apartment’s rent. Essentially this is the start to answer the question, “How much can I afford in rent?” But if you want to know a more accurate number of your apartment affordability, then read on to get a better idea.


What Costs You Need to Consider in Your Rent Affordability

There are several monthly numbers you should consider here. They are there so you can get a better grasp of how much you can safely afford in rent every month. Our rent budget calculator will help you with this, but you will need to think of these things regarding your budget.

Net Income

Net income is the amount of money you take home from your job every month. If you are paid infrequently or have temporary work set up where it is hard to estimate how much you will be earning, it is best to assume a lower amount than a higher one.

Look at it like it’s a base income amount for you every month. This makes using a rent budget calculator more simple and making your payment every month a lot easier!


Debt Payments

This is where you put all of your monthly debt payments. This can be your car loan, your personal loans, student loans, credit cards, etc… Any debt payment that you make goes into this amount (It’s also good to know that many landlords will ask about this amount, as they don’t want to rent out a place to someone who cannot afford to make rent every month).


Living Expenses

These are all the amounts that go into your living. Think of it as a catch-all. In here, you can enter your food costs, entertainment, subscriptions, anything that you spend money on in a given month.



Enter in all of your costs of getting around. This can include your transit passes, car insurance, maintenance, gas, repairs. If you have anything related to getting around, it goes into this category.


Rental Insurance

As a renter, it’s a good idea to have insurance on your possessions. Your landlord will have insurance on the building, but it likely won’t cover your stuff should anything happen to it. You can ask your landlord about this. Usually, rental prices don’t cover insurance.  So, for now, enter in an amount to give yourself some room in your budget. Alternatively, you can add this into your rent payment calculator as a cost of renting. But it’s better to think of it in advance.


Retirement Savings

A good number to start with is 10% of your income, but whatever you do, make sure you are putting away some money for your retirement. You’ll thank us down the road. A good retirement savings calculator can help you find what you need to start saving now.



This is a good idea to have. In your place, you likely don’t want to be scraping by. That’s where reserves come in handy. Whether it’s for travel or an upcoming big repair, having some room in your budget every month to set things aside will give you peace of mind and help you sleep better.



The other amount is for any other items you think you may have forgotten. You never want to live close to the line, and renting a place means things will cost more. So think of the things you may have forgotten. Will you want a pet, add new subscription services, parking spots, gym memberships, use this amount as your last attempt to make sure you have all of your financial items down.

If you find that you don’t have enough money, you can adjust the numbers in your financial snapshot. Lower your savings and discretionary expenses, play with a student loan calculator and see if you can lower your minimum debt payments. Doing these things is part of the way you can find a rental price that suits you best.


How the Monthly Rent Affordability Calculator Works

Our rent calculation formula is based on your income less all of your other expenses. Once you have that, you are set to calculate your rental price range based on your actual financial situation.

This means that you will have $0 left over at the end. Of course, that means this rent number is more of a maximum amount than anything else, but you can compare it to the Rule of 40 to see how close you are. As a bonus, by taking the time to get your numbers together, you will be in better mental shape to rent a place because you will have your numbers together.

This process can help you adjust for cost of living changes, rent increases, and other household expenses you may have. Plus, it allows you the freedom and flexibility to make extra debt payments if you are inclined or leave your payments alone and stay at your minimum debt payments.

Use the calculator below to see what your possible rent will be. You can see our household and apartment essentials checklist too when you’re ready to move.


Rental Apartment Affordability Calculator

Before you own a home, you will likely need to rent a place. This Rent Affordability Calculator is an easy way to calculate how much rent you can afford based on your take-home income and see how much money you have after all of your expenses.


How Much Can I Spend on Rent?

By now, you will notice that the amount of money you get qualified for with rent may not line up with how much you actually have to spend on rent. It’s like the difference between gross income and net income. They are worlds apart. 

That’s pretty normal.

All that means is that you need to budget. Using our calculator is a great way to start doing that. By spending some time with our rent calculator, you will better understand what rent you can afford and what that means for your overall budget.


See Our Other Financial Calculators

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