Rent Calculator

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Renting your own apartment is exciting, but don't sign the lease unless you can afford it. This calculator gives you your perfect rent amount.

When you're apartment hunting, it's easy to fall for a dreamy location or flashy amenities.

But it really comes down to the price tag. Can you afford the monthly rent?

With this calculator, you'll get your ideal rent amount based on your income and debt-to-income ratio. Find out how your rent is calculated and if it's okay to stray from the 30% rule.

Rent Calculator

How to calculate how much rent to pay

How much rent you can afford comes down to two factors:

  • Your income: This is the most important factor. You should aim to spend about 30% of your gross (before-tax) monthly income on rent.

  • Your debt-to-income ratio: This is all your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income. Ideally, your debt-to-income ratio should be 15% - 20%

The calculator in this article gives you your ideal monthly rent payment based on these two factors.

How much should I spend on rent?

The rule of thumb is that you should aim to spend no more than 30% of your gross monthly income on rent.

The goal of this rule is to give you enough left over to pay for essentials like:

  • General living expenses
  • Debt payoff
  • Savings
  • Entertainment and "fun" expenses

How do you calculate 30% of your income? Simply multiply your gross monthly income (before taxes) by 0.30. That number will equal 30% of your monthly income, which is a good amount to spend on rent each month.

Do you have to make 3x the rent?

The 30% rule says your salary should be roughly 3x your rent costs. But you don't have to follow this rule.

Plenty of people spend less or more. Here's what it looks like to spend 20% and 40% of your income on rent:

  • If you spend 20% on rent: You're being pretty thrifty with your rent costs. This means you can afford to spend more on essentials (or non-essentials). You might even put away the extra money in an investment and reap the benefits later down the line

  • If you spend 40% on rent: You're splurging a bit more on rent. Ideally, you're keeping an eye on your spending to keep day-to-day expenses lower.

It's okay not to follow the 30% rule when it comes to rent. Just make sure you've adjusted your budget elsewhere so your finances are in good shape.

How much rent can I afford on my salary?

By using the 30% rule, you can figure out how much rent you can afford.

How much rent can I afford on minimum wage?
A full-time minimum wage salary is $15,080 per year and about $1,260 per month. With this salary, you can afford about $370 in rent each month. [1]

How much rent can I afford on a $30K salary?
On a $30K yearly salary, you can afford $750 in rent each month.

How much rent can I afford on a $50K salary?
On a $50K yearly salary, you can afford $1,250 in rent each month.

How much rent can I afford on a $60K salary?
On a $60K yearly salary, you can afford $1,500 in rent each month.

How much rent can I afford on an $80K salary?
On a $80K yearly salary, you can afford $2,000 in rent each month

How much rent can I afford on a $100K salary?
On a $100,000 yearly salary, you can afford $2,500 in rent each month.

How to budget for rent and other important expenses

Now that you've figured out your ideal rent amount, you can build out the rest of your monthly budget. Here are a few tips to help you stick to your budget and level-up your finances.

  1. Try out the 50/30/20 Budgeting Rule. With this "rule", your monthly after-tax income is split into three categories: 50% for "needs", 30% for "wants", and 20% for savings.

  2. Utilize an online budgeting tool. No matter your budgeting style, there are helpful apps and websites that can help you keep tabs on your spending and saving.

  3. Always factor in debt repayment. When you make debt repayment part of your budget, you'll pay it off sooner and feel motivated to stick to it.

  4. Don't forget your emergency fund. Just like debt repayment, making regular contributions to an emergency fund is extremely important.

Bottom Line

Budgeting for your rent is extremely important. Once you figure out your ideal rent amount - based on your income and debt-to-income ratio - your finances will be in better shape overall.

If you're moving into a new apartment or renting for the first time, don't forget to account for important costs like application fees, security deposits, and movers.

Once you're settled, you'll feel good knowing that you've made a home for yourself that fits your lifestyle and budget perfectly. Happy renting!


  1. ^ "Minimum Wage": US Department of Labor, 2021.

Holly Zorbas is a assistant editor at CreditDonkey, a personal finance comparison and reviews website. Write to Holly Zorbas at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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