When searching for a new place to live in Idaho, there are a wide variety of apartments and price points available. However, it can be tough to figure out exactly how much you can afford to pay in rent. While everyone’s budget is different, Syringa Property Management would like to provide you with the following guide to paying rent so you can know which apartment listings are best for you.
How Much Rent Can You Afford?
Financial experts agree that you should spend no more than 30% of your monthly income on rent. For example, if you make $50,000 per year, you should pay no more than $15,000 or $1250 per month on rent. However, your rental budget can be a little higher or lower than this number, depending on your individual circumstances. Below are some additional tips to help you figure out your ideal monthly payment.
Factor Your Entire Budget
While there are many different budgeting methods, the 50/30/20 rule is one that most financial experts agree on. Simply put, this rule states that:
- 50% of your total income should be spent on fixed costs like rent, utilities, transportation, and groceries.
- 30% of your total income should be spent on things you want like eating out, shopping, and entertainment.
- 20% of your total income should be saved for a rainy day fund or used to pay down debt.
Using this budgeting method, you can see how the 30% rental rate can change depending on your other monthly expenses. If you don’t have to pay utilities and ride a bike instead of driving a car, you may be able to afford to pay more in rent, depending on if that’s something you’d like to do.
Be Practical With Your Expenses
If you’re thinking of lowering your budget to maximize how much you can spend on rent, it’s important, to be honest with yourself. If renting an ideal apartment means you have to give up going to the movies or eating out on the weekends, it’s important to decide if these are things you can really live without. By being practical with your expenses, you can make a sensible decision on how much you’re willing to sacrifice for rent.
Calculate Furnishings & Moving Expenses
Aside from rent and other monthly expenses, it’s important to calculate all the additional costs of moving into a new apartment. If you currently live with your parents but are venturing off on your own, you may need to purchase a new bed, television, microwave, and couch. In addition to these things, there will be one-time expenses that you’ll need to factor as well. These include:
- Security Deposit
- First & Last Month’s Rent
- Application Fees
- Moving Expenses
Ideally, it’s important to plan and save up for these expenses so they don’t take a big bite out of your monthly budget. The last thing you want to do is pay for these things using your regular savings or a credit card that results in high-interest rates.
Factor The Rental Housing Market
Where you live in Idaho will make a big difference, too. For instance, if you are in a high-demand rental housing market like Boise or Sun Valley, you might find that rent far exceeds 30% of your income budget. In these cases, you’ll probably have to adjust other areas of your budget to determine how much rent you can actually afford to pay.
Don’t Use Your Savings Or Credit Cards
While it may be tempting to use your savings or credit cards to pay for expenses, don’t. Once you start using these funds to pay for rent, you won’t have a safety net in case something happens. As we all know, the unexpected could hit any time. Take, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic. If you use all your savings and credit cards to pay for rent, what will you do if you get sick and can’t work for two weeks? Even worse, what if you end up in the hospital and don’t have the funds to pay for expensive medical bills? Furthermore, if you find yourself dipping into your savings account or using credit cards to pay for groceries, you’ve probably overstretched your budget.
Syringa Property Management
At Syringa Property Management, we hope these tips help you factor how much rent you can afford if you’re planning on looking for a new apartment. If you need help searching for the perfect new home, contact us by filling out our online form or give us a call at (208) 336-4610. With over 64 properties and growing, we oversee a diverse collection of multifamily housing communities across Idaho.