How to budget for rent payments.

Stay ahead of your rent bills with pro budgeting tips.

The first of the month can sneak up on you pretty quickly, especially when you’re not paying particularly close attention to your budget. It’s an easy cycle to fall into — you spend a little too much money in too many places and when it’s time to pay rent, you’re behind. It might not be by much, but as the months go by, falling a little bit more and more behind snowballs, and it can feel impossible to catch up with your payments.

Rent budgeting 101.

Build your budget and stay on top of it so you're ready for that monthly payment.

  1. How much should I spend on rent? Try to spend less than 30 percent of your income on rent. With a concrete max budget in mind, you can start off on the right foot by choosing a place that’s in your price range. While this isn’t always feasible, keeping this general rule in mind can at least help you make decisions about how to compromise for a relatively reasonable rate — maybe you stick with roommates for a while, or trade location for price.
  2. How do I budget for rent? What other fixed monthly expenses do you have? What about fun expenses, like dining out, or your Netflix subscription? When you itemize your monthly expenses, you can see where your money’s going. If things are feeling tight with rent, you could try to cancel some subscriptions you don’t use frequently, or split them with friends.
  3. What tradeoffs should I make? Maybe you cut your shopping or dining out budget in favor of saving for a higher rent payment. Or, maybe you decide on a lower rent situation so you have more money to spend on the things you enjoy.

Master your rent budgeting.

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