How much should I spend on rent?

A woman sitting at a kitchen bar area looks at her smartphone.

In this guide, we’ll help you figure out how much to spend on rent and how to budget for rent in a way that fits your lifestyle.

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, it can feel impossible to catch up with your payments.

We’ll share some tips on how to budget for rent and how much to plan for.

What goes into rent budgeting?

When determining your rent budget, there are many factors to consider before choosing your place. Your budget will look different if you’re planning on living with someone else, as the rent will probably be cheaper. Be sure to verify what’s included in the rent price and what is paid separately. Factor in the cost of gas, water, electricity, utilities, internet, trash pickup, and more when choosing a place.

Your income will impact apartment choice — do you work full-time? Part-time? Do you have steady work? Factor this in when choosing a place to live.

After you build your budget, you’ll want to convert your Excel sheet to PDF (if that’s where you started building it). This way, you can print it out and easily stay on top of it, so you’re ready for that monthly payment.

Now that you know what factors into rent budgeting, you may want to know how much to spend on rent.

1. How much should I spend on rent?

Try to spend less than 30% 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 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. To budget effectively for rent and other expenses, learning how to create a household budget alongside your rent budgeting sheet can help paint a fuller picture.

3. What trade-offs 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.

Common mistakes when learning how much to spend on rent.

You want to get the most out of your living space while saving your money for other expenses outside of your apartment.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when learning how much to spend on rent:

Factoring in all costs ahead of time will help you feel financially secure and happy in your new space. Creating a rent budget PDF is a great way to keep all your costs in one place in a clean, organized way that looks the same on any device.

Track your rent budgeting in a PDF.

Create airtight budgets with PDF templates to track your spending and set your financial goals. Discover what more you can do with Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat online services to build your most effective budget.