Depending on where you live, $600 a month for rent might seem really cheap, but if you get away from the coasts and live in the middle of the country, it isn’t unheard of to find rents at this price range, but how much do you need to make to afford $600 rent?
Necessary Salary to Afford $600 Dollar Monthly Rent
There have been times in my life that I haven’t had a lot of income and even coming up with $600 dollars every month was tough.
I’ve had rents as high as $1,000 a month to a mortgage, now, as low as $350 a month.
When I was renting, I never actually made what I needed to make to pay my rent. For a long time, it was $600 dollars per month, but I was lucky enough to have landlords that didn’t follow the “rules” on what I should be making each month.
If they had, I wouldn’t have had a roof over my head.
However, most landlords are kind of sticklers about this sort of thing, so you need to know the numbers they are looking at.
1. The Three Times Rule
Most landlords want your monthly salary to be at least 3 times what your rent will be.
That means if you are looking at $600 dollars per month in rent, you should be making at least $1,800 dollars per month.
Keep in mind, this is take-home pay, so it is after any taxes or anything else is taken out of your check. It is the net amount.
For a lot of landlords, if you don’t meet this requirement, they simply will not rent to you.
I was pretty lucky, at one point in my life, I was making a whopping $1,600 per month, but I did get to rent a house for $650 per month which was well over the three-times rule.
Even so, it wasn’t always easy to come up with the rent every month. So, there is a lot more you need to take into account besides whether or not someone will rent to you.
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2. Your Other Expenses
Your prospective landlord will look at your income, but they don’t take into account your other monthly expenses, but you need to.
Just because you pass the three-times rule doesn’t mean you will have enough money to pay your rent and all your other monthly expenses.
You will also need to take into consideration the following:
- Cell phone bill
- Car insurance
- Car payment
- Health insurance
- Gas for your car
- Other miscellaneous expenses
These are going to differ for each person, but they can add up quickly and eat into your income.
Also, don’t forget things like entertainment expenses, clothing expenses, and savings.
3. Your Debt
Beyond regular expenses, you need to consider your debt. I already mentioned your car payment if you have one, but there are other forms of debt that can eat away at your income.
These can include credit card debt, student loans, payday loans, and car title loans.
These payments can really add up. If you have a lot of debt, you might want to consider working at paying it off before you move into an apartment if your current living situation is less expensive.
Credit card debt, payday loan debt, and car title loan debt can always be consolidated with a personal loan which means you will only have one payment per month at a lower interest rate rather than several payments at a higher interest rate.
This can reduce your overall monthly expenses and make it easier to afford your new apartment.
4. Monthly Utilities
Don’t forget your utility expense. Depending on where you live, your heat or air conditioning can be very expensive.
For example, I live in Illinois and it isn’t uncommon for me to have heat bills in the winter months for $300 and even $350 dollars per month.
Summer isn’t as bad, but it never falls under $120 per month.
You will also have cable bills, internet bills, and possibly water and sewer bills, but many apartment complexes pay for those.
5. Your Lifestyle
Lastly, you want to consider your lifestyle. If you like to go out to eat or out to the bars or even amusement parks, you want to make sure you have money to do so.
If your rent is going to take up all of your money every month, then you’re going to be pretty unhappy sitting in your apartment eating cheese sandwiches, and watching reruns of Bewitched.
When you are deciding if you can afford the $600 per month rent, take into account how you like to live your life and how much money you need to be able to do the things that make life worth living.
How Much Rent Can I Afford on a $50,000 Salary?
You can afford about $1,300 per month rent based on the three times rule which means you make three times per month what you will be paying in rent.
Can I Afford an Apartment on $10 Dollars Per Hour?
Yes, you can, but it will be pretty tight. If you’re working full-time, you should be able to afford $433 per month for rent.
If you can find a roommate, and they are also making $10 per hour, then the two of you could afford up to $866 dollars per month for rent.
To Sum it All Up:
At the very least you will need to make $1,800 per month take home to rent a $600 dollar per month apartment. Of course, you also need to take into consideration your debt, your other expenses, and your lifestyle before you sign a rent contract on the dotted line.