is 1/3 of income too much to spend on monthly rent for single mother of 2 teens? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 06-25-2013, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am looking for a rental in a town (I currently live out in in the country), where rent will cost me 1/3 of my 'scrape by every month' income. I currently spend 1/5 of my income but have MANY extra expenses due to living so isolated. I have looked at my budget and believe that by moving to a town the difference in extra expenses will balance out the difference in rent.

I am a single mum of two pre-teens with no child support from ex and no savings.

Is this a smart move?

I hope your answers will be yes :-)

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#2 of 16 Old 06-25-2013, 07:32 AM
 
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Will you be able to pay all of your other bills with the remainder, plus a teeny bit extra for emergencies or savings? 1/3 is still recommended by some financial advisors but it can certainly make it tougher to afford other stuff.
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#3 of 16 Old 06-25-2013, 01:59 PM
 
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I think it sounds ok, especially if the income is dependable and if some of your other expenses are flexible. 

 

We're in a similar situation trying to make a decision.  The % of our income we'd pay in rent is even higher if we calculate using DP's base salary, but it's quite comfortable if he makes his bonuses.  Such a dilemma. 

 

I hope it works out well for you! Good luck :)


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#4 of 16 Old 06-25-2013, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, well if 1/3 is still recommended by financial advisors, and yes my income is dependable, then it sounds like its ok.

Plus, re-reading my post made me realise myself that it won't change my situation much since the higher rent will be balanced out by 4 monthly expenses that I won't have anymore by living in a town!

So here goes house-hunting! :-)
 

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#5 of 16 Old 06-25-2013, 08:51 PM
 
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I  think 1/3 would be okay if that's truly the only option, but trying to find something that is 1/4 your income (or less) would probably be a better choice.  The two financial advisors that I like to listen to both say not to spend more than 1/4 of your take home pay on rent.

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#6 of 16 Old 06-25-2013, 09:00 PM
 
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1/3 of take home>?? (after taxes and all deductions)  probably ok.  You are going to save $$ on transportation and other things.  I hate to mention it but are the kids close to working age?  DS knows when he is old enough to work, he is going to work.  Living intown the kids will be able to pick up part time jobs, babysitting etc for spending funds.


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#7 of 16 Old 06-26-2013, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, rent would be 1/3 of take home pay after taxes... and no, kids are not close to working age (11 and 12).

Of course I would like something 1/4 of take home, but there's nothing available in that price range, just bachelor suites.

Even though it won't IMPROVE my money situation, it shouldn't change it either, but I think it will IMPROVE my quality of life because I'll save a lot of time and I'll be able to sleep 1 more hour/night and so forth...

I'm seeing 1st place tomorrow, am getting excited!

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#8 of 16 Old 06-26-2013, 07:28 PM
 
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 Pardon me while I pick my jaw up off the ground, do you realize that 33% of your income is supposed to be your rent/mortgage? Not many people pay that low of a rent, most are paying at least 50% of their income and many including myself up to 80% in just rent! It could very well be that I'm only exposed to low income folks but I'd be thrilled if I could get away with 33% for rent. I'd say go for it, it doesn't sound like your giving up much, just keep in mind your like/dislike of having neighbors. I hate them personally, I don't want to hear their gangster rap music and fighting, smell there crack/pot or see there "lawn furniture" (couches do not belong in the front yard!) Right now were living with family in the country and I LOVE the silence, were moving in the next month or 2 and I'm dreading going back to city life but the 80 min commute to work or groceries sucks and I don't get to see the kids much, I'm gone before they get up and don't get home until dinner:(
 


Seriously?
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#9 of 16 Old 06-26-2013, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wow, 80% of your income! that's terrible! no, I think 33% is more than enough, it leaves me enough to pay bills and eat until the end of the month if I'm careful. We are moving to the small town where my kids go to school, not big city, so I'm hoping for the best!
 

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#10 of 16 Old 06-27-2013, 03:27 AM
 
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It sounds OK to me, but then I'm in metro Vancouver.  Loads of people pay up to 50% for rent or mortgage.  If you can build up a reasonable emergency fund that amount would be much more comfortable.


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#11 of 16 Old 06-27-2013, 07:20 AM
 
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I think the percentage perspective was based on middle income families. Some expenses, like utilities, gas, and even food to an extent, are non-negotiable. My electric bill isn't much different from my wealthy friend's. Food expense can only go down so low, realistically.

 

If your income is $2100, and you pay $700 rent (lowest 2 bedroom apartment in my area), that leaves $1400 for everything else. Probably doable, depending on the cost of living in the area. Most families would rather pay more rent, and get in a better neighborhood, or look for a small house. Probably $1000-1200. Down to around $1100 after rent. This is getting tight in my area.

 

If you make $1200, 1/3 would be $400. There is nothing around here but a single room in that price range. If you somehow found an apartment at that price, you would only have $800 for all other expenses. Your food and utility needs would not change much, no matter how frugal you are.

 

If you make $3300/mo, and you pay $1100 in rent, you have $2200 for other expenses. In this case, obviously you would have more for anything else.

 

I think the financial advisers who made that suggestion were thinking of folks at the latter level and above. They were suggesting not to spend too much on rent/mortgage with the idea that savings is important. It is of course, but doesn't fit the reality of those of us just getting by. Basic expenses don't change by percentages; they can only be tweaked so far.
 

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#12 of 16 Old 06-27-2013, 04:41 PM
 
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I agree with the above poster.  If monthly income is like 8000, then you can spend 1/3 on rent and still have over $5000 left for everything else.  The suggested percentage should vary based on income level.


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#13 of 16 Old 06-27-2013, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In terms of income brackets, in my case If I spend 1/3 on rent and am then very careful I can get to the next pay check. There's no wiggle room, but then again, not much choice since there are 3 of us, unless I were to apply for council-housing, which I can't do until I am a resident in the town where I want to ask for it (it's something to consider).

Anyway, I went to see 2 places within my budget, and immediately fell in love with one of them! Smaller than I had hoped, but really beautiful! So all of this may happen by the end of the summer!
 

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#14 of 16 Old 07-01-2013, 10:03 AM
 
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sounds about right to me. I get cs/ss 2600$, 895$ goes to rent, about the cheapest I can get in decent shape and neighborhood and big enough for me and the 2 kids. One thing I did not consider when moving from a bigger to smaller place was the reduction in utilities. My water is a bit higher by 5$/month, but electric and gas are probably 30% less than before. FWIW i don't have a lot of expenses most have like a car payment or daycare, but do have a cc i am paying down and student loans right now so if i didn't have those debts i could easliy afford more for rent or a car payment. 


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#15 of 16 Old 07-24-2013, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm doing it for real, moving in at the beginning of August! It will be a massive change, from being out in the country to a town....from a house to an apartment building! I have many reasons to do this, not just the financial aspect. I really think it will save me money and time, and make life a bit easier.

If anyone else is thinking about moving don't forget that just making the move has its expenses...I hadn't factored that in, unfortunately. There's the damage deposit, agency fee and moving company....
 

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#16 of 16 Old 08-03-2013, 01:29 PM
 
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Good luck moving!! orngbiggrin.gif

 

I live in Norway, and am low income. There is no way I could pay as little as 33% of my income in rent. There just aren`t any apartments that cot that little.. I am moving into a new apartment next week, after searching for a place I can afford for 4 months. It`s a one bedroom 450sq feet apartment. It will cost me almost $1000 a month. That is over 50% of my income.
 


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