I watched and read about how much housing should cost and I am spending a whooping 45% of my income on rent/utilities. I realize my budget is at or under the normal amount for everything except this one category. My food budget is tiny as well as my car expenses in comparision to this category. I live in one of the most affordable places I can in my town. 895$ per month for a three bedroom two bath duplex. In addition I have to pay all utilities and mow my own lawn.
The recommendation is 35% at MOST.
SO what is everyone else spending to live where you are?
In my low cost city I was making more then average and had bought a fixer upper; I was paying 16% of net income on mortgage/taxes/pmi. If I tried to buy/have this same house w/ my same income in the new city I am moving to, the house, in a similar urban neighbourhood, would now be worth about 600,000+ and I would be paying approx 50% of that income on it. Needless to say, I have neither job nor apt in new city but I suspect I will be paying approx 40 - 50% of income and the apt & income will both be smaller then I had in the old city. Nuts!
We are saving to buy a house of our own and we we calculate our new mortgage (taxes, insurance, etc) to be somewhere between 20% and 24% of our take home pay. I would like it even lower, but a starter home in this town is about $250,000.
Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves
Utilities are more but our small rental is actually not much more. Even with utilities we come in at about 15% of our income now.
Later, we bought a house, we both worked fulltime, and we paid $515.00 for PITI. It was 35% for a while.
Anything over 30% is criminal. People have to eat, pay insurance, maintenance, utilities and wear clothes!
Hubby and I have looked at moving but anywhere that is the same rent is similar to what we already have (before we fixed it up) only farther away from his job (increased commuting costs), or dangerous. To move and start over (scrubbing, painting, getting cabinets off freecycle) and the crap shoot of who you will get for neighbors makes me freak out just thinking about it.
Anywhere less expensive is scary dangerous and I feel like I have "done my time" in dangerous areas and used up all my luck not getting severely hurt. Also, we want our child to grow up somewhere where physical violence is an oddity. She shouldn't have childhood memories of that terrified feeling of running as hard and fast as you can to get away to avoid getting hurt, or seeing me or her Dad get beat up or having to hide inside all summer with bars on the windows.
At the end of the day, we really feel so lucky to have found a rental for $1,000 a month and approx $400 for utilities (gas, water, electric, all of which we get to control so we can be frugal). We have been here 6 years and love our neighbors and even when I am completely stressed out about money, I am SO GRATEFUL we have a SAFE place to live.
I am looking forward to returning to work when our little goes to all day 1st grade this September. We will not worry about rent as much and might be able to open a savings account and save some money!
I think that suggested number of "32% of income on housing" has never been accurate. My parents both worked full time and spent closer to 50% (mortgage, taxes, utilities). I asked my Grandmother what percentage of my Grandfather's pay was spent on housing and she said in the 40's & 50's it was close to 60% (mortgage, utilities, taxes) and then much less when she went to work in the early 60's (as a telephone operator!!! talk about obsolete occupations!) My Great grandparents spent even more; the adult men all had jobs for pay that barely covered the mortgage and taxes, sometimes they didn't have electric to save money. The teenagers (male and female) worked part time jobs for money for clothing, winter heating oil, fancy food from the grocery store and the Mothers and younger children worked at home growing gardens, sewing clothing, fixing up the house, raising chickens, etc. They had outhouses and chopped firewood to stretch the heating oil and only had heat on the first floor rooms of the house. LOL!
ETA: We're renting. I would be willing to pay more if we owned. We moved from across the country a year ago.
Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)
We just moved to a bigger place now so we have plenty of space I can almost see us living here until we are old and want to retire. I love our 3 bedrooms instead of one bedroom and the fact that we have two bathrooms. The kitchen is a good as in the old place and the living room is almost exactly the same as in our old place. (The two apartments are in the same house and the layout of the kitchen, one bathroom, the master bedroom and the living room is basically the same only that we now have two more rooms and a bathroom added to one side)
Me. With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.
Pax, loving wife since 2001, Mother of DD1 (12) and DD2 (8 1/2). Entering our 5th year of Homeschooling: Eclectic mix of curriculum and child interest lead. Backyard urban chicken chasers.