A PROJECT OF THE County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency

How Much Can You Afford

A common way to estimate what you can afford is to add up how much you're paid each month and multiply that amount times .3. For example, if you take home $1,000 per month, you shouldl be able to affor $300 in rent.

To be more accurate, you should estimate how much per month you will be spending on the following:

  • Utilities – phone, gas & electricity, possibly cable TV (whatever is not included in the price of rent)
  • Transportation – bus pass, trolley fare, car expenses (payments, gas, insurance, maintenance/repairs) Medical/Dental Expenses
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Recreation/Entertainment

Personal Expenses – soap, detergent, shampoo, hair cuts, etc. Household Items –

Will you need to buy towels? Sheets? Furniture? Kitchen items? Consider one-time-only purchases as well as on-going expenses such as cleaning supplies, etc.

  • School Expenses
  • Laundry
  • Savings
  • Misc.

Deducting these expenses from your monthly income will give you an idea of how much money you will have for rent. Of course, if you can economize in areas such as recreation and entertainment, you will have more money to use for paying rent.