Rent affordability calculator - Roost

How much rent can you afford?

Want to know how much rent you can afford? Our rent affordability calculator can help you figure that out, based on income, location, and other factors. Just fill in the blanks below to find out!

Rent Affordability Calculator

This calculator shows rentals that fit your budget. Savings, debt, and other expenses could impact the amount you want to spend on rent each month. Input your net (after tax) income and the calculator will display rentals up to 40% of our estimated gross income.


Your after tax (job + side gig) take home pay


Payments to credit cards, loans, auto, etc.


The amount you set aside


Rent, utilities, food, clothes, etc.

You can afford: ?

Based on your income, a rental at this price should fit comfortably within your budget.

You will have ?/mo left to spend.


What is the rent affordability calculator?

Our rent affordability calculator takes a number of factors into account and lets you know how much money you can afford to pay for your monthly rent in your city. Here are the factors we consider:

  • Monthly net income: Your after-tax (job + side gig) take-home pay.
  • Monthly debt: Payments to credit cards, loans, auto, etc.
  • Rental location: City and state where you want to live
  • Monthly savings: The amount you set aside
  • Monthly expenses: Rent, utilities, food, clothes, etc. 

Then, use the slider to determine how much of your income you’re willing to spend on rent (see below for some advice on that) and our calculator will tell you how much you’ll have left each month to spend on… well, whatever you want!

What percentage of my income should I spend on rent?

Great question! The simplest answer is that you should spend between 20 and 40 percent of your income on rent. A lot of people take 30% of their income as a starting point for their rent, but that’s not right for everybody. According to a report by ATTOM Data Solutions, in many parts of the country, rent is edging up to 40% of earnings (pre-tax). And in urban cities like San Francisco, LA, New York and Miami, it’s more like 50% — and that’s with roommates! And try to set a realistic target for yourself. If you have trouble paying your rent, it can affect your credit score. Let’s break the whole thing down a bit.

  • 20% If you choose to spend at this level, chances are, you’ve got a goal in mind. Maybe you’re working on paying off debts. Or maybe you like to have a little extra spending money each month for fun. Keep in mind that this level means you’ll be sacrificing something in your apartment. Maybe it’ll be a bit smaller or in a slightly worse part of town. Or maybe you’ll need to find a roommate so you can swing it.
  • 30% This is a pretty comfortable level for most people. It gives you the chance to balance rent and other expenses. Spending at this level means that you want to have some money for expenses or savings, but you still want to spend on a decent apartment. In most areas, this can get you a decent place that can make for a comfortable home while giving you a chance to have spending money, too.

Roost Tip!   Apartments/houses backed by a federal loan or federal subsidized housing programs have a hard requirement that rent cannot exceed 30% of your adjusted  income.  Be ready to show proof. 

  • 40% This level represents a splurge for most people, and it can make the rest of your budget a bit tight. Still, in some areas or in some circumstances, this makes the most sense. The extra money might mean more space, a better location, or the chance to live without a roommate. The extra money you’ll spend on rent each month could mean you’ll need to make sacrifices in other areas, like savings or hobbies. Keep that in mind when you’re making your calculations. 

Now that you know how much you can afford to spend on rent, what comes next?

Now that you know how much you want to spend, we can help you with the next steps, like how to find a cheap apartment, how to find an apartment if you don’t have credit, or the best apartment listing sites.

A quick note! Our goal is to gather and share info that’s up-to-date and helps you make great decisions as a renter. That said, the information you get directly from a provider could be a little different. Make sure to review their terms and conditions directly; and, if you see anything here that needs to be updated, please let us know! Advertising disclosure
Last Updated: September 3rd, 2020