Decide how much you can spend on housing

Life’s Financial Journeys

Heading Off to College
Getting Out on Your Own
Blending Two Lives
Having a Child
Emptying the Nest
Entering Retirement
Death of a Life Partner
Military Life

So how much can you afford to spend on housing? It’s time to add up all of the potential expenses related to housing and to consider what you can afford to spend.

A rule of thumb that is often suggested is that you should not commit more than 25% of your income to housing. Unfortunately, in many communities, it is hard to find housing that fits within this guideline, especially for those who are just starting out.

The following resources may assist you in deciding how much you can spend on housing:

Compare the Cost of Living Between Two Cities

Affordable Home Calculator

Housing Affordability Calculator

Getting Out on Your Own Tasks

1. Finding housing
2. Building credit access and usage
3. Reaching financial goals
4. Setting up a spending plan
5. Getting properly insured

Finding housing Subtasks

1. Determine the costs for various housing alternatives that make sense for you
2. Investigate the additional housing costs beyond those for rent or a mortgage payment
3. Decide how much you can spend on housing
4. Decide whether to rent or buy
5. Guard your rights as a renter


NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation
8700 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 700N
Chicago, IL 60631
(847) 483–5400 ext. 106