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You’re Supposed to Spend Less Than 30 Percent of Your Income on Housing. We Tapped 8 Women to See If They Do.

It’s a recommendation thrown out by financial planners everywhere: In a perfect world, you spend 30 percent (or ideally less) of your gross pay on housing. (We repeat, in a perfect world.) Where did this equation come from? It’s actually a ratio the government has been using since 1981—spend any more on housing and you could find yourself “cost-burdened,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

This got us curious: How many people are making this recommended ratio a personal budgeting rule? We asked eight different people (single and coupled up) to weigh in and do the math on their monthly housing costs. The results: The women we know are—for the most part—staying well below the 30 percent mark. Bravo, ladies!

HOME OWNERSHIP DREAMS 

Household Income: $100,000
Monthly Rent/Mortgage: $1,750
Percentage Spent on Housing: 21%
Location: New York

“Even though we spend less than 30 percent on housing, it can still feel like a lot. We’re trying to save for a house, so we try to cut other expenses—like eating out—where we can.”

WHEN COHABITATION IS FINANCIALLY BENEFICIAL 

Household Income: $190,000
Monthly Rent/Mortgage: $2,400
Percentage Spent on Housing: 15%
Location: Pennsylvania

“I’m tempted to give you my numbers before I moved in with my boyfriend. The ratio was definitely not so good!”

BUT THINK OF THE CHILDCARE COSTS…

Household Income: $140,000
Monthly Rent/Mortgage: $3,290
Percentage Spent on Housing: 28%
Location: California

“This monthly payment is hard for us, mostly because we have significant childcare costs. Once our kids are in public school, we expect to feel less crunched, month to month.”

THE ONE WITH THE HUDGE DOWN PAYMENT 

Household Income: $105,000
Monthly Rent/Mortgage: $1,415
Percentage Spent on Housing: 16%
Location: New York

“To be fair, I put close to 50 percent down when we bought our house, so we have an unusually low mortgage.”

THE ONE WHO PAYS HALF HER SALARY IN RENT 

Household Income: $43,000
Monthly Rent/Mortgage: $1,750
Percentage Spent on Housing: 50%
Location: New York

“Yes, the ratio is burdensome. I guess that’s the payoff for living in New York!”

THE HIGH-EARNERS WITH THE SOLID MORTGAGE 

Household Income: $325,000
Monthly Rent/Mortgage: $3,400
Percentage Spent on Housing: 13%
Location: Ohio

“We have a 15-year mortgage, and I certainly don’t find this ratio burdensome.”

WHEN THE HOUSE *IS* THE INVESTMENT 

Household Income: $165,000
Monthly Rent/Mortgage: $3,114
Percentage Spent on Housing: 23%
Location: Maryland

“Being in our home makes us so happy. And we love knowing we’re building equity each month.”

BUYING A HOME TO LOWER THE RATIO 

Household Income: $215,000
Monthly Rent/Mortgage: $2,300
Percentage Spent on Housing: 13%
Location: Washington

“There was one point where we were paying 30 percent of our income toward housing, but after buying, our value went up—as did our taxes and income.”

This article was from PureWow and was licensed from NewsCred, Inc. Santander Bank does not provide financial, tax or legal advice and the information contained in this article does not constitute tax, legal or financial advice. Santander Bank does not make any claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in this article. Readers should consult their own attorneys or other tax advisors regarding any financial strategies mentioned in this article. These materials are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or endorsement of Santander Bank.

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