What should a millennial spend on rent?

Millennials face budgeting challenges when looking for rental apartments. This article can help you better allocate rent within your budget, so you can stick to your financial plan.

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Rents have been steadily increasing throughout the US over the past decade. Ever since the financial crisis, people have somewhat shied away from home ownership and opted to rent. With the demand for rentals on the rise, a sharp increase in monthly rents has been a clear side effect. The old rule of thumb used to be 30% of one's income should be spent on rent; however, we are now seeing a burden like never before. What should a millennial spend on rent?

The simple answer is: as little as possible.

Millennials are those born from the late 1980's to the early 2000's, depending on who you ask. These individuals tend to have a high burden of student loan debt, which makes it all the more concerning that they are spending high amounts on their monthly rent. A recent report came out showing that millennials will spend close to 6 figures, yes, $100,000 on rent before they turn 30. That is a staggering amount considering that most are also in the process of trying to pay off student loan debt.

3 ways to not spend 6 figures on rent before 30

  1. Get a roommate. Sharing a 2-bedroom with a friend is a simple and easy way to save money every month. Sure, 2 bedrooms cost more than a 1-bedroom, but when you split it 2-ways, it comes out to about a 30% savings versus living on your own. This isn't a long-term solution, but it is a good way to free up additional income every month.
  2. Move in with a significant other. While some will shy away from this advice, there are many benefits to doing so. I knew a couple who had to live apart until the day they were married for various reasons. They chose to do this in order to respect the wishes of others. However, they were basically spending an extra $1000 a month on an additional apartment that got little to no use, all to please a few. They could have used that money to build up an emergency fund or increase their down payment on a future house.
  3. Buy a house. While buying a house requires more responsibility and obligations than renting, it is also a good choice to lower your monthly expenses and build equity. For example, a $200,000 loan on a property with 20% down will give someone a monthly payment of approximately $1250 a month. Depending on the area of the country you live in, it will almost certainly be cheaper than paying someone else to rent.

Conclusion

While some see a benefit to renting, there are also many drawbacks financially. Although we can't exactly put into numbers what should a millennial spend on rent, there are ways to reduce your monthly expenses. Whether you are able to implement one of the solutions above into your situation or not, living costs will be your largest expense every month.

Topics:
  • Financial Planning
  • Renting
  • Financial Planning
  • Renting
  • Financial Planning
  • Renting
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Article copyright 2017 by Budget and Invest. Reprinted from the April 17, 2018 issue with permission from Budget and Invest.
The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. Fidelity Investments cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any statements or data.
This reprint is supplied by Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC.
The third-party provider of the reprint permission and Fidelity Investments are independent entities and are not legally affiliated.

Votes are submitted voluntarily by individuals and reflect their own opinion of the article's helpfulness. A percentage value for helpfulness will display once a sufficient number of votes have been submitted.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917

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What should a millennial spend on rent?

Millennials face budgeting challenges when looking for rental apartments. This article can help you better allocate rent within your budget, so you can stick to your financial plan.

Like your checking account, but with some award-winning extras

All ATM fees reimbursed. No minimum balance. Pay bills. Deposit checks.