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How much money you should be spending on rent based on your salary

Find out whether you are living above or within your means with this formula

An AI generated image depicting a scene of responsible financial planning and budgeting in Kenya

Budgeting for rent is a crucial aspect of financial planning, especially in Kenya where rent can take a significant chunk of one's income.

This article aims to guide Kenyans in making informed decisions about how much to spend on rent, considering their unique financial situations.

Kenya's salary landscape varies across professions. While some earn well above Sh100,000 monthly, many others earn around Sh50,000, Sh25,000 all the way down to the Sh15,000 minimum wage.

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Others in the informal sector don’t have regular income but despite the fluctuations, it is still important to track income patterns to be more accountable and help plan your lifestyle.

It's important to consider the total household income, whether you live alone or are in a family with multiple earners, to accurately plan the budget.

The 50/30/20 rule is an effective budgeting principle where 50% of income is allocated to necessities, including rent, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings.

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Housing costs fall under 'necessities' and should be planned accordingly​​​​​​.

BuyRentKenya suggests keeping your rent at or below 30% of your monthly income.

Similarly, Economist William Ramogi recommends that if your income hovers around Sh30,000, your rent should be between Sh4,500 and Sh9,000​

If you're pocketing around Sh100,000 monthly, a rent of Sh22,000 fits neatly into the 50/30/20 framework, according to Benjamin Cheruiyot, Engagement Lead at Abojani Investment​​.

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Larger families may require more space, leading to higher rent. Conversely, individuals or smaller families might manage with smaller, more affordable housing. It's important to balance the need for space with the ability to afford the rent.

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Living closer to work might mean higher rent but lower transportation costs. Conversely, living further away could reduce rent but increase travel expenses. This trade-off must be considered when choosing a location to rent​​.

Urban areas, especially Nairobi, generally have higher rent compared to rural areas. Local economic factors like the cost of living should be taken into account when determining how much to spend on rent.

A family earning a combined income of Sh100,000 might comfortably allocate Sh22,000 for rent, adhering to the 50/30/20 rule.

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An individual earning Sh25,000 could aim to spend no more than Sh7,500 on rent while saving a portion of their income​​​​.

Researching different neighbourhoods, considering a roommate, and negotiating with landlords can help in finding affordable housing. Being flexible about amenities and location can also lead to lower rent.

Determining how much to spend on rent is a personal decision that depends on individual circumstances.

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By applying the principles discussed and carefully assessing their financial situation,

Kenyans can make informed decisions that balance comfort with affordability when choosing a rental home.

Remember, a sustainable rent budget is key to maintaining a balanced and stress-free financial life.

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