What’s financially feasible?
In the Positive Living, Positive Homes study, many participants living with HIV were classified as “housing insecure,” spending 30% or more of their monthly income on rent. Having to spend a large amount of your income on housing can be stressful, especially when there are costs you didn’t expect. Some housing costs are obvious—take rent, for instance. Other costs may be unforeseen—electricity may not be included in the rent, for example, and the bill will be higher at times you use more (e.g., running a portable heater in the winter).
Building a simple budget is a great way to understand how much money you can feasibly spend on rent.
If it’s your first time building a budget, click here to download a template created by PAN (also available as a printable PDF here).
Once you’ve looked at your budget, how much can you afford to spend on rent? As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to spend more than 30% of your income on your housing. After paying rent, how much money will you have left over for the month? Will this be enough to pay other bills, buy nutritious food, and have a social life?
Now that you know how much you can spend on rent, the next section will help you better understand what is important to you in housing.