How Much Should I Spend on Rent?
Housing costs are generally where most of a person’s income is spent, and finding the best affordable option when it comes to rent can help in a variety of ways: extra dollars not spent on rent could be directed elsewhere like savings accounts, debt obligations, or towards treating one’s self to something nice more often.
Unfortunately, many potential renters place details like location, amenities, and size ahead of what they can afford, and find themselves squeezing the bank accounts down the road.
How is Rent Pricing Decided?
The cost of rent generally depends on the market value which can be influenced by location, property size, and proximity to amenities such as schools, stores, and recreation areas.
Additional factors such as appliances, community perks, or inclusive utility costs can also affect rent pricing. As a renter, there are a few simple ways one can determine how much they should spend and what works best for their overall budget.
The 30% Rule
A general rule of thumb for calculating monthly rent is one should spend approximately 30% of their take home salary on the expense. For example, if one’s take home pay after taxes is $4,000 then they would not want to spend more than $1,200 a month on rent according to this rule. To calculate this amount, one simply needs to employ the following formula:
After-Tax Monthly Salary x 30% (.30) = Monthly Rent
The 50/30/20 Rule
Another budgeting model, often used to decide what to spend on rent, is the 50/30/20 rule. This states that one should spend 50% of their income on living essentials, 30% on personal and entertainment items, and 20% on savings or debt. Rent would be a part of the 50% category also including food, utilities, and transportation costs.
There is of course wiggle room in these approaches, and arrangements such as splitting costs with a roommate can affect what one can spend on rent. There may also be benefits to paying higher rent than recommended. For instance, if you are spending more on rent than the above percentages, but are saving money driving closer to work, then you may have balanced the cost.
Online rent calculators, at websites such as Zilllow.com, can further assist with calculating optimal rent costs.
Overall, one should decide what they are personally and financially comfortable with before deciding on a specific budget. The cost of rent can have a variety of influences and making the best financial decision is one that works well within one’s specific needs.
Finding a Photographer for Difficult Situations
Not all required photo sessions are created equal, and there are many atypical situations that require a photographer comfortable in locales that are dynamic, unpredictable, and challenging. Unlike photo sessions for portraits, headshots, and wedding photos, where time can be taken to prepare for locations and guide the subjects, some photography presents a variety of difficulties including movement, changing light, and unpredictability.
In challenging photographic situations, there may be many changing and moving parts in the shooting environment and a photographer working in this type of capacity needs to be comfortable and aware in their surroundings: knowledgeable to remain safe, quick enough to capture fleeting photographic opportunities, and skilled enough to adjust camera settings for correct exposures.
Examples of environments where such conditions may be found include the following:
1. Sporting and Competitive Events
2. Photo Sessions In or Upon Bodies of Water
3. Large Private or Community Events
4. Wildlife or Nature Photography
5. Photo Sessions in Urban/City Environments
Each of these examples provide their own unique challenges and needs, and when searching for a professional capable of successfully operating in such demanding situations, the most important and yet simple thing a client can do is view a photographer’s portfolio and identify examples of the type of services required.
If such examples present themselves as quality work, and reflective of the photographer’s ability to meet the required needs, the next step would be to consult with the individual, communicate expectations of the shoot, and inform them of the dynamic environment which will be present. This time also serves as an excellent moment to collect any information from the photographer as well, gleaned from their experiences, and beneficial to assist them in completing their challenging tasks successfully.
A seasoned photographer, capable of adapting to challenging photographic environments is a great asset to have, and important in unstable, volatile, and changing conditions that present moments worthy to be captured on film. Finding such a professional can present challenges of its own, but is not impossible, especially with just a little preparation, research, and communication.