Anyone looking for a new place to live has a wish list of features and functions for their living space, but most will have to settle for what their budget can afford, compromising between what their bank account can allow and their dream rental home.

Every month, money comes in and money goes out. When it comes to renting, the question is how much of what goes out should be towards rent. Ideally, the main expenditures in a South African’s life are rent (or mortgaging if they are buying), food, and savings. The right budget in place to assure there is enough to fulfil these three, and then have enough money at the end of the month for other expenses is crucial. Otherwise the risk of debt, and falling behind on other payments sneaks in.

The key to figuring out how much to spend on rent each month is all about working out a realistic budget and then looking within that price range. If you start to look out of that range, you risk the disappointment of finding your ‘dream home’ to rent without the budget to afford it.

How much should you spend on rent each month?

When it comes to renting a place, although you can’t “make it your own” space in the same way as when buying a home, there is a great balance between making space feel like home without having to commit to purchasing. The biggest question, then, relates to how much of your budget you should be spending on your living space on a monthly basis. It’s a bad idea to blow your budget on the best, most beautiful space only to have to stress to scrape together money at the end of the month to pay the rest of your bills.

According to experts, the figure to consider spending on rent is no more than 30% of a monthly takeaway income. This means after-tax, after regular monthly commitments and after any deductions. This is so that there’s enough left over for food, electricity, transport, water, and any luxuries on top of rent and other monthly expenses.

It’s sometimes referred to as the 30% rule. And it fluctuates as careers and income upscale or as lifestyle changes. For example, if you find yourself with a higher paying salary than five years before, it makes sense to want to upgrade your living space. At the same time, if you get married and have children, staying in the same apartment or renting a smaller space won’t work.

How much does the average South African spend on rent monthly?

On average, South Africans spend around 30% of their take-home salary on rent. However, there are low-risk candidates who tend towards spending as little as 24% of their income, with higher risk candidates leaning up to spending 33% of their income on rent.

With different salaries, higher and lower incomes, and variance in offerings from location to location, it stands to reason that the different provinces in South Africa have a different rental market price on average. 

In 2019, the average worker was paid R21.432, a figure which had increased from the beginning of the year. After-tax, according to data collated from BankservAfrica, the average take-home pay was sitting around R14,385. The estimations were pointing towards another increase in average salary,  however, owing to the loss of jobs and the economic concerns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is now predicted to sink.

This means that the average salary, at R14,385, would put the average ideal rental cost at R4300, with lower risk candidates looking around the R3300 range and high-risk renters opting to spend over R4700 in the monthly rental.

Live Easy is providing a solution for the average South African

Live Easy provides affordable rental flats in Johannesburg and Pretoria for people who earn between R6,000 and R15,000 per month. These unfurnished bachelor flats are ideally situated near areas of employment. The starting rental price on Live Easy properties is just R2450, take a look at all our properties and make an enquiry for comfortable and affordable living.