After income tax, I will take home a pay of £1880 per month. After rent, this becomes around £600 per month. But I haven't included council tax in this, so it will be less than £600.

Is this reasonable? I don't live in London, so I guess food costs won't be too high.

Would you think that this is sensible financial planning? Or am I spending too much for my salary on rent?

I need to live like this for 6 months, and I am wondering whether I am being silly.

  • 1
    Do you have any existing savings in case this isn't enough? What happens in six months: Does your pay double? or does the contract end? Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 11:46
  • Yes I do have savings. I need to find another job after six months but that's not so important. I just want to know if this is a good lifestyle.
    – C_Al
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 12:07
  • Does this mean rent alone is £1200+/month? That seems very high (especially outside London) Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 12:26
  • @Andrew That's right. It's a 2 bed flat so that's why it's high. I can't get any 1 bed flats for such a short period of time.
    – C_Al
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 12:32
  • You can get a £1200 2 bed flat in central London. The rent is way too high. Which location is it in ? Did you shop around for properties ? Zoopla, rightmove etc. Shop around, that is a very high monthly rent for a 2 bed flat. Paying £1200 rent while getting a £1880 salary is a silly lifestyle.
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 20:38

2 Answers 2


One rule of thumb is that housing should be no more than 1/3 of gross income. But, there's always a reasonable excuse to adjust this number. Move to a city with great transportation, or a company van, etc, eliminating the need for a car, and that number can go up.

In your case, without a compelling reason to go what seems 50% of gross, your number is way too high. For a six month stint, if this helps your career or is the only work available, it may be the right thing to do. Long term, it's awful. To be fair, long term, in this flat, my advice would be to get a roommate. Even 500/mo would fix your numbers.

  • Yes, I think long-term is a different question. I would certainly find a flatmate. But I guess for short-term it can be OK. I think I'm still in profit (just about) so I guess that's not bad.
    – C_Al
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 14:50
  • 4
    @C_AI There's a difference between not quite living paycheck to paycheck and being able to save enough money to see you through unexpected large expenses, have adequate money for retirement and reach other saving goals like a down payment for a house.
    – Eric
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 15:42

Your rent sounds very high to me, I was spending £1,050 a month to rent a large 5 bedroomed house for my family including 6 children a year or so ago. This is in the north of England so rent is relatively cheap however.

Having said that, your Council Tax could easily be £200 a month (or more) and bills over £100 so that doesn't leave you much for food, transport costs, insurance etc.

Even for a single person £100 a month for food would be extremely tight in my opinion, £200 might be doable.

As stated, the usual rule of thumb for rent/mortgage is about a third of your net salary so £600 or so a month would be better, if it's for a short period then you can probably get by.

£1,200 a month would get you a mortgage for a very nice house! That would be an average repayment for a mortgage of around £250k

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