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Considerations on computing your rental rate budget for you new Bossier City Apartment or apartment in Shreveport,LA



Are you ready to go out and find that perfect place to rent?  Your first thoughts might be, how much is rent going to cost and how much can I afford to spend on rent?  First, save yourself from a lot of struggle and stress by determining what you can afford.  Before you start searching, have a budget in mind and only look at those rental properties that are within your budget.  Without a budget you may end up with a rental that you really cannot afford. 

Net Income Rule-of-Thumb:

A popular rule of thumb says your net income (after taxes) should be around 3 times your rent.  Let’s say your rent is $1,000 per month, you may need to earn at least $3,000 per month.  Many apartment communities or landlords follow this rule, so only focus on rentals you are likely to qualify for.

The Budgeting Rule:

A budgeting rule is a simple way to calculate how much rent you can afford and have enough for other expenses.  It’s called the 50/30/20 budgeting rule. This rule is based on the concept of 50% of your net income are for your Needs; 30% are for your wants, and 20% are for savings purposes.

First determine your take-home pay which is the amount you take-home after deductions and taxes.  To find this number out just look at your paycheck stub … compare the gross income and subtract the taxes and other deductions withheld. 

If you are self-employed you might want to calculate the amount of hours you work per week by your average hourly income, then multiply that amount by 52 (weeks in a year). For example: (40 hours per week X $21 an hour = $840 X 52 weeks = $43,680 per year (or $43,680 divided by 12 months = $3,640 per month). Now you can deduct your business expenses and taxes from that amount.  Your take-home pay will be the amount left over.

Dividing up your Take Home Pay

50 Percent Towards Needs.  50 percent of the amount determined above should go to your needs.  Examples of needs are: car payment, rent, bills, utilities such as electricity, water and sewer and groceries.

30 Percent Towards Wants.  30 Percent goes towards wants.  Examples of wants are:  Hobbies, Dining Out, Vacations, Digital and Streaming Services for movies such as Netflix.

20 Percent Towards Savings.  20 percent goes towards savings.  Example of savings are:  retirement, contributions, saving for a house, or setting money aside as emergency fund.


For more information, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers a worksheet to help determine your budget.


Credit Score:

Most apartment communities desire a score of 600 or more.  If yours is lower than 600, check your credit report for any mistakes. If you do find an error, you will need to get it resolved as soon as possible.  If you see large balances on your credit cards, pay them down quick as you can.  Paying down your credit card balance will improve your credit ratio.    You should try to get your credit card ratio to be 30 percent or lower.  (Example:  If you have a credit card that has a $5000.00 limit, you do not want your balance to go above $1,500).

You can check your credit report for free by going to  This is the only website that is authorized by the federal law and they offer a once-a-year free credit report. 

Moving Expenses

Moving expenses will be expenses you would need to save up before you start looking for your new apartment in Shreveport or your Bossier City apartment home.  These expenses most likely need to be paid in full before you can move in.  Examples include your first and last month’s rent, security deposit, application fees, utility connection, and if you have a pet, a pet deposit.  If you are planning on using a moving company, that would also be an extra moving expense you will need to save up for, along with moving supplies and other expenses.


Shreveport-Bossier Apartment Shoppers Guide and are committed in helping your find that perfect apartment that is within your budget.  Just go to our main page and start searching with a click of a button. We are the top-rated resource for searching apartments in Shreveport and Bossier City, LA. Since 1985.

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