- Start with the One-Third Rule. Personal finance experts agree on this simple standby. To figure out your budget for living expenses, just divide your monthly income by three. But remember, living expenses are not limited to rent. This number should also include your utilities, internet, and any other recurring, consistent bills.
- Then, consider the area. Look into typical cost of living in Jamaica Plain. If you know people who live in the neighborhood, ask them how much heating and cooling sets them back, for example. You can also talk to your landlord to get a better idea of what to expect. Does parking cost extra? Is there laundry in the building? How much was the last tenant’s monthly utilities bill? The more research you do and questions you ask, the fewer surprises you will run into during your first year.
- And finally, reflect on your lifestyle. How much time do you spend at home, and how much money do you spend on excursions? You might want to devote more of your income to a spacious or updated unit if it is a bigger priority for you. Then again, maybe you want to set aside a higher percentage of your bank account to enjoy all the culture and nightlife of Jamaica Plain. If that is the case, stay closer to 15 to 25 percent of your income for living expenses.