Rents are increasing across every major city in the US – from New York City to Las Vegas. Renters, both current and prospective, are faced with the prospect of higher rents even when their income hasn’t grown commensurate to this rise.

This poses many challenges for the renter.

Renters are obliged to find a rental home within their budget. Experts recommend that renters should spend no more than 30 percent of their income on rent. With the rising cost of rent, this has proven challenging for many renters.

Here are some of our top tips for helping renters budget for their next home:

  • First things first, renters should know their market. They should know, in their area, what the average cost of rent is and how high this rent is likely to rise in the coming years.
  • Second, renters should draw up how much rent they can afford. Renters should calculate their total monthly income, as well as factoring in what debts they owe and what costs they’re likely to endure (phone bills etc.). This gives you a solid idea of how much you can afford in the real world, where small daily costs can add up over the period of one month.
  • Third, renters should compromise on how they live their life. You may need to downsize to a smaller property and you may need to alter your lifestyle (entertainment and socializing costs etc.) to keep within your monthly budget. As the adage goes, beggars cannot be choosers.
  • Fourth, renters need to consider the wider market. Renters should think about the suburbs, for example. A short commute from the suburbs to the inner city can save an enormous sum of money in the long term.
  • Fifth, renters need to plan. Moving from place to place can prove to be a stressful and expensive process, particularly when you include costs such as deposits. Finding long-term accommodation can spread costs over the long-term (as well as saving you stress).

By following these five essential steps, renters not only determine what budget works best for them, but also how to manage that budget when they find their ideal home. Renters need to think about every conceivable cost – and not just major costs like rent.