How Much Do You Spend On Rent?

I'm a 1st year analyst about to move out of his parents house in a high COL city (think LA, SF, NYC) and I was wondering what % of gross income people are paying in rent, particularly other analysts (but everyone else feel free to jump in). I'm aware that 30% is usually what you're supposed to keep it around, but a lot of times that's not really feasible in high COL cities.  For added effect, my salary is below average for my role and city but I have a 100% bonus structure, which places me above average in terms of total comp.  Would it not be that irresponsible for me to push my rent costs to 40-50% of my salary or am I missing something? Thanks in advance.

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (16)

Apr 1, 2021 - 9:51am

I pay approximately 4% of my gross income in rent in a high end building that is only 4 years old and less than 10 minutes from my office. 

Low COL cities for the win. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 1
Apr 3, 2021 - 9:35pm

Bit of both, but living with your significant other (or roommates in general) is a massive boost 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Apr 1, 2021 - 1:52pm

I pay $2090 for a luxury building in a low COL city - 2 bed 2 bath

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Apr 1, 2021 - 2:16pm

Depends on the place. My experience below. Utilities usually separate. Made ~100k/yr while living in these apartments. I tried to keep my housing expenses below 20% if possible. I knew Boston was going to be super expensive but knew I had a limited window that I'd be there, so I didn't sweat it and got the expensive, new, place rather than renting a room with a rando.

  • Norman, OK: College town, 1 roommate (brother): Brand new townhome 9 month lease (school year) 2 bed / 3 bath, $700/month
  • Downtown OKC: Brand new apartment complex in Midtown, 2 bed / 2 bath, 1 year lease $1750/month
  • McKinney, TX: Suburb of Dallas: No roommates, 1 year lease 1 bed / 1 bath: $1050/month
  • Uptown Dallas, TX: young people live in this neighborhood, 3 bed / 3 bath with 2 roommates 1 year lease, $750/month per person
  • Boston, MA: Sommerville suburb. No roommate, 9 month lease 1 bed / 1 bath: $3200/month (right off Orange Line in Assembly Row...overpriced)
  • Tucson, AZ: 1 million people but spread out. No roommate, 1 year lease in "best apartments," 2 bed, 2 bath $1200/month and 2 bed, 2 bath, $1250/month
  • Denver, CO: short term stay but rented a room in a house with 2 other roommates, my 1 bed / 1 bath was ~$650/month + shared utilities
Apr 1, 2021 - 9:23pm

Tucson's great. I like not having cold feet in the morn and paying just under 25% in rent.

Go, Go, Excel

Apr 2, 2021 - 2:47pm

Assembly always felt isolated to me, even though it is a short train ride into the city. It is also absolutely overpriced

Apr 3, 2021 - 9:37am

I loved it having just come from the Dallas suburbs, and it was definitely expensive! I liked the restaurants and walking around the park. Orange line best line lol but yeah I hope now that the apartments are all done that it's less expensive than it was. Most of the apartments there were still under construction while I lived in Boston

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Apr 1, 2021 - 3:34pm

Spend the base, bank the bonus. As long as you are able to comfortably cover all of your financial obligations every month with your base without running up credit card debt then you should be fine. In my experience spending more on where you live to have something a bit nicer goes a long way. I remember when I doubled my square footage and upgraded from a studio it made a world of difference of my mental well being.

Apr 2, 2021 - 2:49pm

I pay like 2150 out of a 90k base but it's my understanding that I am on the higher end. Its in the 40-50% range for me but my bonus is like 80% of salary so that makes it comfortable. Plus I'm ideally gonna get the A2A bump next year, which would obviously add a few racks to the take home. I just have the mindset that I worked hard over the past couple years, made good money, did a great job investing my earnings, so I deserve to live a little.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

April 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (32) $350
  • Associates (180) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (102) $151
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (25) $146
  • Intern/Summer Associate (95) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (387) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (315) $82