Adulthood comes with many responsibilities, from paying your bills to choosing an apartment to live in. So how do you determine where you should live and how much you can spend on your rent each month? This is where the term “cost of living” comes in. Learn about the cost of living in Washington, DC, to find out what type of apartment you can afford within your budget in the neighborhood.
What is the cost of living and how does it affect me?
The term “cost of living” refers to the amount of money you need to cover basic daily expenses such as rent, taxes, utilities, food, and health care. The cost of living is also place and time specific. Some cities are more expensive to live in than others, and the relative costs may increase or decrease over time. The cost of living is a useful indicator for comparing the relative cost of living in different cities.
Cost of living indices can help you compare the cost of living in different places so that you can understand how much you should expect to spend on necessities, such as food and utilities if you live in a city. given.
How much should I spend on my rent?
If you know your budget based on your income, you can roughly calculate how much you should spend on your rent. While you can’t find a one-size-fits-all approach, there are a few guidelines you can follow when allocating your rent budget.
The 30% rule has been a popular way to determine how much you should spend on rent. This rule says you should spend about 30% of your pre-tax income or less on rent. If you earn $ 5,500 per month in pre-tax income, you should be spending $ 1,650 or less each month on rent.
Keep in mind that your circumstances may change how much of your income you spend on rent. When you are starting out on your own or living in a high cost area, you may need to spend more than 30% of your salary on rent. Conversely, if you live in a low cost of living area or share an apartment, you might get away with spending less than 30% of your income on rent.
What is the relative cost of living in Washington, DC?
The cost of living in Washington, DC is higher than the national average. According to Cost of Living Index source BestPlaces, the average cost of living in Washington is 152.1 compared to the US national average of 100.
The cost of living source Numbeo in Washington, DC, at 83.88 out of 100, where 100 is the cost of living in New York. While living in Washington DC can be expensive, the neighborhood is still more affordable than cities like New York, Boston, or San Francisco.
Your monthly rent isn’t the only cost to consider when looking for an apartment in the neighborhood.
The Numbeo Index also finds that a single person in an average Washington apartment spends $ 147 per month on utilities. Average travel costs in the city added $ 13,095 to the average household budget compared to the national average of $ 9,669. Dinner at a full-service restaurant, not including additional charges such as drinks or tips, will cost around $ 40. The average individual’s grocery bill is $ 304, 10% more than the national average but 27% less than New York.
How much does an apartment cost in Washington, DC?
Consider the following average apartment prices in Washington, DC:
- Studio: $ 1,644
- 1 bedroom apartment: $ 2,142
- Two bedroom apartment: $ 2,894
- 3 bedroom apartment: $ 3,425
- Four bedroom apartment: $ 3,922
How Do I Find Cheap Apartments in Washington, DC?
You’ll find plenty of ways to save on rent if you need to live in the Washington, DC area but can’t afford the average prices.
First, start your search with Zumper to easily find and apply for available apartments. Zumper lets you filter your searches based on rent cost, neighborhood, and other features so you can find an ideal apartment that fits your budget.
Living in a cheaper neighborhood also offers more savings. More central neighborhoods, such as U Street Corridor, Foggy Bottom, and Georgetown, tend to be more expensive. Apartments in places such as Truxton Circle, Anacostia or Brightwood will cost less.
Another way to find cheaper rent in the area is to look outside the city itself. You may not be familiar with the cost of living near Washington, DC suburbs such as Arlington, Virginia, and Silver Spring, Maryland. You can easily access these locations by metro. In addition, these towns have many of the same amenities and can be cheaper than accommodation in the neighborhood. Some professionals who work in the neighborhood choose to travel to their work in the neighborhood. For example, the cost of living is significantly lower in Baltimore. Taking the MARC train, you will find that the trip from Washington Union Station to Baltimore Penn Station can take less than an hour.
What’s the cheapest rent in Washington, DC?
On average, the cheapest rent for a studio in Washington is $ 1,644. However, the cheapest apartment for you will depend on the size of your family, the neighborhood you live in, the amenities you need, and other factors. When it comes to food and entertainment, there are plenty of inexpensive restaurants in the city and things to do in Washington that don’t require too much money.
Learn about the cost of living to find out what kind of apartment you can afford in Washington, DC Then turn to Zumper to explore the apartment options you can experience in our nation’s capital and its suburbs. .
Cover image via iStock.com/Pgiam