(StatePoint) For U.S. workers, living expenses continue to generally outpace pay increases, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, a recent study by Randstad US and Apartment Guide found that 44 percent of employed Americans say their annual residential expenses (rent, mortgage, utilities, household maintenance, etc.) increase more than their salary does each year — and 37 percent of house, room and apartment renters claim the cost of their home is too high when compared to their income. This has resulted in long commutes, as well as a need to supplement expenses by taking on side gigs and seeking out roommates.
“The general rule of thumb is to spend less than 30 percent of your gross income on rent. Depending on your income level, this might not be possible in some desirable urban neighborhoods without making other lifestyle sacrifices. Be realistic in your housing selection and your salary will go much further,” said Emily Williams, senior data analyst for Apartment Guide.