Is rent costing you?

Is rent costing you?

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - An annual report released by Harvard University shows more Americans are spending more on housing. 
It shows 21.3 million people are spending 30% or more of their paychecks to cover rent.

"I spend $650 dollars a month for rent," Wichita Falls resident Terral Henderson said.

In 2014, 11 million people gave up at least half of their income to pay for housing, which is a record high.

"A lot of it has to do with where they're looking at," Gary Silverman, President of Personal Money Planning said.

Location can play a huge role.

"Around here you can get by with less. If you're in Dallas or let's say the east or west coast it's going to cost you more," Silverman said.

Finance experts suggest budgeting around 30% a month to cover housing costs, but with rent prices rising faster than wages, other areas are having to give.

"Basically the spending money, entertainment. Stuff like that to basically suffice whenever my wife lost her job," Henderson said.

Food, clothing and health care are areas people have to pull funds from to make rent. Michelle Kuehner, a credit counselor at Personal Money Planning, said to help cut your spending you need to visually see where your money is going.

"Go through your recurring bills that come out each month and see if that's something that you really need," Kuehner said.

She also said if you can't or won't pay the full annual amount for a monthly bill, then you may want to consider getting rid of it. Another tool to help cut costs is to use sites like These sites will negotiate to have your bills lowered for you. They do ask that you pay 50% of your savings.

When you have to spend more of your income for rent it also makes it harder to get out of debt, or save for retirement. But there is a silver lining. Low mortgage rates are making it easier to buy or pay off a home.

Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6

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