Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 ways to save on housing costs in your 20s. Also in the news: Billions in free college money went unclaimed this year, the complications of putting plastic surgery on your plastic, and how being lazy can actually help you save money.

4 Ways to Save on Housing Costs in Your 20s
Skipping avocado toast won’t cut it.

$2.6B in Free College Money Went Unclaimed by 2018 Grads
Fill out the FAFSA.

Putting Cosmetic Surgery on Your Plastic? Avoid These Complications
Sizing up the costs.

How being lazy can actually help you save money
Yes, you read that correcly.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

homebuyerToday’s top story: Housing costs that could increase. Also in the news: How to get out of debt, what you should know about credit card loyalty programs, and surprising ways bad credit can make your life difficult.

4 Housing Costs That Could Go Up
Time to plan ahead.

The Ultimate Guide To Getting Out Of Debt
How to dig yourself out.

Credit Card Loyalty Programs: 3 Things You Ought to Know
Just how loyal are they?

Surprising ways bad credit can hurt you
You could pay more for utilities.

How much should you spend on rent?

Dear Liz: I am wondering about what percentage of your income should your rent be. Ours at the moment is 35% just for rent, not including utilities or anything else.

Answer: In high-cost areas, people regularly pay 40% or more of their income on housing. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

When you spend a big chunk of your income on rent or mortgage payments, there’s often too little left over to save for the future, pay off the debt of your past and live for today.

There are no hard-and-fast rules for what’s affordable, but limiting your housing costs to about 25% of your gross pay or 30% of your after-tax pay will help ensure that you have money left over for other goals. “Housing costs” include rent, utilities and renter’s insurance if you don’t own, or mortgage, property taxes, property insurance and utilities if you do.

If you’re much over these limits, you should look into ways to reduce your costs, earn more income or both. Otherwise, you’re likely to continue to struggle with an unbalanced budget.