There are few more gratifying moments than viewing your bank account online and seeing that you’ve just been paid. For most people, payday comes on or around the 1st and 15th day of the month. For others it’s on a bi-monthly basis and may arrive every other Friday.  Regardless of when it comes, it is usually a highly anticipated moment.

No matter how you look at it, knowing when you get paid affects how you spend money, especially how you decide to borrow and save.

Of the bills we all pay, rent is most likely the single biggest budget item. For years, experts have recommended setting aside 25% of your monthly paycheck for rent. That means if your monthly gross income – before taxes – is $4,000, you shouldn’t be spending more than $1,000 on your rental needs.

Unfortunately, that percentage is on the rise as rentals costs across the country continue to climb. A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts, drawing from rental figures in 2016, shows that of 43 million renters, 38% of them were “rent burdened,” which means they had to spend at least 30% of their income on a place to live. And of all the renters, 17% indicated they were “severely rent burdened,” which means they had to spend at least 50% of their income on rent. This number has shown to be even higher for minorities such as Latinos and African-Americans.

That means if you receive two paychecks a month, one entire check could be going entirely to rent alone.

Of course, how much you pay depends on where you live. CNBC, along with the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) recently ranked the 10 most expensive states to live in. It is rather interesting that with the exception of California, none are major energy producing states. Perhaps there’s a connection? We certainly think so.


Top 10 Most Expensive States Top 10 Energy Producing States
1. Hawaii 1.     Texas
2. New York 2.     Wyoming
3. California 3.     Louisiana
4. Massachusetts 4.     Pennsylvania
5. Alaska 5.     West Virginia
6. Connecticut 6.     Kentucky
7. Maryland 7.     Colorado
8. Vermont 8.     Oklahoma
9. Rhode Island 9.     California
10. New Jersey 10.  New Mexico
Source: CNBC and Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) Source: 24/7 Wall St. & U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)


Thanks to America’s abundant energy production in recent years, for most people, utility costs are relatively low, making it easier to manage the burden of sky-high rent. I guess you could say it pays to live near the energy you consume, and if you don’t, hopefully you are encouraging your elected officials to make good decisions about how you get your energy.