Are you overspending on Rent in Hong Kong? You’re not alone.
It‘s the end of the month and your bank account balance surges to accommodate your hard–earned salary. But you don‘t let yourself get comfortable with these new numbers because you know a big part of your income will soon go to your landlord to pay for one of priciest basic needs in Hong Kong: rent.
How much are you getting paid to work and how much are you paying for a place to live? If you‘re like most Hong Kongers, you might be spending around 50 percent of your monthly income on rent alone. Ouch.
So how do you achieve the 30-40 percent recommended by most financial planners?
According to a report by Midland Realty, 44 percent of Hong Kong apartments for rent cost more than HK$20,000 per month. When the average income of an individual is only HKD$16,400, that puts nearly half of the available properties out of reach for most of the population unless they‘re willing to put 122 percent of their income towards housing.
The rest of the available flats most likely come with a compromise: windowless rooms, multiple flights of stairs to walk up, locations far away from the city center or MTR transportation, or tiny subdivided “studios” with hardly enough room for a bed frame.
While surging housing costs prevail in most major cities, Hong Kong is definitely at the top of the list. Tenants in New York and Dubai spend an average of 48 percent of income on rent, while Singaporeans and Londoners set aside 44 and 43 percent respectively for rented housing.
This is the reality of housing costs today. But what is the ideal? According to Forbes, 30 percent of your income is considered an acceptable portion to spend on rent, leaving 70 percent for other expenditures, including retirement savings.
If you‘re already spending 50 percent on your apartment, a clear budget for your overall total monthly expenses can help allocate your remaining funds towards daily necessities and future financial goals. Money management is key to having a chance at affording a Hong Kong home on a self–made salary.
Do you have a good idea of where your money is going every month? When you actively track your income and expenses, you put yourself in a better position to make financial decisions within your ability and ideals. If you know spending 50 percent on rent is unsustainable in the long term and not aligned with your financial goals, you can take steps to reduce the percentage by finding a roommate or a new job opportunity that relieves some rental burden.
On the other hand, you can also choose to closely monitor the expenditures on your remaining salary to cut back on unnecessary expenses and put money towards investing in long term projects or goals.
A lot of people in Hong Kong have more than one bank account or credit card, making it hard to get the full picture on their monthly finance. gini is Hong Kong‘s first personal finance app that is dedicated to tracking transactions from local banks and consolidating them into one dashboard. After you link your accounts to the app and load in your spending data, you can easily track your expenses and categorize them into insightful habits. Once you have a better idea of your money management, you can easily start to save or cut back to allocate for smarter spending.
Without a clear picture of your monthly expenses, it can be easy to overspend, especially when such a large portion of your income is already going towards a single basic necessity. Visit our website and download gini to get a better picture of what your salary really looks like after rent.