Money Matters

#MoneyMasterClass Recap–Week 19

This Month’s Focus: Shelter

Gail let us know that her focus for the month of May will be shelter and for June it will be life changes such as marriage and graduation.


The first conversation was about renting and Gail started with her Rule #1: “Renting is not a waste of money.”

I appreciate Gail’s desire to give perspective on why a rental unit is not less of a home than a purchased property. As a renter myself, it’s a good reminder to check my motivations for wanting to own my own home.

Costs of a Home

I live near an expensive city, so I wasn’t surprised when I did my calculations and came out with 44%.

The basics of calculating the percentage of your budget spent on shelter are:

  1. Add up all the costs of your home
  2. Divide this by your net income
  3. Multiply by 100 to get the percentage

Gail also expanded on this topic a little more.

There was a lot of conversation in the replies to these tweets about how renters do actually pay for maintenance, but that these costs are hidden in the rent. I don’t disagree with that, but the conversation about homeowners and maintenance costs is still important because some people don’t include this in their budget.

As a renter I don’t have to budget for a new roof or a new fridge, but I do have to budget for a yearly rent increase and any inevitable moving costs that seem to happen every couple years.

The main questions for me with this conversation has been:
Are you paying attention to all of the costs associated with your type of housing? Are these cost factored into your budget?

Storage Units

Gail is always reminding us of things that are costing us money. This week it was storage units and the task was to inventory the items in the unit if you have one.

Did you calculate the percentage of your budget you spend on shelter? What did you think of the results?

New to the Money Master Class? There’s still time to get started!
Check out this Twitter Archive to see all of Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s #MoneyMasterClass tweets from the start.
Find the resources, spreadsheets, and quizzes here: Money Master Class
Check out my weekly recaps to get caught up.
Start here with the Money Master Class Intro and Week One Recap

Check out Gail Vaz Oxlade’s books here:*

Money Rules
Debt Free Forever
CEO of Everything
Money Smart Kids


  • A in Texas

    I’m a renter in an apt complex. I emailed Gail and she even replied. I was so excited. I was emailing her that some complexes are now making it mandatory to pay for a media pkg that includes internet, cable tv, and keyless door entry, etc — thus, I wouldn’t put all that in the Life category– I would put it with housing as it’s a mandatory fee. My housing percentage is 53%. I’m paying rent on a 2 bedroom apt for my young single adult unemployed son and myself to live in. He quit his job at the end of Jan so he’s not getting any unemployment benefits. I’m going to ask him for 35% of his income, when he’s employed, so I’m not stretched so thin that I don’t have the emergency account or the curveball account. As a young single adult, I used to share rent costs 50/50 with a roommate but now I realize that is unfair because people’s incomes are different no matter their age. I also found it interesting that she told someone that a car payment is not in the debt category but in the transportation category.

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      That’s so exciting she replied! Anytime she replies to one of my tweets I have serious fan girl moments hehe. I’ve never heard of a media package before. That’s really interesting that it’s something being made mandatory. Makes sense why you would include it in your shelter category, but that is a bit confusing. I guess it could be off set by lowering the Life category percentage a little?
      What a gift that you’re able to help your son out with housing. It is such a tough time right now that must mean so much that you’re able to help in that way. And on that note of being a supportive mom–Happy Mother’s Day!! 🙂

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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