You may be surprised to learn how much of a home you can afford. Generally accepted standards say your new house payment added to all your other monthly payments, should not exceed about 40% of your gross (that’s before income tax) for you and your spouse. Keep in mind, that does not include items like insurance, clothing, food, utilities, entertainment, etc. You should add only those items with fixed payments such as cars, furniture, credit cards, mortgage, student loans, etc. If an item doesn’t show on your credit report, it probably won’t count against you as a debt.