Buying a home is the biggest financial decision most people make in their life. But deciding how much home you can afford can be stressful and complicated. Standard ratios like DTI often oversimplify your unique financial situation. They ignore month-to-month variation in your expenses and the impact a mortgage payment can have on your other important savings goals like education, vacation, and retirement. If you don’t think about these trade-offs, you risk committing to a mortgage you can’t afford as easily as you thought.