Budget percentages are important as you decide
what amount of your income to spend in each category for your household. For
example, how much of your income should go towards food? Or gasoline? Or
Below is a rough guideline to help you plan your household budget:
Housing-- 20-30% (This will
vary somewhat depending on whether you own a home and are paying a mortgage, or
whether you are renting.)
Food--15-20% (I have tried to eat for less than this, but 15% is definitely the bare minimum we could get by with.)
Gas/Transportation—15% (This may vary depending on how far you drive to work, and whether you own one or two cars, etc)
Medical--5% (If you have very good health insurance, you may not need even 5% of your income for medical. Some variables to consider include medication co-pays, how many times you visit the doctor, and how much you put in a health savings account.)
Clothing--5-8% (To me, even that is generous. We wear a lot of yard sale/second-hand clothing in our household. But if you like to buy new clothing, you may need to budget more than I have recommended.)
Utilities--10% (Our heating bill is high where we live, so you may not need to budget 10% for utilities. Utilities would include heating, electric, water, sewer, and trash.)
Payments on Debt--10% (If you owe credit card or other debt, you need to work to pay off the debt. Obviously, this will not be the right amount for every family, but you can tailor it to your individual needs.)
Charity--2-10% (This is entirely up to you!)
Entertainment--5% (This would include movies, going out for ice cream, golf, etc. Anything you do to have fun. You could also include a vacation fund with this category.)
Savings--5-10% (Save whatever money you are able to. This may be more or less, depending on your family's financial condition.)
These budget percentages do not equal exactly 100%, because they are merely guidelines to help you on your journey to debt free living.
What did I base these guidelines on? Mostly common sense and recommendations
from financial institutions. For example, when you go to apply for a mortgage,
lending companies prefer you to keep your monthly payment at 25% maximum.
Two last thoughts: First, work with your entire family to establish what percentage you want to budget for each expense. Secondly, resist urges to spend more than you have budgeted in any category.
Do you have a budgeting tip? How do you plan your monthly budget? Share any helpful ideas or questions here.
Click below to see tips and ideas from other visitors to this page...maybe you'll get ideas for your own spending plan--or the motivation to begin budgeting!
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