Recommended Spending Percentages

Chrysty asked this great question (and one that I am asked often):

Do you have a breakdown that shows what percentage of our monthly income should go towards the different categories? For example, what percentage of our money should we be spending on housing, transportation, etc.

Here is a general guideline for major spending categories.

Typical Spending Percentages
Giving 10 – 15%
Saving 10 – 15%
Housing 15 – 35% (including utilities)
House Payment < 25% (including escrowed taxes, insurance, PMI)
Transportation 10 – 20% (including gasoline, taxes, insurance, & repairs)
Food  10 – 20%
Clothing 5 – 10%
Other Debt < 10% (not including house and car payment)
Entertainment 5 – 10%
All other 5 – 10% 

Hope this helps!  If you have a question, you can ask it HERE

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  1. Moneymonk on March 23, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Nice breakdown Joe. Too bad most people don’t follow this and you wonder why most Americans are struggling

  2. Rebekah on November 15, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    What about Childcare? We have two small children and understand that babysitters for nights out falls under entertainment, but what about their daycare expenses?

  3. Sandie on November 16, 2009 at 4:23 am

    i hear you on the daycare expense. It’s almost as much as my mortgage having 2 in daycare. Can’t wait for kindergarten in 2 years with the youngest – BUT just think – those day care payments become automatic savings, we’ve been living without that cash for the past 4 years, no need to start spending it can go right to savings!

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