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What should I be spending in budget categories?

Budgets depend upon the person's income, lifestyle, and financial goals. The following ranges of percentages serve as guidelines:

Guidelines for Spending
Budget Category Percentage
Housing 30-33%
Food 18-25%
Transportation 7-9%
Clothing 6-10%
Medical 6-8%
Automobile Insurance 2-3%
Life Insurance 2-5%
Education 1-2%
Credit Obligations 12-15%
Savings 2-10%
Recreation/Entertainment 2-6%
Church/Charities 6-10%

Suggested budget items Housing/Household Operation

  • Rent or mortgage payment
  • Real estate taxes
  • House insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Gas and electricity
  • Telephone
  • Water
  • Services (lawn, garbage)
  • Household supplies (light bulbs, cleaning items)
  • Repairs, maintenance
  • Furnishings
  • Equipment and appliances
  • Heating Fuel

    Transportation

  • Car loan payment
  • Gas, oil
  • Repairs, services
  • Insurance
  • License renewal
  • Public transportation
  • Other (parking, taxis, road or bridge tolls)
    Food
  • Groceries, including non-alcoholic beverages
  • Eating out
  • Snacks, etc.

    Clothing

  • Purchases
  • Dry cleaning
  • Repairs or alterations
    Health Care
  • Physicians
  • Dentists
  • Hospitals
  • Insurance
  • Prescriptions, drug-store items
  • Eyeglasses or contacts
  • Other

    Entertainment and Recreation

  • Movies, rented videos
  • Sporting Events
  • Plays, concerts
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Books, newspapers, magazines
  • Travel/Trip planning
  • Other
  • Miscellaneous
  • Income tax payments (other than deductions)
  • Haircuts, personal services
  • Cosmetics, personal supplies
  • Education (tuition, books)
  • Dues
  • Tithe/contributions to church, temple, synagogue or mosque
  • Tobacco
  • Life insurance
  • Gifts, charitable contributions
  • Occupational tools or other expenses
  • Child care
  • Pets
  • Savings
  • Right At Home Daily: Take It And Run: Financial Mortgage Calculator


    Fill in the amount you want to borrow, the length of the mortgage (e.g. 15 years, 30 years), and the interest rate to calculate what your monthly payments will be.

    Loan Amount:
    Term (in years):
    Interest Rate:
    Monthly Payment:




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