Household Budget Percentages
Many people just starting out with budgeting want to know what percentage of their household budget should go towards different categories. There is no cut and paste answer to this. Every family is different and so is their lifestyle and living situation.
My Household Budget Percentages App
I have an app for my iPhone that I use to track our household budget percentages. It is a free app called Budget Tool and created by Consolidated Credit Counseling Service. The reason I love it is that it has more reasonable percentages built-in. It will also alert you when one of the categories is over their recommendation.
I also use it to keep track of bills and my bank account balance. It has a spot to put your net income. When I pay a bill, I deleted it and change my “net income”. Then, I start over every month.
Household Budget Percentages CategoriesHome – 30% Debt – 10% Utilities – 10% Necessities – 20% Auto – 15% Personal – 15%
*These percentages work great for those with a median annual income and typical circumstances. But, not for someone who has an extremely high income of extremely low-income.
What is Included in Each Category?
Home: Rent/mortgage, house and lawn upkeep, Homeowners Association fees, property tax, home/renters insurance, and anything else directly related to your home.
Debt: Collection accounts, credit card payments, department store cards, student loans, etc.
Utilities: Cable, cell phone, electricity, heating, internet, trash, water, sewer, home phone, etc.
Necessities: Groceries, doctor visits, education costs, eye care, health insurance, life insurance, prescriptions any other cost you absolutely need.
Auto: Gas, insurance, car payments, vehicle maintenance, bus fare, etc.
Personal: Clothes, entertainment, gym memberships, laundry, movies, recreation, snacks, shopping and any personal vices.
How I Use Household Budget Percentages
I suggest you don’t freak out if your budget percentages do not perfectly align with what is recommended. The best use for household budget percentages is as a comparison. Fill out your budget worksheet with the categories listed above. Divide each category by your net income to determine what percentage it takes up. Use those percentages to see if any specific spending category is excessively large.
For example, if you do your budget and calculate your percentages to find that your Auto category is 25%, there may be a problem. You can use these percentages to decide where in your budget you can afford to cut back.
My Personal Household Budget PercentagesHome: 19.7% Debt: 7% Utilities: 10% Necessities: 15.3% Auto: 23.2% Personal: 11.5% Unspent/Savings: 13.3%
*We barely have any debt because it gives me anxiety and I have to pay it off as fast as possible. ; ) However, I couldn’t convince my husband to not buy a brand new expensive truck. (Hence our auto category being 23.2%)
What does your budget percentage breakdown look like?