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Recommended Budget Guidelines

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A pie chart broken down into budgeted sections.

When it comes to money, there’s certainly no shortage of ways for us to spend it, but where should our money really be going? Here are some suggested benchmarks, compliments of BALANCE to consider.

Housing

Spend no more than 35% of net income on housing. Depending on whether you rent or own, that can include: mortgage/rent, utilities, insurance, taxes, and home maintenance.

Savings

Save at least 10% of income throughout your working life. Make sure you have 3-6 months income in an emergency fund before you start saving for other goals.

Transportation

Spend no more than 15% of net income on transportation. That includes: car payment, auto insurance, tag or license, maintenance, gasoline, and parking.

Debt

Spend no more than 15% of net income on all other consumer debt: student loans, retail installment contracts, credit cards, personal loans, tax debts, and medical debts.

Other

Spend no more than 25% of net income on all other expenses: food, clothing, entertainment, childcare, medical expenses, tithing/charity, and vacations.

Do remember that these are simply guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules. Every financial situation is unique, but assessing your budget on a regular basis to make sure it fits the suggested guidelines is a good way to stay on track and avoid future problems.

If you have any questions about building a budget or if we can help you in any way, please contact Member Services at 804-323-6800 or 800-285-6609.