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Can we talk BUDGETS?


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Obviously salaries and cost of living are different everywhere so let's talk percentages instead so we can have a better comparison.

 

Out of our monthly income, our money is distributed accordingly:

 

Housing 24%

Groceries 16%

Utilities 7%

Student loans 9%

Childcare/house help 13%

Piano lessons 1%

Gasoline 1%

 

TOTAL is 71% of income

 

The rest goes to savings/entertainment/misc. which varies by month. The prices of many things have risen considerably around here lately, too. :glare:

 

How do these percentages compare with your budget in the area in which you live? Are there any percentages for you that are significantly higher or lower? I am trying to get a bead on what the average household budget percentages are and how that compares with the cost of living here.

 

 

 

.

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Mortgage 11%

Groceries 10%

Utilities (including satellite and phone)16%

Car Care & Fuel 10%

Piano 2%

Property Taxes 2%

Car & Home Insurance 5%

Pet Care 5%

Personal Loan 10%

Renovations 4%

Tithe 10%

 

The rest goes into savings, for entertainment, and towards the kids schooling.

 

I forgot to add the kids activities. They would average out to 1.5% a month, but they all get paid in September or April.

Edited by Dory
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Even percentages are going to vary widely. A family of 7 needs more groceries than a family of 4 that expenses doesn't grow with income. Well, ours doesn't. We eat frugally whether on lower or higher income.

 

You also need to think pre/post tax, retirement and medical insurance. Those vary widely as well.

 

 

Retirement = 15% of gross income

Medical Insurance & Medical/Dental Expense = $200/month

Housing = 20% - 25%

Groceries = $110-$115/person (food, toiletries, cleaners, paper products)

Heat & Electric = $325/month

Non mortgage debt = $0

Childcare/house help = $0

Cable/Internet/Phone = $100/month (internet, home line, 1 cell but no cable)

Child Activities = $150+/month (fees & supplies for sports & music)

Fuel = $250/month

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Rent 33%

Daycare 18%

Groceries 15%

Gas and insurance 16%

Utilities 12%

 

Total 94%

 

ETA the first list didn't seem right. I had multiplied my weekly budget by four, and forgot the 'extra' bit of a week that sneaks onto the end of most months.

Edited by renmew
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After tax- rough figures based on regular pay w/ no OT- Based on 4 wk months, dh gets paid weekly so gets 4 extra checks a year which go straight to savings, and 2 small bonuses which this year are going to savings as well. OT right now is going mostly to savings right now, a bit extra in luxuries and various other things. Next year when the house is done, we'll be switching things up.+

 

 

Mortgage, tax and insurance- 25%

Electric- 4%

Phone-2%

Auto Gas(we live rurally)-8%

Auto Insurance-2%

Groceries-20% (I had this less but recently upped it)

 

Rest- savings, givings and a small amount to misc.

Edited by soror
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After tax- rough figures based on regular pay w/ no OT- Based on 4 wk months, dh gets paid weekly so gets 4 extra checks a year which go straight to savings, and 2 small bonuses which this year are going to savings as well. OT right now is going mostly to savings right now, a bit extra in luxuries and various other things. Next year when the house is done, we'll be switching things up.+

 

 

 

 

THis is how I figured it too. :) Same pay scenario, building a house. No bonuses here though.

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Out of our monthly income, our money is distributed accordingly:

 

Housing 24% 41%

Groceries 16% 22%

Utilities 7% 10%

Student loans 9%

Childcare/house help 13%

Piano lessons 1%

Gasoline 1% 22%

Insurance 6%

 

TOTAL is 71% of income

TOTAL is 101% of income

 

We don't carry credit card debt, so this requires a stressful juggling act most months.

 

The rest goes to savings/entertainment/misc. which varies by month. The prices of many things have risen considerably around here lately, too. :glare:

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Out of our monthly income, our money is distributed accordingly:

 

Housing 34%

Groceries 20%

Utilities (electric, gas, water/trash, net, cell phones) 20%

loans (after 18 years debt free this kills me this year) 12%

Gasoline 14%

 

TOTAL is 100% of income. Somehow it is often over 100%.:001_huh::glare: :(

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Based on after taxes, medical & retirement deductions (we do 15% into dh's TSP)

 

Mortgage: 25%

Savings: 20% + 8% to a roth IRA

Groceries: 14% (all GF, made from scratch meals, no eating out)

Utilities: 4-6% depending on the season (water bill in the winter is $30 but in the summer it's close to $200).

"Wants" like cable, cell phones, etc: 6%

Gas & Insurance: 4%

"Sinking Funds" for things that come up annually/or we're saving up for: 6%

 

The remaining 10% typically gets used on activities, clothes, day trips to the city or long weekend trips.

 

I'm surprised to see many people do not list savings as part of their bills/budget but instead it's just whatever is left over?

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I'm surprised to see many people do not list savings as part of their bills/budget but instead it's just whatever is left over?

edited as I don't want to have as many details. I just listed fixed bills we have some savings pre-tax and we have a set amount after taxes as a minimum which goes up or down depending on various things. July-Oct we are paying off our homebirth which is taking lot of extra money. Income ranges as well with months of extra check, bonuses, etc. We range between 20-50% savings depending on the month.

Edited by soror
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These percentages are after taxes and medical insurance are deducted

 

Housing (includes utilities) 21.5%

Tithing & Charitable donation 13%

Car & Renters Insurance 3%

Phone & Internet 3.5%

Medical Expenses 2.5%

Loan Payments (mostly student loans) 25%

Food & Home Goods 19.5%

Gasoline 5%

Savings 1%

Everything Else 6%

(includes Clothing, Auto Expenses, Garden, Preschool materials, Gifts, Gymnastics, Spending money, & Other)

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I'm surprised to see many people don't comprehend that savings is luxury many people cannot afford?

 

:iagree:

 

We are just getting to the point where we can set up "sinking funds" to cover things like taxes/tags for vehicles, auto repairs, clothes, Christmas, etc. In addition, dh is required to pay 8% into the state retirement fund, and I have money going to my HSA (with the goal of having that max out-of-pocket amount in there at all times.)

 

I guess you can call that "savings."

 

We could probably cut about $300 a month out of our budget for non-necessities, but I am TIRED of living that way. We've done without for so long. I think it will all balance out in the next year or two.

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I'm surprised to see many people do not list savings as part of their bills/budget but instead it's just whatever is left over?

 

I just listed the 'bills'. Savings comes off just after tithe does. It's an automatic withdrawal and I never even look at it. I tend to forget it's happening until I get the paperwork quarterly.

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Dh lost his job15 months ago and started a new business. These numbers are only for this past year.

 

40% mort util insurance cable car prop taxes (dh pays these, I don't know how each item breaks down, just the final number)

1% childcare

10% tuition--private school for dd13/small contribution to ds17s college

10% medical--my insurance through work is not very good.

5% loan (has a 1.9% interest rate so it would be silly to pay off)

10% food

6% retirement (still contrib due to employeer match)

10% car maintence that had to be done (engine work, breaks etc)

6% variables (gifts etc)

?% what ever is left pays home maintenence, car maintenence etc. Things that you spend money on to prevent future problems, but you can put off for a while (exterior paint ect)

 

We are using part of our savings to live off of each month right now, so there is no money going into savings.....only money coming out.

 

 

 

 

Just for contrast.... before job loss, the numbers were about the same (tuition/car maintence was the only thing lower) we put over 20% into retirement and 10% into saving every month. Ohhhh what a difference a paycheck makes LOL!

Edited by Tap, tap, tap
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I'm surprised to see many people do not list savings as part of their bills/budget but instead it's just whatever is left over?

 

I'm guessing that people who can save budget for it first, but when listing expenses like requested, it may fall into the "everything else" bucket. We average 15% savings for retirement + 12% general savings. The general savings come from monthly cash flow, bonuses, and extra air force reserve pay. However, the general savings get used for bigger purchases like furniture, home improvements, mortgage prepayments, etc so I'm not sure that it is savings as much as delayed purchases.

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We're in transition right now. Dh just gave his 2wk notice.

Most recently, it's been

 

Mtg, tx, ins -28.5%

Grocery-15%

Car pmt-11.5% (but covered by car allowance)

Electric-5%

Phones-4%

Student loan-3.5%

Other debt-12%

Local Tax-1%

 

About 80.5% total take home, including car allowance.

 

We'll have the car paid off in the beginning of next year and are in position to be debt free (minus the house, which is being refinanced at a lower rate) by the end of 2013. 2014 is our year!!!

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We are in transition right now too. Just this month we will be back to one house after almost a year of house plus apartment and then at one point 2 houses (while selling/buying).

 

When I saw this thread I was prompted to look at our percentages---something dh and I need to sit down and do together.

 

Shocked to see that our fixed expenses counting gasoline and food is about 59% of our bring home pay. We need to plug some holes and get serious about our money.

 

We recently bought a house for cash. It is a total fixer and we have a lot to do...so we need to figure out how much to budget for fixing each month.

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I'm surprised to see many people don't comprehend that savings is luxury many people cannot afford?

 

I didn't mean to offend. We used to be a family of 4 living on 22k a year so it's not like we've always been where we're at now. And yes, we saved every month during that time (a span of approx 4 yrs although by the 4th year we were up to 26k/year). We also had only one car, no cell phones, no cable, no internet, didn't go out to eat, etc.

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We are in South Florida, a "nicer" section but still, much cheaper than living in Manhattan (we moved 3 years ago).

 

DH's income varies, so I will go by the lower end of his income for the percentages below:

 

  • Mortgage, tax and insurance: 22%
  • Groceries: 8%
  • Gas & Car Insurance: 4%
  • Electric: 3%
  • Home Insurance: 5.5%
  • phones and internet: .5% (that's point 5 percent-we use magic jack)
  • curriculum and other kid expenses: 5%
  • car maintenance: 5%
  • self-paid medical insurance plus OOP costs: 20% this varies depending on medical needs. This year, DH visited ER, and I had colonscopy. Kids' appt have copay of $50. Some insurance. :glare:
  • Random stuff, daily cost of living, entertainment, books, movies etc: the remaining 25% or so. We try to put money away, try to get on a small vacation yearly. We had home expenses of about 9-10% of our income as we just moved; hoping this decreases.

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Well, mine is take home pay, so after taxes, 401-K and IRA deductions, health, life, disability and auto insurance deductions (all taken automatically from our paycheck), here's what we do with what's left (according to Mint for the month of August):

 

19% for mortgage

20% for utilities, bills, etc. (electric bill with air conditioning in the summer is over $300 per month. Grrrr.)

15% for food

12% for tithing and charitable giving

15% for additional savings and vacation fund

6% on medical (doctors, dentists, prescriptions...one sinus infection and three kids had dental check-ups in August)

5% on gas (my car only, my dh has a company car)

5% on homeschool stuff

3% on fun stuff, shopping, entertainment, etc.

 

I imagine the spending varies a bit from category to category each month, but we try to stay consistent.

Edited by DianeW88
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We are in South Florida, a "nicer" section but still, much cheaper than living in Manhattan (we moved 3 years ago).

 

DH's income varies, so I will go by the lower end of his income for the percentages below: This is based on our GROSS not take home. I guess after taxes it explains why we haven't been able to save much. :(

 

  • Mortgage, tax and insurance: 22%
  • Groceries: 8%
  • Gas & Car Insurance: 4%
  • Electric: 3%
  • phones and internet: .5% (that's point 5 percent-we use magic jack)
  • curriculum and other kid expenses: 5%
  • car maintenance: 5%
  • self-paid medical insurance plus OOP costs: 20% this varies depending on medical needs. This year, DH visited ER, and I had colonscopy. Kids' appt have copay of $50. Some insurance. :glare:
  • Random stuff, Pets, daily cost of living, TAXES etc: the remaining 25% or so. We try to put money away, try to get on a small vacation yearly. We had home expenses of about 9-10% of our income as we just moved; hoping this decreases.

Edited by Halcyon
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We live in one of the world's most expensive cities. I'm shocked at some of these percentages. Housing takes up at least 40% of our income. We could probably save a few percentage points if we moved to a undesirable area of the city and live in a high rise apartment.

 

When we lived in NYC, housing was easily 50% of our income.

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I didn't mean to offend. We used to be a family of 4 living on 22k a year so it's not like we've always been where we're at now. And yes, we saved every month during that time (a span of approx 4 yrs although by the 4th year we were up to 26k/year). We also had only one car, no cell phones, no cable, no internet, didn't go out to eat, etc.

 

I wasn't offended. Tho I'm sorta irritated now. You implied a question and I responded with a question. No judgement just an honest, gee i would assume it is bc they cant afford it or have other priority expenses. Should you care to set your assumptions aside...

 

We have never had cable. Tho we have had Netflix for many years now.

My dh would quickly become unemployed and absolutely stay that way if we did not have Internet and a smart phone. People who think you can do without those in the digital age and this very competitive job market are delusional, imnsho. And that's not even factoring the need for educational reasons. The only reason we have other smart phones is bc we bought them reconditioned and have a crazy awesome cell plan. In 20 years of marriage, only the last 6 have we owned a second car, which is tremendously cost saving over using a 12 passenger van for everything. Both vehicles are over 10 years old and paid off. We eat out about twice a month if dh is home that month and I make no apologies for it.

 

I don't have a savings account. And if I did, it would be so short lived as to be pointless. In the last 3 months, the van and the car broke down, the water heater broke, the computer broke, adad who needed help getting skin cancer removed, adding 300 miles a week to gas expenses, one ER visit, and 2 kids are getting braces. The total for all those is more than my dh makes in almost 8 months. It would take us YEARS to save that much.

 

So MY question was not a statement of offense. It was intended as a statement of the obvious. Most people budget their priorities and needs. If savings isnt on the list, it is most likely bc they have other bigger problems or cant afford it.

 

However, I do find it offensive when someone says they can't afford something and another person makes assumptions about ways they are likely mismanaging their funds.

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Bonuses and extra paychecks go into savings.

 

Housing: 26%

Groceries: 14%

Utilities: 6%

Cell Phone: 4%

Car payment and insurance: 12%

Gas: 6%, varies

Student Loan: 3%

Debt: about 8% depending on how much we have to pay toward our mortgage minus our rent check (it varies because our management company pays sporadic HOA fees, repairs, etc)

Edited by natnclay
too much info
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My rough estimates:

 

19% - housing

24% - food

6 % - gas for cars

3% - cell phone

3.5% internet

5% - Electric and water

4% - Car and home insurance

10% - tithe

4% - co-op for the kids

2% - misc. school supplies

1% - pet/animal food

1% - preventative meds for dd

 

That leaves roughly 17% of our income for things like doctor bills, frivolous spending, eating out, saving, etc. Somehow I spend all of that. I'm hoping to change.

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no cell phones, no cable, no internet, didn't go out to eat, etc.

 

:iagree: Ya, we don't do any of that either except a $30/month internet plan on our phone bill. And we don't have any car loans. We buy a car with our tax refund when we absolutely have to. The last car we replaced was 13 years old and had well over 200,000 miles on it.

 

There isn't any money for savings after we pay our most basic expenses.

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Out of our monthly income, our money is distributed accordingly:

 

Housing - 20% (we are underhoused though-4 adult sized and one pint sized person in 1100 sq ft; we need a bigger home but cannot afford a larger mortgage at this time)

Groceries- 20% (this has increased since going GF)

Utilities (water, gas, electric, trash) - 6%

Car payment- 10%

Drum lessons& Scouts- 2.5%

Gasoline -10% (this is low; it's usually higher, everything is about a 45 min drive)

Car insurance -1%

Cable, internet, cell phones - 5% (internet & cell phones are required for DH's work)

Debt - 10-15

Household - 15

Savings & charitible contributions - 1

 

TOTAL is 89-95% of income

The rest goes to miscellany like oil changes, lawyer expenses, vet bills, etc.

 

It makes me sad to look at this because two years ago we were debt free with a larger percentage put into savings.:(

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Let's see, if take home minus tax = 100%

 

This is going to vary, but right now it seems roughly as follows:

 

5% - housing

20% - food

5% - gas for cars

5% - utilities

5% - Car and home insurance

20% - charity

25% - school tuition

10% - kids' extras

5% - uninsured health stuff

 

0% - saving

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10% into retirement

10% tithe

some percentage is taken out for insurance, I’m not sure what the percentage is. I think it’s about 6% of dh’s salary.

 

30% mortgage

5% gas for car

5% utilities (gas, electricity, water, trash)

1% phone/internet

2% other charities (other than tithe)

3% life insurance and long term disability insurance

20% groceries/food (which is all food including eating out and all other non-food groceries)

6% college savings plans

2% car insurance

 

That’s about 74%, the rest is everything else which is clothes, school curriculum, kids’ activities, house repairs, car repairs, etc.

 

Our income varies but our fixed expenses are the same so sometimes it’s more extra, sometimes less.

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I find ours a bit convoluted because taxes, medical insurance, retirement, and SS are all taken out before we even see the check.

 

So, once all of the above is taken out:

 

34% to mortgage, including taxes and insurance for house

14% food (eating out and groceries)

5% utilities (all house utilities plus internet and cell phones)

10% to auto insurance and gas for the cars and train pass for Dh

Edited by DawnM
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We live in one of the world's most expensive cities. I'm shocked at some of these percentages. Housing takes up at least 40% of our income. We could probably save a few percentage points if we moved to a undesirable area of the city and live in a high rise apartment.

 

In the past, we have paid 50% or more of our income in rent. If I did not work, our rent would be 46% of dh's take home pay. As it is, we chose a doublewide in the middle of nowhere in order to get into a decent school district. The whole "worst house in the best school district" idea. Except, we aren't in the best school district, because we couldn't even afford the worst house there!:tongue_smilie:

 

We have lived in less desirable areas because it is what we could afford, but never again.

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Medical insurance, retirement, and an amount to go into our HSA are automatically deducted from dh's paycheck. Here is the rest of the breakdown:

 

Giving: 11%

Clothing: 2%

Debt payments (student loans & one credit card): 9%

Food (groceries and eating out): 14%

Mortgage: 17%

Other housing expenses (furniture, repairs, etc.): 3%

Personal stuff (toiletries, homeschooling, gifts, miscellaneous, etc.): 17%

Recreation: 1%

Transportation (car payments, gasoline, car repairs, registration): 14%

Utilities: 7%

Savings: 5%

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Based on net income:

 

25% housing

15-17% groceries - includes paper products and cleaning supplies

almost 10% tithe at church

almost 2% supporting children through WV & Compassion Intnl.

4% student loan

5-6% pet food & expenses (VERY large dog)

5% telephone, landline and cell

2% utilities (only electricity, no gas) we are on well water

2% Money aside for maintenance issues in and around house

10-11% savings

11% gasoline (all me since dh has company vehicle)

We will add some percentage for 401k soon - not sure how much

ETA: Forgot life insurance and car insurance: about 3-4%

Since I have a long commute to work, my gas percentage fluctuates wildly depending on gasoline prices, also food percentage fluctuates but not quite as wildly as gasoline. :001_smile:

Rest in occasional tuition help for ds, weekend trips and general acquisitions / repairs.

No household help

Not homeschooling any longer

No daycare expenses

Edited by Liz CA
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Not with me. ;) I've never done a "budget" in my entire life, and I've managed bill paying and a perfect credit score for like 35 years. It's in my head. I just "see" it.

 

I just don't buy things unless I have the cash to pay for them, and we have low, low costs we can control. Housing is like under 6%, utilities low for a smallish house, no child care costs (I just stayed home back then).

 

No student loans, no credit card debt.

 

We do have rentals...and they suck up some cash, but hopefully we will start getting that back soon.

 

Food, though...I have teens to feed and they EAT.

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Well - I have a wonky budget because we own rental houses. The income on our rental houses pays the bills for the rental houses and also pays my taxes, home and auto insurance and HOA fees for the house and cars we actually use. We also take a small portion of that income and add it to our budget (about 18% comes of our income comes from that.) That leaves us with no housing costs in our budget because the rentals cover it.

 

Utilities - water/electric 11%

Cable netflix and cell 14%

 

Gas - 20%

Food /household pet - cleaning - 18%

Medical (not insurance) - 6%

 

Total - 69%

 

The rest goes for kids activities, travel, gifts, etc. I don't put any into savings because that is set up with the rental houses. This also covers repairs and supplies that go into rental houses unless it is a large expense - then we have to dip into rental saving for that. If it is a $50 fix - it just comes from our excess. Wow - this is the first time I have figured out percentages! It was interesting. I really hate that I spend more on gas that groceries.

 

ETA - we have a relatively low income compared to some - so it makes our percentages look large on some things. If you make 100k a year, a $200 electric bill is not going to be a huge percentage of your income. On 30k a year though, that is a pretty large chunk of your budget.

Edited by Kari C in SC
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The only reason we have other smart phones is bc we bought them reconditioned and have a crazy awesome cell plan. In 20 years of marriage, only the last 6 have we owned a second car, which is tremendously cost saving over using a 12 passenger van for everything. Both vehicles are over 10 years old and paid off. We eat out about twice a month if dh is home that month and I make no apologies for it.

 

I don't have a savings account. And if I did, it would be so short lived as to be pointless. In the last 3 months, the van and the car broke down, the water heater broke, the computer broke, adad who needed help getting skin cancer removed, adding 300 miles a week to gas expenses, one ER visit, and 2 kids are getting braces. The total for all those is more than my dh makes in almost 8 months. It would take us YEARS to save that much.

 

 

Martha, you've got TEN kids (as if you don't know). Most people here cannot even fathom that, nor wrap their heads around the expenses there. I doubt anyone thinks that YOU are mismanaging funds in any way! :tongue_smilie: Goodness. I'd be doing well to cover what I cover for four people with what you probably (just guessing) might have to cover 12!

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This is based on net income. Health insurance, savings, and retirement are deducted from gross income.

 

Tithe 10%

Mortgage 20%(Property values are excellent in our corner of NC. 4 of us living in about 3000 sq ft)

Groceries 10% (this is after couponing and we rarely eat out)

Utilities 8% (including cell service, trash, electric, water)

Gas 5%

Kids activities 12% (this varies, sometimes it's a lot less but I budget on the high side)

Insurance 5%

 

That's about 70%

 

That leaves the rest for leisure activities, trips, curriculum, clothing, etc etc.

Edited by MiniBlondes
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Martha, you've got TEN kids (as if you don't know). Most people here cannot even fathom that, nor wrap their heads around the expenses there. I doubt anyone thinks that YOU are mismanaging funds in any way! :tongue_smilie: Goodness. I'd be doing well to cover what I cover for four people with what you probably (just guessing) might have to cover 12!

 

Sure. I get that. But neither should one have to give an accounting off someone else's list of priorities to justify why they don't have a savings account. When someone says they can't afford it, then they can't afford it. The end. If they ask how I have managed (or made it through not managing sometimes) then I'm willing to discuss that with far more candor than is PC of socially acceptable via PM.;)

 

I'm willing to bet there are plenty of people with less kids struggling just as much or more.

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Mortgage including taxes and Insurance 20% but part of that is extra payment of balance

utilities (including gas, electric, water, trash, sewage, phone, cell phones, internet and cable) 9%

food 8%

Medical/dental 3%

Car payment 4%

gas 4% (3 cars)

educational 10% (includes some college expenses)

Debt repayment (including college expenses) 11%

Charity 8%

everything else including our savings 23%

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