How much should I be saving? What can I afford?
The Monster.com budget calculator can help you figure out where your spending pain points are so that you can make the most of the money you earn.
If you have a set expense for one of the categories or a specific amount you would like to put in the bank, use the sliders to adjust the numbers and your expenses will be automatically adjusted.
*Note: All monetary values are monthly approximations based on your yearly salary.
There’s an interesting book written by a Harvard bankruptcy professor, Elizabeth Warren, called All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan. In it, she discusses something called the “50/30/20” budget. Starting with your after-tax pay (the money you make after accounting for taxes), you then move forward into the “must-haves, wants, and savings and debt repayment.”
Using this concept, 50 percent of one’s budget should be allocated toward must-have spending (payments for utilities, loan payment, food, health care costs, transportation, etc.)
The wants (things like new clothes, eating out, vacations, purchases for products you don’t absolutely need, etc.) should make up 30 percent of one’s budget.
The final 20 percent should consist of savings and debt repayment.
Click each square for more useful tips/facts for each category.
The standard industry recommendation for mortgage payments is that no more than 28 percent of your gross income should go to your monthly payments.
You should plan to spend 15 percent of net income on transportation and car insurance expenses.
According to several of the largest charitable foundations, the average percentage a person donates of his or her adjusted gross income is 3 to 5%.
At least 20 percent of your income should go towards savings.
Every time money crosses your palm – paychecks and gifts – put 20 percent on your debts.
4% Entertainment ($200/month): Who says financial planners aren't fun? Hopefully, there's a financial date night in your mix that includes stuff like movies, dancing and whatever makes you smile.
2 to 10 percent can be expected for personal expenses.
In a November 2011 press release, eHealth Insurance says that families in the U.S. paid an average of $414 per month for their own health insurance policies in 2011. In that same year, families paid an average deductible of $3,879 for their own health plans. Based on that monthly average, the percentage that would come out of your paycheck depends on your earnings. For instance, if you make $2,400 monthly and pay $414 for your own family plan, your premium would be 17.25 percent of your monthly income. eHealth Insurance also notes that between February 2010 and February 2011, family plan premiums grew by an average of 5.6 percent and individual plans increased by 9.6 percent. Family plan deductibles increased by 9.9 percent, and individual deductibles grew by 11.5 percent.
The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) issues a monthly report on Cost of Food at Home at Four Levels.
The U.S. Department of Education recommends that you budget from 2 to 10 percent of your monthly net income to pay for utilities.
Pete the Planner’s Ideal Household Budget” allocates 5% of your household income to clothing.