January 16, 2009

How do you Compare to the National Average?

Average Family Budget National Average
Total Food at home 7.7%
Food away from home 5.6%
Alcoholic beverages 1.1%
Housing 32.1%
Apparel and services 4.2%
Transportation 18.0%
Healthcare 5.9%
Entertainment 5.1%
Personal care products and services 1.3%
Reading 0.3%
Education 2.1%
Tobacco products and smoking supplies 0.7%
Miscellaneous 1.6%
Cash contributions 3.2%
Personal insurance and pensions 11.1%

Total Monthly Expenses 100.0%


According to CNN Money, your ideal budget (based on gross income) should be:

Housing & Debt 30%
Taxes 25%
Insurance 4%
Saving & Investments 15%
Living Expenses 26%


*Stares at the housing in disbelief* 30% - 32% is the national average for housing? Mine is more like 50%! With rent/mortgage, utilities, repairs, etc., I can’t believe that’s the average! How much % is your housing? If I am well beyond the boundaries, I definitely see where I need to cut expenses. *Shakes head*

My transportation costs aren’t that high. All the other categories seem reasonable to me.

How do you add up to the national average?


  1. Alcoholic beverages?!?! Tobacco?!?!

    Let me work up my figures and come back. I assume that utilities connected to the house fall under housing.

  2. I was surprised that we are not as far off the national average as I thought. Unless I miscalculated, our outrageous rent, utilities, cable, phone, etc. add up to $1,994 per month out of an income of $5,124 gross per month. Gross is the key word. We live in a very high-tax state and do not see a huge percent of that.

    So, we came out at:
    Housing: 38%
    Transportation: 15%
    Food: 13%

    I did not compute the rest. All I know is that with all our debt, we don't really have enough to cover our expenses so we'll see how things turn out for us (I try not to see the forest because the trees are painful enough to look at.)

  3. my housing is 26%. i posted my percentages here: http://mymoneychat.blogspot.com/2008/11/who-moved-my-cheese.html

  4. 444: Wow, I should really look into my housing figure!