Though no hard-and-fast rules apply in establishing a budget, you may want to follow some general guidelines for how much of your income to spend on certain expenses. Because financial needs vary, adapt the percentage guidelines to fit your finances.
According to MSN's Liz Pulliam Weston, mortgage lenders tend to limit housing expenses to 28 per cent of a person's gross income. If you have other debts, such as student loans or credit cards that you want to pay off, you may want to limit housing expenses to 25 per cent of income.
60 Percent Budget
Another guideline to follow is the 60 per cent budget, developed by Richard Jenkins at MSN. In this plan, you allocate 60 per cent of your gross income for all your monthly expenses, including taxes, food, housing and utilities. You can put the remaining 40 per cent into savings, stash some of it for a vacation or a night at the movies, or use it to pay off debt.
How Much to Save
You should save part of your income to meet long- and short-term goals and unexpected expenses. The amount you can save depends on your situation. If you have a lot of debt, aim to save about 10 per cent of your income each month, then add to that amount as you pay down your debt.