Blueprint for Spending Habits
How do you compare on your spending habits? Write down everything you spend in a month and then compare those numbers to a typical spending blueprint. A flexible blueprint for spending is about 30 percent of your take-home pay on housing, 10 percent for utilities, 15 percent for food, 10 percent for transportation, 5 percent for clothing, 10 percent for debt repayment, 5 percent for entertainment and 5 percent for insurance and miscellaneous expenses. The other 10 percent should be for savings and special purchases. If you evaluate your monthly expenses and they don’t line up to these, adjust the percentages given your circumstances and if you are way off track, try setting some goals to get in line with a blueprint you set for yourself.
— Kiplinger’s Dec. 2006