Dave recommends 10-15% of your income go toward giving. This includes places such as your church, non-profit organizations and education foundations. It does not include gifts for birthdays, Christmas, or other similar occasions.
Dave recommends 10-15% of your income go toward savings. This includes items like your retirement, mutual funds, college savings and even your emergency fund.
Dave recommends 25-35% of your income go toward housing. Depending on whether you rent or own your home, this category consists of items such as rent/mortgage, repairs, property taxes, homeowner's insurance and even furniture.
Dave recommends 5-10% of your income go toward utilities. You'll want to keep services like your phone, electricity, water, Internet, gas, and trash pick-up running smoothly each month.
Dave recommends 5-15% of your income go toward food. Whether it's just you or a house full of teenage boys, everybody has to eat. Make sure you include grocery stores, restaurants, and even that cup of coffee you bought this morning.
Dave recommends 10-15% of your income go toward transportation. If you have good public transportation, or you walk or ride a bike to work, then you're in good shape. Otherwise, you need to account for auto insurance, repairs, license, registration, taxes, gas and oil. If you are making car payments, include that in the DEBTS category.
Dave recommends 2-7% of your income go toward clothing. Even though you might think this is more of a personal item, it really is a necessity; especially if you have small kids. Make sure they don't wake up one morning with clothes that no longer fit!
Dave recommends 5-10% of your income go toward medical and health expenses. This is a tough and frustrating category for most people, but it includes things like health insurance, disability insurance, doctor bills and medicines.
Dave recommends 5-10% of your income go toward personal expenses. This category contains a lot of variety. Examples include hair care, school supplies, life insurance, alimony, child care, subscriptions, pet supplies, toiletries, gifts and other miscellaneous items.
Dave recommends 5-10% of your income go toward recreation. Don't let life go by without having some fun. Live a little, but make a plan first. Set aside some money for entertainment and vacation. Doing your budget shouldn't count as entertainment!
Dave wants you to be debt free more than anybody, but while you work on that he recommends that 5-10% of your income go toward consumer debt. Most Americans don't like to look at this category, so get it paid off quickly. Add up things like car payments, credit cards and student loans. Include everything you owe money on EXCEPT the house you live in.