Your Questions About How To Budget A Household Percentages

Donna asks…

How do you divide up household expenses?

My fiance and I will be getting married soon and we’re trying to get a good budget going. I read a website that broke things down such as:

Rent/Mortgage = 30% of income
Utilities = 10% of income
Student loans = 8% of income

The thing is, the numbers didn’t add up from the website so what is a good percentage to break up each expense such as rent, utilities, food, etc.? All help is appreciated =]

richmama answers:

I developed our budget by looking at our actual costs, then looking at what I wanted to add to this (retirement, emergency fund, saving for trips) and where I might be able to trim (eating out, groceries). Any general projection is just a guideline – your actual spending is the best hard data to use.

The site below is geared more towards getting out of debt, but step 6 is a decent overview of how to build a budget.

Congratulations, btw!

Sandra asks…

Is this the proper size of Government?

The Proper Size of Government

Allow me to present a maxim you probably already know:

Liberals and conservatives disagree on the proper size of government.

Now, most people are probably inclined to agree with this, but it makes a very dangerous assumption — specifically, that government can ever be big enough for liberals.

When you debate the role of government with a liberal, it can be a lot like ordering lunch with a very hungry friend after you’ve agreed to split the check. He’s going to order a lot more than you, and he’s going to demand that you pay your “fair share.” This is probably an adequate way of rationalizing it if you need to explain why you shouldn’t split checks with friends, or why it’s important to you that your friend order from the lunch menu and skip the Bananas Foster.

But, strategically-speaking, this approach never addresses the real problem: your friend’s eating disorder.

Try this exercise: Set the way-back machine to 1975, and imagine offering the liberals a truce. Tell them you’ll draw the line at $3 Trillion in 2009 dollars if they’ll agree to draw the line there. (And don’t worry, even after adjusting for inflation that’s still bigger than the libs’ wildest dreams.)

My point is that we already have liberals’ dream government. Just a couple of days ago, the President boasted of trying to reduce government by $100,000,000, which turned out to be less than .003% (.0000286) of the budget. I heard someone describe it as equivalent to cutting back a household budget by one cup of coffee per year. It’s not that the cut was so small, but just how large the government is that it can so dwarf a hundred million dollars.

Recessions are all the more noteworthy because they are uncommon. The fact is that, over time, our economy grows consistently. And despite liberal complaints about tax cuts, federal revenue has hovered pretty steadily at around 22-23% of the GDP, IIRC. Since the government can be measured as a fixed percentage of a growing economy, there’s already no limit to how big it will get. And still, this is not enough for the libs.

Naturally, this leads to the next question: Then just how big is a big enough percentage for the libs? What percentage of the economy should the government be to be “correctly” sized?

And if you ask that question, you’re still not getting it: Such common sense does not apply here — we’re talking about a mental disorder. There is no satisfactory percentage for libs. Government does not get any fixed percentage of the economy; it cannot be limited. They want it all.

What the liberals ultimately seek is an economic hierarchy where nobody is poor, where incentives are preserved just enough to make producers want to work harder, and where all growth is funneled into raising an arbitrary poverty line that nobody sinks below. It’s a perpetual motion machine; something of a big, growing snake swallowing itself by the tail just slowly enough that it never digests one of its own vital organs. It’s not a dream — it’s a fantasy.

Fortunately for us, the Constitution is a little more rational than liberals. You can argue about the correct scope of government, but the Constitution is unambiguous about limiting the government to that scope, holding the government to its constitutional boundaries.

We need to step back. I don’t want to just hold off the libs’ expansion of government, and settle for this ever-expanding fixed-percentage Republican expansion of government. That’s based on one of their premises, and we need to reject it instead of hiding behind it. Government’s not just too big as it is, it’s already got too much momentum for our freedom to endure.

I want someone to put a rope around what government should be doing, and get a cost estimate for that. And then I want a budget that pays for that government — whatever it costs, not as some percentage of whatever we make.

And when the libs refuse to even draw that line, I don’t want to hear their excuses, and I sure as hell don’t want to hear any apologies from our side! Liberals’ problem is not that there isn’t enough government, it’s that there’s no such thing as enough government for liberals. That’s a disease, and what I want — what’s needed — is intervention. Somebody’s got to save the damned Golden Goose.

richmama answers:

I’ll go for smaller government,*

Nancy asks…

Excel formulas – 2nd marriage – how do I figure my percentage of expense?

I’m trying to set up an excel spreadsheet with a basic junior high calculations and I’m hitting a duh moment.

Situation: 2nd marriage , setting up household budget
Goal: Weighted contribution to our new fund for household expenses in relation to our salaries. I make x % of his income. I want to set up our spread sheet so that our weighted ratio figures the expense:

Need formula #1 to make the percentage calculation THEN
Need formula #2 to use formula #1 (as Formula #1 will fluctuate in time) to calculate my portion of each individual household expense

To ease with brain burn I will use round numbers.

I make $1000. a month he makes $2000.00 a month. House payment is $1200 and phone bill is 100.00. I need to know my portion of each expense.

richmama answers:

Your total salary is $3000 per month. Your salary is 1/3 the total salary, his is 2/3. Therefore, you amount of any expense would be .33 x expense amount. Or, if mortgage expense is in cell A1 and you want your portion in A2, the formula in A2 would be =A1*.33 His portion in cell A3 would be =A1*.67 (note: his is rounded up to achieve a total of 100% of the expense amount)

Ruth asks…

What is the Average Household size in the Unites States?

What is the Average Household size in the Unites States?
How many households are there in the United States?
What are the current US Government thresholds, by State, for being considered Below Poverty, Very Low Income, Low Income and Moderate Income?
How many US Households fit into each of these lower income categories? By State and by Metropolitan Area?
What portion of the US Budget goes to services and fund transfers restricted to this group of Income eligibilized people? Include administrative costs. Break out by US Budget line item down to the finest line item subcategory. In dollars and in % of total budget for each itemized line item.

How much money remains unallocated from any and every of the special pots of economic recovery funds: by source, including allocations of $1,000,000 or more where the grantee has not yet suballocated funds to a final service deliverer.

What is the smallest average land area needed to treat the average sewage effluent of an average residential household on site?

What percentage of the utilized capacity of our municipal sewage treatment plants is taken by residential use? Commercial use? Industrial use? Other use?

richmama answers:

One at a time or you will never get any answers.*

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