Your Questions About Family Budget Example

Mary asks…

Building a family budget?

when building a family budget (2 adults, 2 children), what percentage of our income should each expense? For example, how much should we allow for a home, cars, utilities, childcare, groceries, savings, etc?

richmama answers:

There are several websites that give you percentage recommendations. (CNN-Money,, etc.) But you need to find what works best for your family.

I use the following for my budget. (All net %)

Home – 20%
Car/Gas – 5% (Cars are paid off)
Utilites – 5%
Chidlcare – 11%
Food – 7%
Savings – 5%
Donations – 7%
Medical – 4%
Personal – 9%
Debt Reduction – The rest (I want to be debt free)

I track all income and spending with an Excel spreadsheet.

Hope this helps.

Helen asks…

Gift for a family during Christmas, any ideas, $15-20 budget for 10-12 people?

Every year I need to give gifts for Xmas for a family of 10-12 teenage/college girls and 2 boys (in high-school). But my budget 15-20 bucks/person and hopefully should be kinda the same for everyone..

For example last year, I got personalized towels with their names, then I got movie tickets for everyone. I want to stay away from the GiftCards aspect and focus on a particular thing. Thank you for your time and ideas!

richmama answers:

You could do a theme gift for something they can all do together like giving each person something different out of the categories:
– popcorn & bags to put the popcorn in, movie candy, movie tickets/gift card, DVD(s), soda
– group tickets to the zoo and then animal themed things such as stuffed animals, key chains, other little stuff
– scrapbooks, scrapbooking supplies such as paper and stuff, different decorations for the book, Polaroids or film, or pictures you have of them all together, photo albums
– beach towels, beach bags/buckets, toys for the sand, “summer read” books, magazines or magazine subscriptions, sunglasses, sun hats, sunscreen, gift certificate for something you can get on the beach such as ice cream
– cooking supplies, recipe books, ingredients for some sort of dessert, certificate for cooking lessons, aprons, chef hats

Thomas asks…

Living Expenses/Budget…. Help me understand!?


Can we make a list of what the average living expense categories are and how much you pay per month… please add whatever necessary… I am trying to design a family budget. Thanks!


Food – $xxx per person per month
Clothing – $xxx per person per month
Car insurance

richmama answers:

You can learn about household budgets from the following sites, some with illustrations or spreadsheets.

John asks…

Why do people say that money cant buy happiness,also family is more important than money and when they see a?

Rich single man that lives alone and has barley family and his budget for christmas is $100,000 and your then asking how can you raise money for christmas to help out your family also the guy drives a 1 million dollar car and he has A TON of expensive stuff in this bad economy,the person that said that money doesn’t buy happiness and that family is more important than money Gets SOOO jealous and mad at the rich single guy with no family?This is just a example

richmama answers:

I have no idea what you’re even talking about.

But it’s always better to be happy. Rich or poor shouldn’t be what determines your happiness.

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