What is your expenses to income ratio? (Poll inside!)

posted 2 years ago in Married Life
  • poll: What is your expenses to income ratio?
    0-20% so lucky! : (8 votes)
    8 %
    21-40% Not bad! : (20 votes)
    19 %
    41-60% So so! : (34 votes)
    33 %
    61-80% kind of pushing the limit! : (31 votes)
    30 %
    81-100% Please help, we are drowning in debt lol! : (9 votes)
    9 %
    100% + We could really use more income! : (1 votes)
    1 %
  • Post # 2
    9526 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    What are you counting as “expenses”? Rent/mortgage/utilities? Cell phones? Cable? Groceries? Transportation? Retirement savings? Health savings? Going out? Mischellaneous expenses?

    Post # 3
    5432 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016

    We’re at 78% right now…

    Our combined income is about $2100 a month and our expenses are about $1650 a month (mortgage/utilities/cable/cell phones/insurances/groceries/water). That doesn’t include other spending and random expenses that pop up. We don’t have any debt besides my $14k student loan and we’re about to start paying that back this month which will make things a bit tighter. Right now we’re just contributing to retirement savings through my husband’s employer and they match what he contributes so I took that into account when calculating our monthly income. We’re 23 and my DH works full-time – I’m a student and work part-time.

    Post # 4
    1436 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    Ditto, because I mean all of my income is allocated, but we put money towards savings and emergency fund. 

    Post # 6
    1632 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    We are the type of people who truly like to enjoy life. We are big foodies and We love to cruise and He’s a big sports buff so we go to games a lot. We purchased a home that was like 1/3 what we were approved for with this in mind. Our bills are total less then $2,500 a month, which for us is in the 0-20% category. My fiance is a regional manager for a rapidly growing business and also a project manager for a new construction company owned by a friend, and he plays poker on a professional level. He used to just be a gambler, but other oppourtunities poped up that allowed him to stay home more so now its more of a hobby.  My main income used to be a print on demand work, (Zazzle.com, cafepress.com), but I became a nurse last year so now I juggle both. I design in my free time….mostly for my wedding lately! If I don’t touch it though, I still collect a paycheck every month because the work I’ve done is still in the marketplace for shoppers to purchase. We eat out probably 4-5 nights a week and we go to all the local NBA games we possibly can. We booked 4 cruises this year. I think its all relative to what you want out of life. We also have no children and I coupon for fun. I shop all the sales and we both drive new cars, not top of the line, but safer then average. Neither of us have any debt whatsoever, and We are both in our mid-late twenties. I think I got off topic a bit, but I hope this helps! Cheers! 

    Post # 7
    5160 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I answered this assuming that expenses = every dollar you spend in a month.  Is that what you meant?  I track my spending in detail.

    My total expenses are exactly 50% of my take home income, meaning that I save 50% of my income every month.  Personally, I don’t think thats “so-so”, I think it’s excellent….am I out to lunch?

    Post # 8
    968 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    cbgg:  I agree that’s not “so-so”


    I think these categories a bit out of whack without any kind of explination of what “expenses” are. I allocate everything we earn including into savings, but some of the savings is also an expense because its “planned spending” so… its really hard to see what you mean.


    Our “Fixed” expenses are about 60% of our income, not including my waitressing. And that is of my net income, not gross. Fixed expenses are things like the mortgage, car, water/heat/hydro etc. Things that we can not “really” control on a monthly basis.

    Groceries/Entertainment/Vacation etc are all variable and we could cut back if we wanted.


    Based on your categories and breakdown we would be in the %80-100 since I’m not putting more than 20% into my retierment/emergency savings (any other savings I have is really planned spending… eg. vacation) and your category saying I’m “drowing in debt” is kind of off =/ I have a mortgage…

    Post # 9
    1499 posts
    Bumble bee

    We hit around the 60% mark, but I don’t like how the poll is worded. We are nowhere near “so-so”… we are putting over $1500 into savings each month, that is nothing to look down on!

    Post # 10
    12884 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I think about 25% (pre tax, gross income) for basic living expenses not including non essential purchases.  Add another 5-6% for misc home, clothing, entertainment purchases.

    It’s about 60% though, if we look at net income after taxes and 401k contribution.

    Probably closer to 90% after Roth and allocation to savings & investments.

    We have a small 10% buffer for “fun” money after everything is allocated.

    Post # 11
    5160 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    Elky:  I agree.

    Sorry candy11:, but without further explination I think your categories are pretty wack.  Classifying someone with a 30% savings rate as “kind of pushing the limit” is not in line with typical personal finance advice that recomends you are doing very well if you are putting away 20% of take home pay into long term savings.  A 50% savings rate is considered appropriate for those who are working agressively towards early retiement, it’s not “so so.” 

    Post # 12
    24457 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    I went off net income not gross which made my numbers worse but I was about 55% of our incomes spent.  But we also contribute the max to our work retirement accounts which would show up more in our gross income numbers.

    Post # 13
    1418 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014 - Paradise Gardens

    Ok, so I didn’t include gas and groceries because those things fluctuate in our household depending on quite a few factors. I also went off of net income and based on my calculations we are what you consider the “so so range”.

    Post # 14
    382 posts
    Helper bee

    candy11:  I didn’t do the poll because I think the categories are…. highly subjective to say the least and not at all accurate descriptors of the percentages you listed, at least based on financial advisement standards.

    After taxes and deductions we have about 5,000 monthly. Currently, we live off roughly 65% of our net income. That includes every dollar we spend each month- all bills, expenses and recreational spending. By living off 65% net we save and invest about 20k a year and neither our financial planner or we think that is “kind of pushing it to the limit“. When I graduate we will live as close to entirely off of whomever makes the lowest salary as possible and grow the other salary.

    Post # 15
    4043 posts
    Honey bee

    candy11:  The harder part for me is to calculate income. We have a stable set amount we know to expect, but there are also a lot of bonuses/stipends that are not consistently included. Those could add an extra 10-15% income.

    But if I just stick with our stable income, after taxes, it is 62.3% for obligatory expeneses. That includes retirement savings, medical/dental, insurances, car payment, student loans, mortgage/utilities/property taxes, food, gasoline and other standard monthly expenses. 

    ETA: I agree, the additional description is a little off. Most personal finance advice recommends saving at least 10% and that 20% is doing quite well. 

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