What percent of my income should I spend on housing, clothing, food, and so on?

There is no “right” or “wrong” amount to spend on a given expense area, just as there is no “average” family to compare with your family. Average living expenditures are a composite from many individual families. Your own family’s goals, values, and stage in the family life cycle greatly affect the way resources are allocated. American spending patterns have also changed a lot over the last few decades with a lot more money being spent today on telecommunications services.

Food …