Questions From Listeners

BOSTON (CBS) – I thought we could spend this week answering questions from listeners. The questions are composites of the many questions we get here at WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

We also hear from listeners that they have missed part of a segment or didn’t have time to write down a website. Well you can find these segments on line here. You can hear the broadcast and you can read a copy of the material posted every afternoon.

Also, every Monday morning you can get all the previous week’s segments sent to you. To sign up for the Money Matters Newsletter, click here.

A question that comes up frequently: What should my budget look like? And, as usual, I answer with a question. What are your responsibilities? How many folks in your household? Babies needing child care? Elderly parents? Animals? Renting? Paying a mortgage?

What works for one family may not work for another. I have some average numbers that I found but they are just that. Average. And for the record, I don’t know any average families.

What I did find with some research was some spending guidelines from Consumer Credit Counseling Service. The expense breakdown is derived from the Department of Labor Consumer Expenditure Survey. Real people, much more fastidious folks than I, keep very good records on how they spend their money. So, these are national averages that you can compare your spending to.

These numbers reflect net household income. Basically, what’s left over after you have paid your taxes.

Expense                Spend up to:

Housing                       32 %
Utilities                        10 %
Food/drink                  11 %
Transportation           15 %
Clothing                         3 %
Health Care                   5 %
Entertainment              5 %
Insurance/pensions    9 %
All other                       10 %

Total:                           100 %

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