Sample Budget Percentages for Family of 5

When you apply for some type of financing, the lender typically compares your expenses to a percentage of your income. For instance, a car loan or mortgage note should not go over a certain percentage of the monthly household income. For that reason, it makes sense that your family budget should follow the same logic.

While different percentages can be attributed to the various budgeting categories for a family of five, the tally will not likely add up to an even 100%. Typically the percentages should be used solely as a guideline for how to divvy up your money on a monthly basis. It gives you a better visual of how much money you should be allocated for different priorities.

Here are some sample percentage amounts a family of five can incorporate into their monthly budget to keep spending under control:

Mortgage Payment 30%

Ideally, like a lender’s preference, your monthly mortgage payment should be around 30% of your income each month. If your home loan note is more than that, you may have a lot of difficulty making other ends meet. If your family lives in a rental, the percentage should be slightly lower at 20% of your income since you are not gaining equity in your rental payments.

Groceries 20%

For a family of five, it may take some getting used to living on a tighter budget. Aim for spending about 20% maximum for monthly groceries. As time goes on, try to lower that percentage by using coupons and other creative food shopping techniques.

Utility Bills 10%

These totals will vary based on family needs and location. Aim for paying no more than 10% of your monthly income. You may need to cut out the extras including extended cable packages and other services as you work to pay off other monthly obligations to keep your percentage allocations in the right place.

Other Debts 10%

Credit card balances and other debts should have reasonable monthly payments totaling in the range of 10% of you income. This is an important part of the budgeting system your family should strive to maintain. Spending too much on credit you can not afford to pay off can have a negative impact on your whole budget. Use a 10% rule for all of your other monthly debt payments.

Savings 10%

A family of five can rack up some large expenses unexpected outside the normal realm. It is important for families to pay themselves each month by making deposits into an emergency fund that should be used to cover emergency expenses, household repairs, medical bills, and other situational needs.

Clothing 5%

Allocating about 5% of your monthly budget for clothes will help you keep track of your excessive spending. Depending on the ages and needs of your family, you may have to spend a little more as kids typically need to keep updating sizes in their wardrobe. Trying shopping second hand stores for growing kids or swap with friends and family to save more on clothing.


Going out for a family of five can be expensive. It is important for larger families to consider a 5% -10% limit on this type of expenses especially when working to pay off other debts. Dining out, movie trips, and other amusements can easily cause a family to overspend. Find new ways to entertain for much less at home or with family and friends.


  1. What about cars, insurance, medical, prescription??

    • Missy – these percentages are generally for take-home pay, so your health insurance should have been taken out already.

      For the rest: your car payment should be 7-10% of you monthly income. car insurance should only be 2-5% and medical copays and prescriptions (depending on your health condition) should be up to 5%. A Flexible spending account will help you save some money on these types of expenses.

  2. What about Gas, Car Maintenance, Home Repairs, Tithe, & Life Insurance?

    • Also, health and hygiene is another one that needs to be covered. We like to do things as naturally as possible in our family and often, unless you have the time to make these things from scratch, it can be expensive.

  3. What about childcare? I have found several family budgets online that do not take into consideration increasing student loan debts as a percentage of income or childcare costs.

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