Obviously, anyone would most likely want a higher income

Obviously, anyone would most likely want a higher income

Most budgeteers’ main source of income will come from their full-time or part-time job in the form of salaries or wages. The second largest source of income tends to come from investments and their capital gains, and there are various other methods of receiving additional income.

Smaller ways to save on housing costs include transitioning to new, smart technologies that generally tend to be more energy-efficient, such as programmable thermostats, energy-efficient lightbulbs, and the installation of solar panels

Aside from more consumption, conspicuous or otherwise, a higher income allows for more flexibility when it comes to expenses; a month of extreme spending can be quickly rectified by a high enough income. While achieving a higher income is easier said than done, it is generally accomplished through several main avenues: looking for a new job, attaining higher education such as additional degrees or certifications, the development of new skills, or networking with the right people. For some budgeteers, a higher income can come through investment income, though this method only tends to work in the long term. In some situations, a second job may be necessary to make ends meet.

A main source of income for most Americans in retirement is Social Security. It is important to remember that Social Security payments can only be received as early as age 62. Please visit any of the calculators below for more specific information or calculations.


Most budgeteers will normally have rent or mortgage costs as the bulk of their monthly housing expenses. A general rule of thumb says housing costs should be no more than 30% of monthly gross income, give or take. Any budgeteer who finds that their housing costs are significantly more may find it worthwhile to consider more cost-effective approaches to housing. This may include refinancing to a lower rate, relocating to a more budget-friendly location, or downsizing to a smaller home if possible. They may also consider renting out an extra room if they have one for rental income. Please visit any of the calculators below for more specific information or calculations.

For most budgeteers, the bulk of transportation expenses will probably be their car payment, or auto loan. There is generally much leeway to reduce this expense, as retail prices of different cars vary greatly. Choosing to purchase a car within a specific price range will go a long way towards meeting the financial goals of a budget. As a general rule of thumb, monthly car payments should amount to less than 10% of gross income. Other transportation expenses generally include fuel, maintenance, and insurance. There are a number of different ways to try and cut down on transportation expenses. For one, depending on the region, car ownership is not an absolute necessity, and there are alternative transportation options. If possible, use public transport, carpool, bike, or walk instead. Not only can these help a person meet their budget, but they are also eco-friendly, and some can provide exercise. Maybe consider owning a more fuel-efficient vehicle. If car ownership is a must, routine upkeep can help maintain the car in optimum condition. This may include properly inflating tires, performing oil changes, tuning the engine. Also, try to stay educated on traffic laws and operate motor vehicles in a legal manner; not only will traffic violations result in fines, but they can also cause a hike in auto insurance premiums. Car owners who find that they are paying excessively for fuel may want to change driving habits such as aggressive acceleration. As a rule of thumb, try to keep total transportation costs below 15% of income. Please visit any of the calculators below for more specific information or calculations.