CNN/Money: Money 101 - The Ideal Budget
You'll input your income and current spending in respect to the usual categories (house payment, credit-card payments, auto payments, taxes, etc.). The calculator tells you what percentage of your gross monthly income these things comprise, and shows you what the "recommended allocations" for each category group are.
For the sake of simplicity, here's what the CNN/Money calculator recommends. Percentages are of gross income:
|Housing & Debt:||30%|
|Savings & Investment:||15%|
Here's my take: The value of these particular recommendations is questionable, at best. If you're spending 30 percent of your gross income on debt payments, that's too much — way too much. (I have only a house payment, and since the insurance and property tax part of that gets factored elsewhere, I'm spending less than 10 percent in this category.)
If you're only spending 4 percent of your gross income on insurance, you're in a world by yourself. (I have entries for each of the six categories listed, and I'm spending over 20 percent of my gross monthy income here.)
Again, there are more details and (better, in my opinion) recommendations for this sort of thing on my Balanced Money Formula page.