Baby Step 4: Reasonable expectations for your money…

Have you ever been in a place in your life where you just KNEW there was more that you could be experiencing? Yeah…we were living that. We lived it for the first five and a half years of our life together. We were stuck wishing for more. But I’ll tell you something, some words of wisdom that were shared with me that helped wake me up:

If you always do what you’ve always done; you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.

I don’t know who is credited with saying that originally…but God bless them. It’s the truth! I could go on a long, personal development tangent here…but this process is about your money!

What a journey so far! I’m really excited for you because this is just the beginning of your new, healthy, well-balanced life! The best is yet to come, I promise you. If you’re just finding this blog, I’m referring to the journey that my family and I embarked on to turn our lives around. We were desperately in debt, over-weight, out of shape, stressed out and disconnected. We were living from day-to-day. No – we were surviving our day-to-day. I don’t want you to share that fate. I want you to have hope and freedom!

So, let’s continue on this trail and figure out how to get your money to work for you.

What are some reasonable expectations for your money? How much of your income should you be spending on the different areas of your life? That’s a good question.


  • TITHE/CHARITY: 10-15%
  • SAVINGS: 5-10%
  • HOUSING: 25-35%
  • UTILITIES: 5-10%
  • FOOD: 5-15%
  • CLOTHING: 2-7%
  • HEALTH: 5-10%
  • PERSONAL: 5-10%
  • RECREATION: 5-10%
  • DEBTS: 5-10%

I’m going to be upfront with you and tell you that my family and I don’t follow this guideline completely. We spend less than 25% on our housing. We spend over 25% on our food. We spend ZERO percent on our health and at one point were spending over 50% on paying off our debts.

But this is a great guideline to get you started.

Here’s how you can get started putting this plan into action. Here’s a sample income and percentage breakdown:

$45,000 income

  • TITHE/CHARITY: 10% = $4,500
  • SAVINGS: 10% = $4,500
  • HOUSING: 30% = $13,500
  • UTILITIES: 7% = $3,150
  • FOOD: 15% = $6,750
  • TRANSPORTATION: 5% = $2,250
  • CLOTHING: 2% = $900
  • HEALTH: 5% = $2,250
  • PERSONAL: 5% = $2,250
  • RECREATION: 5% = $2,250
  • DEBTS: 6% = $2,700

I can tell that some of you may be wondering what planet I’ve been alienated from when you look at the order I’ve placed these expenditures in. YES! Tithing or giving MUST come first. Google the “Law of Attraction” and you’ll get hundreds of thousands of testimonials supporting the fact that what you put into the universe you receive back…seven-fold!

Now, notice that transportation is only $2,250 PER YEAR. If you do the math…at around $40 per tank of gas with only two fill-ups per month, your car payment should be $187.50 – 80 = $107.50

If you factor in tags and maintenance, your car payment would be much less, like around $30 per month…

How much is your car payment? Sell it! and buy something you can afford. This is my Out of Debt (OOD) car, a 1982 BMW 320i.

I LOVE my ride! 1982 BMW 320i. It's comfortable, stylish, and PAID IN FULL!

It’s comfortable, fuel efficient, and PAID IN FULL!

One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in life is that material wealth rots away, floats away, gets burned in the fire, and causes strife and conflict.

Forget about the “things” you have. Instead – love yourself well. Love your family well. Love your neighbors well. Rather than experiencing momentary happiness, you’ll be filled with unending joyfulness!