Budgeting for Seniors

General Overview

  • Budgets allow you to live within your means.
  • Everyone's lifestyle and needs are different.
This guideline is a starting place for you to consider your budgeting needs.

Budget Outline

Type of Expense
Percentage to Budget
Housing Rent, mortgage payments, condo fees, lot rent, insurance, taxes, utilities, maintenance, and repairs
Transportation Car payments, gas, insurance, maintenance and repairs, taxi/bus fare 15%
Food Groceries 15%
Medical Supplemental insurance premiums, medication, deductibles, and co-pays 20%
Miscellaneous Clothing, toiletries, other necessary items 5%
Debt Credit card payments, personal loan payments 10%

Balancing the Budget

Every individual is different. Use this as a starting point for your budget. Costs will vary from household to household and from budget category to budget category.
  • Senior households usually spend very little on child care, educational expenses and saving for the future.
  • Medical expenses are generally a significant part of a senior household budget.
  • If the combination of your housing, transportation, and food expenses are more than 70% of your budget then you are unlikely to have enough income for the rest of life's necessities. Therefore it is important to cut those costs.
  • If more than 20% of your household budget goes to debt payments then you are likely to be in trouble financially. You should reduce your use of credit cards and other loan instruments.
Source: Consumer Law Project for Elders