My answer will provide a general guideline, which is what I believe you are asking for. You must keep in mind, a budget is not a one size fits all type of deal and should be personalized.
With that said; lets begin. All my numbers will be based on your 'take home' cash, meaning the money you get after taxes, 401k contribution, or any other amount withdrawn by your employer. I also assume you have no revolving debt.
- Housing 25%
- Transportation 15%
- Groceries & Restaurants 13%
- Savings 10%
- Utilities + Phone 10%
- Medical + Health 5% (this can may vary drastically see below)
- Entertainment 5%
- Attire 5%
- Clubs, Organizations & Charity 5%
- Gifts/Other 5%
- 2% is for possible errors in budgeting (pretty common)
If you spend less on one category you can always transfer that amount onto another. So for example, if you take public transportation and your cost is less then 15% you can allocate the remaining amount between whichever categories you like. Your savings budget will also depend on your age, investment returns, and other various risk factors you might be exposed to. If your employer does not provide you with a 401k or contribute to any retirement plan I suggest you consider raising the amount in the savings category.
The most important thing is to stay within your budget and realizing that you should spend money in this order: Necessities, Savings, Luxuries. You have a 2% margin of error for any times you may go over budget. Cutting into that 2% should be a warning sign that tells you; "hey, I'm going over budget I need to cut back on something". So don't make a habit of it, otherwise you may find yourself quickly going past that 2% line and falling into debt.
A note on medical expenses: The 5% I suggested may vary depending on where you live, your current state of health, your income, and what options your employer offers for healthcare. You may find yourself spending less or more. Your health is considered a necessity, so if you find yourself spending more you should adjust your budget accordingly.
Another budget is the 50/30/20 rule.
In this budget you start with your after-tax income not your 'take home' cash. So do not deduct any 401k contributions or any other amount withdrawn by your employer.
- Limit your necessities to 50% — If you can go a few months without it and not suffer any serious consequences, it's not a necessity. (e.g. organic free range chicken, dining out or going to Aruba — NOT a necessity) (Examples of necessities: utilities, housing, car insurance, child care)
- Your wants make up 30% (e.g. organic free range chicken, vacations, entertainment, etc.) It's important to note that some wants may feel like needs and you should be careful what you consider needs.
- The rest of the 20% goes towards your savings and repaying debt.