Here are five important personal finance ratios that every married couple should be aware of:

  1. Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI): This ratio is calculated by dividing your monthly debt payments by your monthly gross income. It’s used by lenders to assess your ability to manage the payments you make every month to repay the money you’ve borrowed. A lower DTI is better, with most lenders considering a DTI of 36% or less as healthy.

  2. Savings Rate: This ratio shows what proportion of your income is being saved for the future. It’s calculated by dividing your monthly savings by your monthly net (after-tax) income. The higher this ratio, the more you are saving. Many financial advisors suggest aiming for a savings rate of at least 20%.

  3. Emergency Fund Ratio: This ratio indicates how many months of living expenses you have saved in case of an emergency. For example, if your monthly expenses are $2000 and you have $6000 saved in your emergency fund, then your emergency fund ratio is 3 (6000/2000). Most financial experts recommend having at least three to six months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund.

  4. Retirement Savings Ratio: This is a guideline for how much you should have saved for retirement at different ages, based on your income. For example, by age 35, you might aim to have saved 2x your annual income for retirement, and by age 60, 6–8x your income. But remember, these are just guidelines, and individual circumstances may vary.

  5. Current Ratio: This ratio, also known as the liquidity ratio, measures your ability to pay off your short-term liabilities with your short-term assets. It’s calculated by dividing your current assets (cash, savings, and other assets that can be quickly converted into cash) by your current liabilities (credit card debt, medical bills, and other debts due within the next year). A ratio of 1 or higher is generally considered good, as it indicates you have more assets than liabilities.

Remember, these ratios are general guidelines, and the ‘healthy’ ranges can vary based on individual circumstances and financial goals. It’s always a good idea to consult with a financial advisor to determine what makes the most sense for your specific situation.


Please see disclosures here.


The Wealth of Advice is a financial blog that is focused on retirement and wealth information, with a little of everything else sprinkled in.

I manage portfolios for clients and myself at Old North State Wealth Management.

Disclosures can be found here.

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