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50/30/20 Budget |‌‌ Green Day Online

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t like the idea or feel too overwhelmed by the task of creating a budget. It’s easier to control your spending and save money. This budget is called the 50/30/20 budget.

The 50/30/20 budget, or “rule,” is a budgeting structure that is relatively simple to set up and implement. It can help you keep your finances in order and help you reach your financial goals.

The 50/30/20 numbers represent the percentage of your income you would allocate to “needs” or essentials, “wants,” and “savings” (financial objectives).

The 50/30/20 rule teaches you to prioritize saving money and make it a part of your spending plan.

Every person’s financial goals and needs are unique. These percentages are a good starting point. However, you might find that your financial needs and goals differ from these numbers.

It is important to have an Emergency Funds

As people live longer, emergency savings, health insurance, and retirement contribution have become increasingly important. Calculating how much money you’ll need in retirement and working toward that goal from a young age will help you retire comfortably.

How the 50 30 20 Rule works

The 50/30/20 rule budget allows you to allocate your take-home income (or after-tax) into three main buckets or categories according to percentages. Here is the breakdown

50% for “Needs.”

These are essentials you can’t live without and bills you can’t avoid paying. These include rent, mortgage payments, car payments, and groceries.

Items that are not essentials do not fall under the “needs” category.

30% to “Wants.”

These are also known as discretionary, personal, or non-essential spending. These include dinner out and tickets to sporting events and concerts, as well as new handbags and electronic gadgets. These are the little things and upgrades that make your life easier.

Save 20%

This money is what you save to help you reach your financial goals in the future. This can include adding money to an emergency savings account, saving to buy a house, making IRA contributions, and additional payments to pay your loans off sooner. Minimum payments are included in the “needs.”

Although the budget is written 50/30/20, its purpose is to prioritize saving the 20%. It may be better called the 20/50/30 Budget.

It’s important to have enough money to cover the 20%, but not overspend the rest.

It’s fine if you don’t have 20% to save right now. You can adjust your spending by setting up the 50/30/20 Budget. Once you have completed your budget breakdown, you can identify the areas you want to reduce.

Benefits of the 50 30 20 Budget

Although the 50/30/20 rule is a simple budget, it can provide powerful benefits comparable to those you’d get from a more labor-intensive budget.

There are many benefits to setting up and following a 50/30/20 plan:

  • Understanding where you stand. * Knowing where you stand.
  • They are finding ways to reduce spending. The 50/30/20 budget, like any budgeting process, can help reduce spending. It is easy to see where your money goes each month simply through this process.
  • Reducing financial stress. Although it may seem stressful, creating a budget can help you reduce financial stress by giving structure and clarity to your spending. Instead of worrying about every purchase, you will have established boundaries that will allow you to spend within your budget.
  • Simplifying budgeting. The 50 30 20 rule can be easier to implement and maintain than the monthly budget. A 50 30 20 budget rule can be easily tracked digitally.
  • Reaching your savings goals. Saving is a priority. You can set aside money before you spend it. A 50/30/20 budget rule will help you achieve your financial goals.

Implementing the 50 30 20 Budget

Do you want to give the 50 30 20 rule budget another try? These are the steps to follow if you decide to take this route or want to learn more about budgeting.

Gathering Your Financial Records

It’s helpful to gather the bank and credit card statements for the past three months and pay stubs, receipts, and bills to get started on any budget.

Calculating your Monthly Income

Your statements can be used to determine how much money you bring in each month after taxes have been taken out. After-tax dollars can be described as the amount of money you have to pour into the three budget areas each month.

Set a savings target

It is possible to start with the most important category, 20% (savings). The goal of this budget is to make the 20% a non-negotiable part and debt payments. To do that, calculate 20% of your monthly income after taxes and put that amount aside for debt repayment, cash savings, and retirement investing. Be wise in spending money. Set an Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan.

Even if 20% is not realistic, it might be worth doing the exercise anyway. You’ll be able later to tweak the numbers.

Calculating Monthly Essential Expenses

Next, make a list listing all your monthly fixed or living expenses such as rent/mortgage and utilities.

What percentage of your monthly income does it include? Currently, essential items consume more than 50% of your monthly take-home earnings. Is there a way for debt repayment and to lower these monthly expenses?

These are necessities that you can’t live without, as well as expenditures that you can’t avoid paying. Rent or mortgage payments, auto payments, food, insurance, health care, minimum debt payments, and utilities are all included in this category. Extras like Netflix, dining out, and clothing beyond what you need for work are not included in the “needs” category.

Limit your spending habits. It is better to have an emergency fund. Work with the financial planning industry. Consult retirement income certified professional or chartered retirement planning counselor. Retirement contributions are necessary to be able to have retirement income in the future.

A Hypothetical Budget

After subtracting essentials and savings, the remaining money can be used to spend discretionarily-the “wants.”

It is helpful to remember that the 50/30/20 numbers should only be used as a guide. It may not be possible to maintain essentials at 50% of your take-home income if the cost of living in your area is high. You may have to cut back on your wants in this instance. You may decide to save 20% at this point.

After seeing your numbers in black, you can start to play with the percentages to develop a plan that will allow you to spend roughly what you need on fun or nonessentials each month.

Implementing Your Plan

Now that you know how much you will be putting into savings each month and how much you can spend on your wants each month, you are ready to start creating your budget.

To begin tracking your spending, you might want to plan for at least two to three months. This can be done by saving receipts and tracking expenses according to the three categories at the end of each day. You could also use a budgeting application that allows you to track and categorize your expenses easily.

Making Some Tweaks

You’ll likely have enough data after tracking your spending over several months to refine your initial 50 30 20 budget. You can then adjust the categories based on your actual spending and not your projected spending.

You may need to reduce your spending. It is usually the most manageable area to trim.

You might decide to cook at home instead of ordering takeout.

It may be possible to combine some of your monthly fixed expenses. Reduce utility bills, transport costs, and rent to make more money for entertainment if you can.

You can now implement your new budget after making adjustments. It is possible to keep track of your spending using the method that suits you best until it becomes second nature to spend according to your budget.

The Takeaway

The 50/30/20 rule is a simple guideline for budget planning. These guidelines will help you allocate your monthly after-tax income into the following three categories: 50% for “needs,” 30% for “wants,” and 20% for your financial goals.

You may have to adjust your percentages based on your goals and personal circumstances. This simple formula can help you control your finances and work more efficiently towards your goals.

Technology can make it easier to stick to a budget. Green Day Online is an app that helps you keep track of your spending and save money for specific goals.


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Jason Rathman