Plan for your financial future with an essential building block – a budget. Setting up a budget helps you understand your income and expenses and how to live within your means. It’s a personal finance plan that lets you see where your money goes and how much you need to put away for both planned and unplanned expenses (like major auto repairs or a last-minute trip). What else do you need to know to get started?
The 50/30/20 budget rule breaks up after-tax (earned) income into three percentage-based spending categories: 50% on needs, 30% on wants and 20% on savings. Regular monthly expenses fall into the needs category, discretionary spending goes in the wants category, and travel, emergencies or paying off debt go into the savings category.
There are variations on the 50/30/20 rule like the 70/30 rule, which allocates 70% of earned income to needs, 20% to savings or investments and 10% to debt payments. The simplest is the 80/20 rule, which recommends 80% of earned income go to spending and 20% to savings. The key is to create a budget you think you can stick with. Signing up for free online bill pay and mobile check deposit can help.
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