A couple weeks back, a friend and myself went out for supper and a few drinks. The food was alright, and the drinks were pretty standard. What was great was the live band. They played cover songs that ranged from 90’s pop to popular country songs. It was the strangest combination of music, but they pulled it off incredibly well!
Wondering what budgeting has to do with a band? Well, nothing, but our conversation steered to the conversation of money and budgeting. I was amazed when this friend revealed how much she made, yet they were only scraping by. I didn’t want to be “that” friend who asked her the inevitable questions, “Do you have a budget?”, but I couldn’t help wondering.
Budgeting can be hard for a lot of people to do. I am here to tell you that there is a simpler way. You can use the 50/30/20 budgeting technique to make budgeting work for your family. If you have never heard about this before, or aren’t sure you believe that budgeting can be simplified, then you need to hear me out. Also stick around for a free bonus at the end!
The 50/30/20 budgeting rule is simple because it breaks down your budget into only 3 categories, all equaling up to 100%.
50% – Needs
50% of your budget (or less if you can!) should go towards needs. The hardest part of this is figuring out what needs are, and separating them from wants. TV? That’s a want. Going to the movies? You guessed it, that’s a want. If you have an item and aren’t sure if it’s a need or a want, feel free to send me a message and I’ll help you figure it out!
If you find yourself over 50% in this category, you need to find ways to cut expense. I previously wrote about saving money on groceries, so that may be a good place to start. Another option may be downsizing something in your life, like a house or car. The goal is to keep your needs under 50%.
30% – Wants
This is the fun one – and the one that people tend to go over on! You classify wants as things you can live without. Cable, movies, eating out, bars, clothes. You get the picture. This is a big one because it may be holding you back from building wealth or paying off debt.
If you are over 30% for this category, it is simpler to cut back (notice how I didn’t say easier?). If you have a large cable package, maybe you can downsize it, or switch to something else such as Netflix or Sling. Can’t go without coffee in the morning? You can save a lot by making it at home just a few days a week!
20% – Savings & Debt Repayment
This is personally my favorite category. I love watching the debt shrink and my wealth rise! Am I the only person who gets a thrill from it?!?
If you have a lot of debt, you may want to consider having a portion go to savings and the rest go to debt repayment. The idea is to chip away at the debt, and once it is paid off you can put the rest towards saving.
What’s that you say? You’ve always heard about saving only 10%? Well you can do that too, but you won’t get to watch your debt decrease and your wealth increase, and where’s the fun in that??
Alright, now that you know how to use the 50/30/20 Budgeting technique, it’ time for what you’ve all been waiting for…the freebie! To make the budgeting even easier (if that’s possible!), I’ve created a printable worksheet just for you! Stick it in your planner or finance binder, and keep track of your purchases. Then you can check your numbers and see where you stand! Don’t put off budgeting any longer. You NEED this!
Have you used the 50/30/20 budgeting technique before? How did it go for you?