How to budget using the 50/30/20 method

This is a great strategy for anyone who wants an easy and structured budgeting method.

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To achieve our financial goals, we need to know where our money is going. This is why having a budget is so important.

What’s even more important is to find a budget that matches your personality.

The 50/30/20 budget method is ideal for people who like tracking expenses and want to follow a guideline.

Although it’s called the 50/30/20 method, you can change the percentages so they work for you.

Here’s how it works:

Think of your money as going into three different buckets.

Bucket number one is for your needs. 50% of your take-home pay goes towards your essential expenses like housing, groceries, transportation, utilities and other general expenses. Try your best to keep your needs to around 50% of your budget.

Bucket number two is for your wants. 30% of your money should go towards travel, subscriptions, and discretionary things like dining out with your family and friends. Try to keep your wants to 30% of your budget.

Finally, bucket number three is for your savings and also for paying down debt. This remaining 20% of your money can go towards an emergency fund, investing for retirement, paying down loans, or really any other financial goals you may have.

So, 50% for your needs, 30% for your wants, and 20% for your savings. That’s the 50/30/20 budget.

Most importantly, feel free to personalise it! 50/30/20 is just a guide.

You can vary the percentages and create a plan that works with your income and your obligations.

You might just be starting your savings journey … and 20% may seem unattainable. Or maybe you can save more than 20%, and that's also great. What matters is that it needs to work for you.

The bottom line

The 50/30/20 method is a solid strategy for you to organise your cash flow.

You make progress towards your goals with your savings, but also enjoy the journey with your wants.

 

 

 

 

Vanguard
October 2023
vanguard.com.au

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Sofie Korac is an Authorised Representative (No. 400164) of Prudentia Financial Planning Pty Ltd, AFSL 544118 and a member of the Association of Financial Advisers.

Financial Advice Sydney and the North Shore Office based in Gordon NSW

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