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The budget plan that allows you to have fun while improving your personal finance.

There are a lot of budgeting methods out there and most of them are rigid. Sometimes, it’s too rigid that it sets you up for failure. But not the 30-30-30-10 budget.

This strategy allows you to have a little fun while paying off debt, building your emergency fund, or just boosting your monthly savings.

What is The 30-30-30-10 Budget?

The 30-30-30-10 budget rule of financial planning is a percentage-based budget plan where 30% of your monthly income will cover housing, another 30% covers necessities, the third 30% covers financial goals, and the remaining 10% will cover fun activities.

30% For Housing

This percentage will cover expenses that are related to shelter like mortgage, rent, appliances, transportation, and any equated monthly installment.

30% For Necessities

This part covers all expenses like groceries, utilities, clothing, phone, Internet, school needs, and other necessities.

30% Financial Buckets

This bucket will take care of all your savings, investments, debt repayments, and any financial goals.

10% For Fun

This bucket will cover the fun and leisure activities like vacations and other entertaining activities. You can also use it for dining out expenses or streaming or cable subscriptions.

How to Budget Using The 30-30-30-10 Budget Rule

This budgeting method works for anyone and is so easy to do.

1| Set Your Financial Goal

Before you start customizing your budget, start setting your goals first. Your financial goal will set you up for success.

2| Determine Your Net Income

Do not use your gross income as your budget income. Focus on your net income or your take home pay before preparing your budget plan. 

To do this, simply start with your take-home pay on your paycheck and add back any deductions that are not taxes like health insurance and retirement. 

3| Divide Your Funds

Divide your net income into 30-30-30-10 percentages. You can open separate accounts or you can just keep track of it on paper. Although, I would recommend having separate accounts so it is easier to keep track. I use Capital One 360 Savings for ours.

4| Track Every Penny

Now that you know how much money you can spend on each category, start tracking your expenses. Depending on your financial goals, you can adjust accordingly.

So, here’s an example.

Financial Goal: Pay Off $15,000 Credit Card Debt In 12 Months

Net income: $5,000

30% Housing: $1,500

30% Necessities: $1,500

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    30% Financial Bucket: $1,500

    10% Fun: $500

    Since the goal is to pay off debt, you would use the $1,500 for debt repayment. However, if you do not have an emergency plan in place yet, you would prioritize building a starter emergency fund first.

    Check out this article on how to pay off debt and save money at the same time if you find yourself struggling.

    What is the 50-30-20 budget rule?

    Another variation that is perfect for you if you hate detailed budgeting is Elizabeth Warden’s 50-30-20 budget. 

    In this budget, you would take your monthly take home pay and allocate it to your monthly expenses. 

    50% would go to Needs, 30% would be spent on Wants, and the remaining 20% would go to Savings or Debt Repayment. 

    Needs

    Needs are the expenses that you must keep in your budget no matter what. These include housing, utilities, transportation, and health care expenses, and the bare minimum of essential clothing and supplies for living.

    Wants

    Wants are the expenses that are nice to have but that you don’t need to live your life. It will include dining out, alcohol, cable TV, internet, shopping trips, vacations, memberships, subscriptions, gifts, entertainment, and other luxuries.

    Savings/Debt Repayments 

    The savings or debt repayment category is money you set aside for your future or to pay off debt. You can use this fund to build a starter emergency fund if you don’t have one yet, save for a down payment on a home, invest for retirement or pay off your student loan debt or credit card. 

    FAQ

    What is the 70-20-10 Rule money?

    With this budget rule, you will divide your monthly take-home income into 70%, 20%, and 10%. The 70% is for monthly living expenses, including your mortgage/rent, groceries, gas for the car, childcare, etc.; 20% goes into savings, including retirement, emergency fund, vacation, etc. The remaining 10% will go towards debt repayment like car loans, student loans, medical costs, credit cards, etc.

    How much should I save each month?

    According to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s 50/30/20 rule, you should save 20% of your monthly take-home income. However, it is not always possible. Therefore, don’t get frustrated; saving something is better than nothing.

    How much should you spend on living expenses?

    Following the popular 50-30-20 budget rule, you should spend 50% of your income on your living expenses, like your rent, insurance, car payment, and etc.

    Final Thoughts On The 30-30-30-10 Budget

    The 30-30-30-10 budget rule is a simple but effective way to get control of your finances. It covers all the financial buckets that you need to prepare for the future without sacrificing having fun.

    On the other hand, if the 30-30-30-10 budget is too detailed for you, you can use the 50-30-20 budget, where you only have to budget for three categories.

    Whichever you choose, both will be effective as long as you commit to it.

    Is the 30-30-30-10 budget for you?

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    The 30-30-30-10 Budget Rule For Beginners