To jump-start your budget, follow these steps:
- Make a list of your monthly income and expenses using our budget worksheet. Put each dollar into a category, like housing, food, savings and entertainment.
- Look at how your spending compares to the goal: 50% for “needs,” 30% for “wants” and 20% for “savings” (see chart). That’s the target experts recommend.
- To reach the savings goal, assign money to savings and use what’s left for wants. Consider setting up automatic contributions or deposits to stay on track.
- Review your budget each month. Adjust it as needed to handle changing expenses and priorities.
Other tips for managing your budget:
- Use apps and tools in your financial accounts to set and reach goals
- Try to only make purchases that you have money available to cover
- If you use credit cards, pay them off each month to avoid interest charges
- Focus on eliminating debt to save money long-term and make room in your future budget
Take the next step
As part of your savings, consider contributing more to your retirement account. Even small increases can make a big difference. They may not affect your paycheck as much as you think. Use our Paycheck Impact Calculator to see how contributions may impact your take-home pay.
 Data source: https://www.thebalance.com/the-50-30-20-rule-of-thumb-453922