Budgeting for the New Year!
January 3, 2022
2022 has arrived and with it comes the inspiration to start fresh and set new goals. If you already have a budget plan in place that is working for your household, this article may not be for you. However, if you are new to setting a budget and have recently searched for tips online, you may have found this popular method come up more than once. It is called the 50/20/30 Rule but what does it mean and how does it work? In the next few paragraphs, we’re going to examine this rule and share how you can put this budget to work for you in the new year!
Simply put, this is a guideline to help you reach your savings goals while meeting your obligations, needs and still using some money for your extras or “wants.” The 50/20/30 refers to the percentage of your after-tax income that you would allocate into each of 3 main categories for spending or saving.
I have a much easier time-saving money when I am still able to spend some of it on things I enjoy. If I am prohibited too strictly by a budget plan, the experience will feel miserable and I’ll be less likely to stick with it. The 50/30/20 Rule is a great way to strengthen that financial muscle in a positive way. Let’s look at some examples.
- 50% - Under this budget plan, 50% of your after-tax income should go toward your Needs. Rent, utilities, and car payments are of course in this category. You can also include groceries, healthcare, minimum debt payments, and the like. As much as it might feel like they are NEEDS, your online streaming subscriptions and coffee are going in the next group.
- 20% - Take 20% of your net income and SAVE IT. That’s right, don’t spend it on anything. Ideally, having 3 months' worth of your income built up in savings will allow you to have an emergency fund to fall back on. I am not suggesting that you cut a hole in your mattress or stash this money in a coffee can that you bury outside either. Put this money in higher interest savings, CD, or IRA. Let your discipline pay off and grow as you continue to set funds aside.
- 30% - Allow yourself 30% of your income for the things that you want. New countertops, dining out, that new Apple Watch (I tried to explain to my wife that this is actually a need – I lost that battle). This category can also include upgrading things in your "needs" area. Bigger living space, faster internet, trying out that pre-portioned cooking subscription instead of the grocery store. Treating yourself will come out of this 30%.
If there is one thing that we have learned since the start of the pandemic, it is how unpredictable life can be and how unexpected situations can completely flip someone’s life upside down. Preparing for that through consistent budgeting of your income can relieve a bit of anxiety down the road. Personally, I have caught myself slipping in my savings goals over the past year and I see 2022 as the perfect time to hit the reset button and start better financial habits. If you are ready to take that same step toward better financial responsibility and want to take advantage of one of Community First Credit Union’s amazing Money Market Accounts, CDs or IRAs, give us a call at (800) 247-7328.
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