What is the 50:20:30 Minimalist Budget System (and how to use it)

What is the 50:20:30 Minimalist Budget System

The 50:20:30 Budget is gaining popularity, particularly among minimalist populations. This budget helps you break down your goal spending into 3 categories making it easier to keep to your budget than a budget which is broken down into 5 or more groups. Keep reading to learn more about the 50:20:30 budget and how to use it!

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What is the 50:20:30 Budget?

The 50:20:30 budget is a simplified budget utilizing 3 categories: essentials, savings, and personal. I have been using this strategy on and off since I graduated high school and it has been the most effective budget strategy I have used yet! It is not only easy to use and simple but encompasses all possible spending without much categorical overlap to worry about. There are no excuses.

50 | Essential Spending

The first rule or spending category is essential spending. This category refers to your bills and any other expenditures that cannot be avoided and occurs regularly. This might include topics such as housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, insurance, electricity, internet, phone bill, etc. These bills do not include pleasure subscriptions, or anything extravagant and unnecessary. Remember that your essential spending is half of your income, so spend it wisely!

20 | Savings

The second budget rule is that 20% of your income is to be saved. This might include a savings account, emergency fund, retirement fund, or it might go toward paying off debt. Building up a savings is incredibly essential in case of emergencies, debt issues, retirement, etc. I can personally attest that my savings have saved me, financially, on several occasions! If you aren’t currently saving money regularly, open a savings account and get started today!

30 | Personal Spending

The final rule of 50:20:30 budgeting is that you get to spend 30% on anything else. This includes all recreational or entertainment purchases. This money can be set aside to go on vacation; it can also include clothing, hobbies, home decorating, gym membership, recreational, and entertainment expenditures. Here is where you can go crazy (so long as you remain within your budget) because this category is all you. Whatever your heart desires, this is the part of your budget you utilize to get it. Be responsible, but so long as you remain within 30%, you’re golden!

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How do I use the 50:20:30 Budget?

What makes the 50:20:30 budget so successful is the fact that it is minimal and simple. It’s easy to remember the rules, and it’s easier to keep track of, regardless of how you track your spending. My favorite way to track my spending is through Mint. Mint connects to all of my accounts, allows me to set my budget, savings goals, and even pay my bills. I highly recommend checking out Mint, its free!

Another great way to use this budget is to keep an excel spreadsheet of your spending or keep a written record in your planner or journal. Just knowing what the budget is, is not enough, you must now track your spending and be sure to adhere to the budgeting rules.

Get started on your budget, I’d love to hear how well it works for you!