A Budget- It's a plan for all of your dollars.

Budgeting involves figuring out how much money you have coming in, how much you need to spend on things like bills and necessities, and how much you want to save, and how much you spend on things you enjoy.

How To Set Up a Budget

  1. Calculate your total NET INCOME for the month (that's the amount of money you have to spend).

  2. Calculate the total EXPENSES for the month (what you spent on needs, wants, and what you put into savings)
  3. Then calculate: NET INCOME - EXPENSES = dollars that need a plan*

*If your calculation ends with a negative number, look for places to reduce or cut expenses.

Remember that budgeting is a skill, and to improve a skill, one must practice. Review your budget at least once a month.

The 50/30/20 Rule is a typical framework as a plan for your dollars. 50/30/20 Budget50/30/20 Budget

50% of your income goes towards your NEEDS expenses.
30% of your income goes towards your WANTS expenses.
20% of your income goes towards SAVINGS.

Monthly net income: $1000
Needs: $500
Wants: $300 - you still get to do the fun stuff!
Savings: $200
Paying off debt is considered savings too!

Budgeting Fun Facts

  • In the largest study of millionaires ever conducted for his book Everyday Millionaires, money expert Chris Hogan shares that 93% of millionaires say they stick to the budgets they make. (2019)

  • Around 33% of millionaires never earned more than $100,000 as a household in a single working year, according to Chris Hogan's study, and only 31% averaged $100,000 a year.

Budgeting Apps and Resources

YNAB (You Need a Budget) (click here)
Right now, YNAB offers college students a full year for free! You can customize your categories, hook up your accounts to the app. As you spend and receive money, it does all the work for you.

Spending Tracker by mh riley
This free and easy to use budget app allows you to track your incomes and expenses, categorize them, look at your budget records, and keeps a running balance for you. You do not link any of your accounts to it. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows 8. Look for the wallet with dollars icon.

Budget Wizard by CashCourse (click here)
Sign up for a CashCourse account (it's free!) and input your incomes and spending. It does all the math for you. You can also find it as a worksheet, if you're more into the paper and pencil method.

Want to learn more about budgeting on your own time? Sign up for a FREE CashCourse account and start learning today.