Budgeting with the 70% Rule
budgeting with the 70% rule
Last week I had the chance to attend the PINNERS CONFERENCE in Sandy, Utah.
This is where thousands of local vendors and influencers get together to sell their products and teach classes. Seriously so much fun. I went to a couple of classes, but my favorite by far was Jordan Page’s class- Never Go Over Budget Again!
No she wasn’t handed money, she budgeted.
Yes, this can be you. and it’s really not as hard as it sounds. and it’s really not as far away as it seems.
The first step to setting a budget for yourself or your family is figuring out how much you want to save, and how much you want to spend. While it seems simple, this is actually the step where most people get stuck. This is because a lot of people aren’t actually sure how much they make. Perhaps they know they’re salary, but don’t know what they actually take home after taxes, 401K, etc is all taken out. If this sounds like you, we’re gonna fix that right now. ok? This is the first step to pay off your debt, get your savings account where you’ve always wanted it, and achieve financial freedom.
figuring out your income
There are a few ways you can figure out your income, but the most common is probably just looking at your bank statements and finding the average of a few months. However, my all-time favorite way to get a grip on your finances is using Mint.
No, I’m not a Mint affiliate. I’m just crazy obsessed with it. Mint combines all of your accounts into one place and gives you an overview of how much you have earned and spent over the span of a few months. It gives you charts so you can see visually how your finances have fluctuated and where the average is. If you sing up for Mint, you can see right away what your monthly income is.
If you click on each of the bars in the chart, it will break it down into every transaction you made that month that contributes to the larger numbers. This is definitely the greatest budgeting tool I have found so far!
So however you do it, the first step is to figure out you’re income. At the end of the day, what do you take home each month? Now we can move on to creating your budget!
Budgeting with the 70% rule
In Jordan’s session, she introduced me to the best-kept budgeting secret of all time- the 70% rule. I immediately fell in love. This is how we’re gonna figure out how much you can save, and how much you can spend.
Basically, the principle of the 70% rule is that you can only spend 70% of your income. 70% of your income is your budget.
We just talked a minute ago about how to find your income, so now all you have to do is find 70% of that. That’s how much you are allowed to spend every month. You just overcame the biggest obstacle people face in creating their budget, woohoo!
This 70% is what you can break down into categories like rent/mortgage, groceries, gas, going to the movies, putting your kids in sports, taking hubby on dates, buying Christmas presents for your kids, everything! Any money you spend has to fall into this 70%. So this is your second step, split the 70% into categories. These categories need to cover everything you spend money on- it may be helpful to go back to your bank statements to make sure you’re not missing anything.
I created a budgeting worksheet to help ya’ll. This has some of the most common budgeting categories already written out, all you have to do is fill in the blanks! Fill out the form below to download it!
If you write out your budget and realize it’s more than 70% of your income, figure out what you can cut! Budget a little less for clothes, pack your lunch more, find free ways to entertain. If you crunch the numbers and realize you have a big change to make, here are some big financial steps that could help you get where you need to be:
- Find a cheaper housing option!
- Start taking public transportation to cut out some gas.
- Shop around for cheaper utility providers.
- Eliminate any subscription services or memberships you have- magazines, music and TV streaming, beauty or makeup boxes, gyms. I promise you can do without them.
What ABOUT THE OTHER 30%?
Simply put, the other 30% is not spent on those every-day things.
This is how Jordan recommended you use the other 30%…
- 20% goes into savings. Just stick it in your savings account, and don’t touch it. If you have urgent debt (debt with a high interest rate like credit card debt), put this money towards that. You don’t want to have money just sitting in your savings when you are losing money to debt. Paying off pressing debt comes before building up a savings fund. Check out this article for some great ideas on paying off crushing debt!
- The other 10% is for whatever you want, According to Jordan. Use this for investments or charity or more savings. Personally, I donate my 10% to my church. You could create a college fund for your kids, or make a retirement account that you put this money into.
Point is, you can’t spend it.
lets look at an example
- If you make $1,000 a month (after taxes, retirement, 401K, etc), then you can spend $700 of that.
- $200 goes into savings or pressing debt if applicable.
- $100 can be donated, invested, or put into savings too.
Of course, only spending 70% is not always possible. Everyone has their own individual circumstance, family obligations, health concerns, and other financial obligations to worry about. If all of these things can’t fit into the 70%, don’t beat yourself up but rather make it a goal to get here one day, and work up to it.
Why you should follow the 70% rule
The 70% rule makes budgeting so so so simple, and gives you so much flexibility on where you want your money to go.
The bottom line is that your budget should never exhaust 100% of your income. You should never plan to spend 100% of your income. This is called living paycheck to paycheck, and it’s freakin stressful. If you’re used to spending 100% of your income, you will never get anywhere. You will never make any progress, you will never save money, you will never pay off debt. And you’ll always be stressed.
You never know whats going to come up, you need a cushion in your budget.
If you’re spending more than 70% of your income, sit down and reevaluate your finances.
How do you keep track of your income and expenses? Leave a comment below and let me know!