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How to save money with a 50/15/15 budget

Penny pinching made painless!

June 22, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Jan 12
A man and a woman smiling while they clink two coffee mugs together.

The gist: By dedicating 50% of your income to essentials, 15% to retirement savings, and 15% to debt payment, you can strike the perfect balance of need, security, and want, creating a financial plan that sings your tune.

Saving money is a bit like going to the gym, isn't it? We all know we should do it, but finding the motivation can be hard at times. But what if there was a way to make managing your finances as easy as pie - a piece of pie you can actually afford to eat? Enter the 50/15/15 budget - the golden ratio of finance that’s been buzzing around like a bee on a mission.

Your New BFF: The 50/15/15 Budget

Simply put, the 50/15/15 budget is about dividing your after-tax income into three friendlier-than-a-golden-retriever categories:

  1. The Big 50 - Essentials: This is the life stuff - think housing, utilities, groceries, health insurance, transportation. You know, the things that keep you sheltered, fed, and capable of Netflix-binging.
  2. The First 15 - Retirement Savings: Retirement might seem like a lifetime away, but future you will be throwing confetti if you start saving now. With this plan, you're tucking away 15% of your income for your golden years.
  3. The Second 15 - Debt Payments: Like an uninvited guest, debts have a nasty habit of overstaying their welcome. By allocating 15% of your income to pay them off, you're telling those debts it's time to pack up and hit the road.

And the Remaining 20%? That's All You, Baby!

Now, quick math will tell you we've got 20% of your income still floating around. This chunk is yours to enjoy! Think of it as your "live a little" fund - for vacations, dinners out, those shiny shoes you've been eyeing, or even more savings if that floats your boat!

Savings Tips

  1. Save on groceries: Cut your grocery bill by up to 20% by planning meals around sales and using coupons. Don't be brand loyal, go for what’s discounted. And hey, you might discover a new favorite!
  2. Slash your utility bills: By swapping out your lightbulbs for energy-efficient ones and unplugging electronics when not in use, you could knock up to 10% off your utility bills. Your wallet and the planet will thank you.
  3. Shrink your transportation costs: Opting for public transportation, carpooling, or biking can save you up to 15% on your transportation costs. Plus, less time in traffic equals more time for things you love. 

And there you have it! The 50/15/15 budget: a simple yet powerful tool that has you spending on needs, saving for the future, slashing debt, and leaving room for a little fun. It's not just about scrimping and pinching pennies until they scream; it's about making sure your money is working for you. Who knew being an adult could be so financially fabulous?

*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

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