To jump-start your budget, follow these steps:

  1. Make a list of your monthly income and expenses using our budget worksheet. Put each dollar into a category, like housing, food, savings and entertainment.
  2. Look at how your spending compares to the goal: 50% for needs, 30% for wants and 20% for savings (see chart). That’s the target experts recommend.
  3. To reach the savings goal, assign money to savings and use what’s left for wants. Tip: Set up automatic contributions or deposits to stay on track.
  4. Review your budget each month. Adjust it as needed to handle changing expenses and priorities.
Pie chart depicting 50% of budget going to Needs, 20% to Savings and 30% to Wants

Additional tips to get the most from your budget:

  • Use apps and tools in your financial accounts to set and reach goals
  • Try to only make purchases that you have money available to cover
  • If you use credit cards, pay them off each month to avoid interest charges
  • Focus on eliminating debt to save money long-term and make room in your future budget

Take the next step

As part of your savings, consider contributing more to your retirement account. Even small increases can make a big difference. They may not affect your paycheck as much as you think. Use our Paycheck Impact Calculator to see how contributions may impact your take-home pay.

Are you ready to invest in your future by putting more into your retirement account?
Increase your contributions by logging in today.

[1] Data source: