As you all know, I am a huge fan of balling on a budget. Having an achievable but reasonable budget is crucial to financial freedom.
I love, love, love the 50/20/30 rule of budgeting, which is as follows:
50%: Essential Stuff
This means anything that does not change month-to-month including but not limited to:
o Rent (or mortgage if you are more of a grownup than me)
o Utility Bill
o Car Payment
o Cable Bill (Stop paying for cable. There’s this thing called the internet now)
o Health Insurance
o Gym Membership
A lot of people say that your household expense (i.e: rent/mortgage and utility bills) should be 30-35% of your paycheck. This tidbit will help you figure out what monthly rent you can afford.
20%: Responsible Stuff
This is basically future self stuff; "Financial Goals," if you will. Contribute 20% of your paycheck to being responsible and doing this like paying off credit card debt, saving for retirement and developing an emergency fund.
30%: Fun Stuff
This is everything else like going out to eat, beer, and clothes for you and/or your cat.
And remember, Rule #1 of financial freedom is being fully aware of your financial situation and not sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich however painful that may be so track your spending!!
(Seriously I will send you my template if you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)