A black piggy bank with several coins

Figuring out how and where to spend your money can be useful when dealing with finances in the long term. A spending plan gives you more control and can help you see incoming and outgoing money more clearly.

This will help you decide where you want to spend the extra cash and cut down expenses to meet your financial goals.

Understand your priorities when spending and assign each portion of your income to a designated purpose to create a workable spending plan.

Spending

Examine your expenses closely and divide them into needs, wants, and savings.

Needs

Your needs are the expenses you can’t do away with. These include all the costs involved in eating, and living, such as groceries, utilities, loans, credit card payments, insurance, monthly rent, etc.

Wants

These include all those things you spend on to have fun—Brunch,Netflix, fine dining, and travel all come under this category.

Understanding which items matter more to you can help you figure out where spending money can give you joy.

Savings

The savings category includes all the larger financial goals you have. This may consist of emergency living expenses or paying off college debt, or retirement investment.

List down all your financial goals and set up automatic transfers to a high-profit saving or retirement account.

Next, prioritize your expenses with the 50/30/20 rule—Dedicate 50% of your income to needs, 30% to wants, and save the rest.

Estimate Expenses

Consider how you divided your income previously. Once you understand the 50/30/20 rule, evaluate if you are spending your “wants” money on what truly matters to you.

If you can, go through your spending patterns for the last three months and decide how you can average it out to make a long-time spending plan.

Evaluate where you overspend your money every month and surpass your budget. But every time you stay under your budget, reward yourself by spending half of the leftover money on wants and save the other half.

Even if you feel that you don’t want to limit yourself to the 50/30/20 rule, you should still find a sustainable way to spend money that allows you to save and invest.

Keeping your lifestyle, interests, and priorities in mind will help you develop a more effective spending plan that works for you and your family.

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