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How to budget using the 50/30/20 method

This is a great strategy for anyone who wants an easy and structured budgeting method.

To achieve our financial goals, we need to know where our money is going. This is why having a budget is so important.

What’s even more important is to find a budget that matches your personality.

The 50/30/20 budget method is ideal for people who like tracking expenses and want to follow a guideline.

Although it’s called the 50/30/20 method, you can change the percentages so they work for you.

Here’s how it works:

Think of your money as going into three different buckets.

Bucket number one is for your needs. 50% of your take-home pay goes towards your essential expenses like housing, groceries, transportation, utilities and other general expenses. Try your best to keep your needs to around 50% of your budget.

Bucket number two is for your wants. 30% of your money should go towards travel, subscriptions, and discretionary things like dining out with your family and friends. Try to keep your wants to 30% of your budget.

Finally, bucket number three is for your savings and also for paying down debt. This remaining 20% of your money can go towards an emergency fund, investing for retirement, paying down loans, or really any other financial goals you may have.

So, 50% for your needs, 30% for your wants, and 20% for your savings. That’s the 50/30/20 budget.

Most importantly, feel free to personalise it! 50/30/20 is just a guide.

You can vary the percentages and create a plan that works with your income and your obligations.

You might just be starting your savings journey ... and 20% may seem unattainable. Or maybe you can save more than 20%, and that's also great. What matters is that it needs to work for you.

The bottom line

The 50/30/20 method is a solid strategy for you to organise your cash flow.

You make progress towards your goals with your savings, but also enjoy the journey with your wants.

Vanguard
October 2023
vanguard.com.au

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Louise Laing

Louise founded Salus Private Wealth to offer high quality personal advice to clients who want to work closely with an adviser for the long term. Her philosophy that understanding each individual and their motivations and needs is key to an enduring and successful financial planning relationship is at the heart of the business.

She first engaged the services of a financial adviser herself when she was in her early 20s (long before becoming one) and believes the non-judgemental support and education about her position and options provided at this early stage has allowed her to make confident decisions in different aspects of life since then.

This confidence and positivity in making choices, financial or not, is what she wants to give to her clients.

Superannuation & Retirement

Superannuation is one of the largest and longest duration investments most people in Australia have, making it a critical part of long-term planning even if retirement feels like a distant objective. For those in the lead into retirement, we design strategies so you have peace of mind that when you start to draw on your retirement savings, you have liquidity and stability to support that.

Legislation and rules are changed regularly, so advice can help you take advantage of opportunities to build for the future. We are authorised to provide advice on and to SMSFs.

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Protecting your wealth, lifestyle and family is high on the priority list for many clients and this is an area of advice need that can change very quickly. Ensuring you have the cover you need can give peace of mind that what’s important is taken care of in the event of illness, injury and death, but we also make sure over time you are not paying for cover you no longer need.

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While talking about death doesn’t seem like a particularly appealing prospect, it’s a topic we see as a vital part of financial planning. Importantly, it’s a topic for every adult, regardless of their stage in life. Without a proper estate plan assets may not be passed where you’d like them to go, family conflict can ensue, and in the event you lose capacity there may not be an authority in place for the person you would choose to make those decisions for you to do so. While it can be an uncomfortable subject, we are experienced in facilitating these conversations as part of our advice process.

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Managing debt efficiently can have a material impact on your financial wellbeing and lifestyle. Having a solid plan to understand where your money goes and manage cashflow and debt can eliminate stress and set you on a positive path toward achieving your goals.

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Once we have a clear understanding of what we are aiming for and how you feel about taking on investment risk, we can help direct your funds into appropriate investments to meet your goals. This includes recommending the investment structure, consideration of tax implications, asset types, and putting together a suitable blend for you. You will have transparency of and access to view your investments, providing security.

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Aged care needs can arise suddenly. The complexity of managing this can be a significant challenge at a time when your focus should be on the person requiring care. We can assess the alternative funding options to ensure you make an informed choice in the best interests of the person requiring care.

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