Pregnancy Knowledge | Best Practices for Budgeting

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I came across a great article in either March or May’s Cosmopolitan on finances.  My subscription is sent to my mother’s address and I was in town visiting, so this is why I don’t remember which edition it was in.  I’m sure you can find the actual article on their website or Google it and find it as well.  I’ve always been pretty good with money, never huge on frivolous spending, like to save, and always pay my bills before I spend on anything else.  However, I am not above finding even better ways of budgeting money, especially with a new baby on the way.  I have just about four and a half months to ensure that hubs and my financial affairs are in tip top shape.  For the longest it’s just been me…then us, now a baby is coming into the picture and that will significantly change our approach to money and how its spent.  I really liked this breakdown that Cosmo gave, so I thought to share it.  Don’t be alarmed it’s for anyone, not just someone starting a family.

50 percent on essentials, which include:

  • Rent
  • Groceries
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

20 percent on your future:

  • Student-loan payments
  • Roth IRA
  • Emergency fund

30 percent on fun stuff:

  • Restaurants/bars
  • Travel
  • Shopping
  • Personal care (makeup, hair, etc.)
  • Cell phone
  • ATM/cash
  • Entertainment
  • Cable
  • Gifts
  • Charity*

Overall, I think the breakdown is pretty comprehensive, of course it needs to be tailored to a family budget and lifestyle in many of our cases.  For the most, however, anyone could use this as a guide for how to effectively budget their income and finances on a monthly basis.  The one thing I did see that the list left off was Savings.  I would probably take ten percent away from the “fun stuff” and put towards Savings on a monthly basis.  I also don’t necessarily considered cell phone and ATM/cash “fun stuff”, because in this day and age a cell phone is pretty much a necessity.  And as far as ATM/cash, I think it’s always a good idea to have a little bit of cash on hand, even if it’s just for backup or pocket change.  So again, it could use some tweaking, but is a good guide, especially for a beginner.

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