Whether you’re looking to move into one of our beautiful communities, such as Landstar Village or already settled in, it’s always a great time to take control of your finances. This can be a pretty difficult thing to do, but we’re here to help. So for today’s blog, we’re going to introduce you to a few different “rules” you can try if you’re starting to make a budget, and to help you stay on track.
The “50/20/30 Rule”
This is a pretty well-known rule that deals with percentages of your income. Forbes and Huffington Post have both done in-depth articles about it which are available here and here, we’re going to give you the basics to start out.
The idea is to take the following percentages of income and divide them into these categories.
Living Expenses (50%) – This includes anything that is essential to your well-being. For example, any housing expenses such as rent, utilities, and home insurance. Also, transportation expenses such as car payments, gas, and insurance. And finally, food/groceries.
Financial Goals (20%) – This area is a little more flexible. First thing is debt, such as credit card expenses that have to be paid off. After that, it’s a mixture of savings that include retirement, vacation funds, and investments.
Flexible Funds (30%) – Anything that is not considered a necessity goes into this category. This includes any hobbies, internet, cable, shopping, restaurants, pets, etc. This is your “fun money!”
While this rule might not work for everyone and may need some tweaking from person to person, these next two rules are ones that can apply to anybody.
The “30-Day Rule”
Have you ever picked up an expensive item and wasn’t really sure you needed it, but bought it anyways? We all fall victim to impulse shopping every now and then, so this is where the 30-Day Rule comes in.
Set a limit, let’s say $100. Every time you find something you want that costs more than that limit, don’t buy it immediately! Put it aside and set a reminder on your phone about the item for 30 days later. After the time expires, the reminder will pop up and by then you’ll either have figured out that you really do want the item, or maybe you’ve completely forgotten about it and realized you didn’t really need it!
The “Take it for a Walk Rule”
If you’re ever out shopping and you find something inexpensive that you like, but aren’t sure you want it, take it for a walk! Continue your usual shopping around and hold the item. This allows you to get a feel for it and to think about what it’s going to do for you. You’ll find that by the time you’re done shopping, you’ve decided whether or not you really want it. If not, remember to return it kindly to the cashier. This sounds like a silly rule, but it really works for smaller/inexpensive items!
We hope you’ve enjoyed these rules. Happy saving and happy shopping!