Budgeting: 50 30 20 Budget Explained

Budgeting: 50 30 20 Budget Explained

The 50/20/30 budget guideline gained popularity because of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s book All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan. The guideline is to allocate 50% of your after-tax income toward necessities, 30% toward desires, and 20% toward savings.


In this article, I am going to give you a detailed explanation of the 50 30 20 Budget.

You can check out What is the Simple Budget Template 50 30 20?


Budgeting: 50 30 20 Budget Explained

This simple and logical guideline will assist you in creating a realistic budget that you can follow over time to reach your financial objectives.

1. 50% for Needs

50% of your earnings should go toward necessities.

The costs you can’t avoid are necessities. This section of your budget should go toward necessary expenses like:

  • habitation
  • Food
  • Moving
  • Basic utilities
  • Coverage
  • minimal payments due on loans. 
  • Child care or other costs that must be paid for.

Anything beyond the bare minimum is deposited in the debt repayment and savings account.

Read the Pros and Cons for the 50 30 20 Budget


2. 30% for Wants

Thirty percent of your after-tax income can be allocated to desires, with the remaining fifty percent going toward meeting your most basic requirements. Non-essential costs, or items you choose to spend money on even if you could live without them, are referred to as wants.

These might consist of:

  • Eating out Shopping for clothes
  • Vacations Fitness memberships Subscriptions to media (Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime)
  • Groceries (apart from the necessities)
  • Using the same example as before, you may spend €600 on desires if your monthly after-tax income is €2000. Do not forget that, it’s wise to consider which of your needs you may give up if you find that you’re spending too much on them.

3. 20% for Savings and Debt Repayment

Your financial objectives are entirely based on your priorities in life. You can be trying to save money for a particular occasion, unforeseen bills, or debt reduction.

You can save for a down payment on a house, create an emergency fund, or make contributions to a retirement account. Falling in this category also includes paying off debt in excess of the minimum payment.

The 50-30-20 guideline is only one method to think about when planning your spending. A skilled financial advisor can help you choose which option is best for your circumstances.

You may have peace of mind and make confident judgments by making a budget. However, managing a comprehensive budget might be challenging but I hope this article helps you a lot.

Is the 50/30/20 budget approach good for me?

For some people, the 50/30/20 rule can be a useful budgeting technique, but it might not apply to your particular monthly costs. Setting aside 50% of your salary for necessities might not be sufficient, depending on your income and place of residence.


For instance, it might be challenging to keep your demands under 50% if you reside in a high-cost location and must devote a significant portion of your income to housing. Therefore, you might need to modify the percentages to suit your needs.