Have you ever heard the famous saying, "Failing to plan is planning to fail"? That may not be true about some things but it’s absolutely true with money. If we do not plan how to spend our money, we’ll find ourselves asking where it all went at the end of the month.

Sad State of Affairs

The easiest way to start taking control of your money is with a budget. But, in a recent article, it was revealed that only 41% Americans use one. That’s right…only 2 in every 5 people have a written plan for their money. No wonder so many people are struggling!

That Doesn’t Have to Be You

While millions of people are left wondering where all their money went, you don’t have to be one of them. Building a budget is easy and there are several tools out there that can help make it even easier.

Programs like youneedabudget.com, mint.com and budgetsimple.com can help you get started. Another tool is EveryDollar, which anyone in the SPS Family of Companies can take advantage of thanks to SPS Thrive. Everydollar allows you to create a monthly budget, track expenses and sync with your bank. And the best part is, you can get the premium version for FREE simply by enrolling in SmartDollar through SPS Thrive.

Where to Start

Whether you use one of the tools mentioned above, a simple Excel sheet or good ‘ol fashioned paper and pencil, here are a couple simple starting points:

The 10/50/20/20 Rule – The idea behind this budget breakdown is to put 10% of your income toward giving, 50% toward needs like (mortgage/rent, bills, food and utilities), 20% toward wants (like eating out, fashion, and fun) and 20% toward savings and retirement.

Percentage Guidelines – For a slightly more defined breakdown of how to budget your income, try this:

  • Giving:  10-15%
  • Saving:  10-15%
  • Housing:  25–35%
  • Utilities:  5–10%
  • Food:  10–15%
  • Transportation:  5–15%
  • Health:  5–10%
  • Insurance:  10–25%
  • Personal:  5-15%
  • Recreation:  5-10%
Get Started Today

Some people like a lot of detail to their budget. Others like to keep it simple. But, whether you nerd out or keep it chill, the key is to have a budget and actually use it. If you have a plan with what to do with your money before it ever gets in your hands, you’ll never have to wonder where your money went again.

Going Deeper

SPS Thrive is proud to offer any employee within the SPS Family of Companies the SmartDollar program FREE of charge. Real financial wellness is about behavior change. SmartDollar makes change happen. It only takes a couple minute to get started, so enroll today!