Reasonable Budget Plan for a Young Person

It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it.

— George W. Bush

In my role as annoying father, I regularly talk to my sons about financial matters and this post summaries a recent discussion on budgeting. One reasonable budget plan for a young person is called the "60% solution" and its percentages are based on gross income.

The plan is simple and can be summarized as follows:

  • 60% to committed expenses

    I think of this category as fixed expenses (e.g. housing, food, insurance, phone) and taxes.

  • 10% to retirement.

    I might argue for 15%, but 10% is a good place to start when you are young.

  • 10% to short-term savings

    Life often presents us with unexpected bills, which I call "knowable unknowables". This category includes things like a transmission failure on a relatively new car.

  • 10% to long-term savings/debt money

    You know over time you will need to replace your car, upgrade your house, and pay off debt.

  • 10% for personal enjoyment

    The stuff that makes life fun.

This approach is discussed in detail at a number of web sites, like:

Here is a video with Sharon Epperson that summarizes the approach.

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