Step One: Calculate Your After_Tax Income. Your after_tax income is what remains of your paycheck after taxes are taken out, such as state tax, local tax, income tax, Medicare, and Social Security. If you're an employee with a steady paycheck, your after_tax income should be easy to figure out. Look at your paystubs. If health care, retirement contributions, or any other deductions are taken out of your paycheck, add them back in.
Step Two: Limit Your Needs to 50 Percent of Your After_Tax Income. Now go back to your budget. How much do you spend on "needs" each month, things like groceries, housing, utilities, health insurance, car payment, and car insurance? According to Warren and Tyagi and their 50ቺተ rule, the amount that you spend on these things should total no more than 50 percent of your after_tax pay.