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.
You've completed the budget worksheet, what now? Should you find that at the end of the month that you are consistently spending more than you are bringing in, it might be time to take a closer look at where you're spending your money and adjust those areas you can to make up the difference. Should you find, on the other hand, that you consistently have money left over every month, you now have the opportunity to decide what to do with that extra cash. Do you need to build up an emergency or "rainy day" fund? Could you be contributing more to your retirement savings? Could you pay certain loans off faster? Or perhaps you would like to save up for a special or large purchase.