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.
List your expenses starting with the most important to the least important. Listing the expenses in order makes it easier to make cuts in your budget if needed. The most important should be things that cover your necessities. You will need to cover your housing, food, utilities (not including cable television), transportation costs, debt payments, and savings goals first. Then you will list luxury items which can include clothing, entertainment, eating out and gym memberships.