The 50ቺተ Rule of Thumb for Budgeting. You've reviewed your spending and created a budget, and now you know exactly how much you spend on your home, your car, discretionary spending, and how much you divert to your retirement accounts. That's all good, but what about your other savings, such as for an emergency? How does your financial allocation compare to the amount you should ideally spend and save?
Step 1: Note your net income. The first step in creating a budget is to identify the amount of money you have coming in. Keep in mind, however, that it's easy to overestimate what you can afford if you think of your total salary as what you have to spend. Remember to subtract your deductions for Social Security, taxes, 401(k) and flexible spending account allocations when creating a budget worksheet. Your final take_home pay is called net income, and that is the number you should use when creating a budget.Tip: If you have a hobby or a talent, you may be able to find a way to supplement your income. Having an extra source of income can also be helpful if you ever lose your job.