Step Four: Spend 20 Percent on Savings and Debt Repayments. Now about the extra ๛ you pay on that credit card each month. That's neither a want nor a need. It's the ൜" in the 50ቺተ rule. It's in a class all its own. You should spend at least 20 percent of your after_tax income repaying debts and saving money in your emergency fund and your retirement accounts.
By listing all of your sources of income against all of your monthly expenditures (from required expenses like mortgage or rent payments to discretionary spending like eating out or going to the movies), you get a true picture of your personal cash flow, which will allow you to make better and more informed financial decisions. An accurate budget will also help you to answer that ever elusive question, "Can I afford it?"