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Observe the 50/20/30 Rule When You Budget: Guest Blogger

birchbox:

Until we met LearnVest, our idea of being financially responsible was shopping at sample sales. But the online personal finance and lifestyle resource has changed the way we think about money—for the better. It’s filled with tools and support to help women gain control over their finances (for a taste, just check out their free Financial Bootcamp series). This January, as we focus on ways to make this our best year ever, we’re tapping the LearnVest experts to give you their best advice! It’ll be fun and educational, we promise.

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When it comes to our money, there is no shortage of ways we could spend it: food, rent, gifts, medicine, clothing, education, technology, gym membership, gas … you get the picture. At LearnVest, we’re often asked, “How to budget my money?” so we came up with the ultimate guideline for when you set up a budget: the 50/20/30 Rule.

When creating a budget, which you can do for free in the Money Center, it’s tempting to throw up your hands, say, “Forget it,” and hope for the best. The 50/20/30 Rule changes that.

No matter whether you’re a mom with two kids or a recent college grad working your first job, this rule will help you not only figure out how much you should be spending in each area every month; it will also tell you in what order you should be spending your money.

The 50/20/30 Rule Broken Down

The 50/20/30 Rule is easy because instead of telling you how to break down your budget across 20 or more different categories (who could possibly keep track of that?), it splits everything into three main categories:

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