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Building Good Financial Habits - Budgeting

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

The 50/30/20 Budget Rule for Resident Physicians


The 50/30/20 budget rule is a simple and effective way to manage your money. Using your after-tax income or net income amount (what gets deposited and already has your health insurance premiums, taxes, and employer sponsored retirement savings withheld.) It then divides your income into three categories: needs, wants, and savings.

  • Needs are essential expenses that you must pay, such as housing, food, transportation, medical expenses, debts and insurance.

  • Wants are non-essential expenses that you can live without, such as entertainment, dining out, luxury items, vacations, and shopping.

  • Savings are money that you set aside for short and long-term goals, such as an emergency fund, retirement, a down payment on a house, or college tuition.

The 50/30/20 rule suggests that you allocate your income as follows:

  • 50% for needs

  • 30% for wants

  • 20% for savings

This is just a guideline, and you may need to adjust your budget based on your individual circumstances. For example, if you have a lot of debt, you may want to allocate more of your income to needs so that you can pay it off faster. Or, if you have young children, you may need to allocate more of your income to wants to cover childcare costs. Or, if your priority is financial freedom as soon as possible, increasing your savings beyond 20% may take precedence.


The important thing is to create a budget that works for you and that helps you reach your financial goals.





How the 50/30/20 Budget Rule Can Help Resident Physicians

The 50/30/20 budget rule can be a helpful tool for resident physicians who are looking to get their finances in order. Here are some of the benefits of using this budget rule:

  • It can help you track your spending. The 50/30/20 budget rule forces you to categorize your spending, which can help you see where your money is going. This can be helpful for identifying areas where you can cut back or save more money.

  • It can help you reach your financial goals. The 20% savings category can be used to save for retirement, a down payment on a house, or other long-term goals. By setting aside money each month, you'll be on track to reach your financial goals sooner.

  • It can help you develop good financial habits. The 50/30/20 budget rule is a simple and easy-to-follow budget rule. This can help you develop good financial habits that you can use throughout your career.

The Importance of an Emergency Fund


One of the most important things you can do with your savings is to create an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a pool of money that you can use to cover unexpected expenses, such as a car repair, a medical bill, or job loss. I would recommend to have a goal of setting at least 3-6 months of your gross monthly income set aside in a high-yield savings account


The 50/30/20 budget rule recommends that you allocate 20% of your income to savings. This includes money for your emergency fund, as well as money for retirement and other long-term goals.


If you're a resident physician, it's especially important to have an emergency fund. Your income may be variable, and you may not have a lot of savings built up yet. An emergency fund can help you cover unexpected expenses and avoid debt.


Conclusion


The 50/30/20 budget rule is a simple and effective way to manage your money. It can help you track your spending, reach your financial goals, and develop good financial habits. If you're a resident physician, the 50/30/20 budget rule can be a helpful tool for getting your finances in order.

Here are some additional tips for using the 50/30/20 budget rule:

  • Start by tracking your spending. This will help you see where your money is going and identify areas where you can cut back.

  • Set realistic goals. Don't try to save 20% of your income if it's not feasible. Start with a smaller percentage and gradually increase it as you become more comfortable with budgeting.

  • Make it automatic. Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account so that you don't even have to think about it.

  • Be flexible. The 50/30/20 budget rule is just a guideline. If you have an unexpected expense, don't beat yourself up if you have to dip into your savings. Just make sure that you make up for it later.

The 50/30/20 budget rule is a great way to get started on the path to financial success. By following these tips, you can create a budget that works for you and helps you reach your financial goals.


For a free consultation with Financial Coach, Brent Boden, click here.



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