Budget Planning

  • Do you have a budget that works for you? 

  • Do you know your credit score? 

  • Are you saving 10% or the amount required to reach your financial goals? 

  • Do you have 3 to 6 months of living expenses saved? 

  • Do you review your budget regularly? 

  • In the past 6 months, have you looked at your budget for ways to reduce spending?


Things to consider

An effective budget is written down and reviewed regularly.Think of it as a spending plan: it should meet your needs first, then your wants. A good budget includes an emergency fund to cover living expenses for three to six months, so before you pay your bills or buy groceries, set aside a portion of your income for your 401(k), Roth IRA, or savings account.


What you need to know

How a budget can help:

  1. It helps reveal wasteful spending
  2. It can reduce stress
  3. It helps control spending
  4. It acts as a roadmap

Why budget planning is important

  1. It helps families align spending priorities
  2. In the long term, budgets help you understand where and how you’re spending money
  3. It helps you stay on track to reach your retirement goals

What it means

A budget should act as a roadmap and help you understand how you’re spending your money. There is no set budget breakdown, so you can use the one below as an example and allocate your income as follows: 
    • 70% to Living — Living expenses include housing, utilities, food, entertainment, health care, and insurance.
    • 10% to Giving — Giving expenses include charities and church donations.
    • 10% to Owing — Owing expenses include credit cards, lines of credit, and student loans. This doesn’t include mortgage payments and car payments.
    • 10% to Growing — Growing expenses include emergency savings and retirement savings.

Budgeting guidelines

Use the Financial check-up supplement called “Budget planner” to help you analyze your spending, set goals for change, and create a plan you can refer to regularly. Your advisor is ready to help you create a budget that works for you and your family.


Use the Financial check-up budget planner to help create a budget that works for you and your family. Speak with your local advisor to ensure that you’re saving enough to meet your retirement goals.

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1. 2015 Financial Literacy Survey prepared by The Harris Poll for The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)

2. MarketWatch - 2015 Bankrate.com survey of 1,000 adults

3. 2015 United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) Retirement Security: Most Households Approaching Retirement Have Low Savings

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