It can help you decide if you’re happy with where your money’s going, and see where you could make some positive changes.
The idea is you’d aim to spend:
50% of your income on needs: essential living expenses, such as rent/mortgage, bills, food and transport to work
30% on wants: discretionary spending, such as eating out, shopping, trips and subscriptions
20% on savings or debt: paying off debt beyond minimum payments, or putting money into a savings account, investment or pension fund
Our budget planning tool can help you break down your spending into different categories to see where you could make changes.
So, if your monthly income was £1,500 after tax, you might spend:
£750 on needs
£450 on wants
£300 on savings or debts
Remember, everyone’s situation is different. If you find your spending doesn’t fit the 50-30-20 rule, that’s okay. But, if it’s realistic for you, it could give you a good goal to aim for.
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Look at how much money you have coming in on a regular basis. This will primarily be your salary if you're working. If your income changes from month to month, work out the average over the last 3 months.
Then, looking at your bank statements for the last 3 months, work out your average monthly spend. It can help to categorise your expenses so you can see specific areas where you may be overspending.
These categories may include your ‘needs’, which are regular outgoings like:
rent or mortgage
Plus your ‘wants’, such as:
Then note any money you’re putting towards:
Once you know how much you’re spending in each area, you can work out the percentage:
Divide the amount you’re spending on needs per month by your monthly income. For example: £750 ÷ £1,500 = 0.5
Multiply that number by 100. For example: 0.5 × 100 = 50%
Once you’ve worked out the percentages, look at how they compare. Again, it’s okay if your spending doesn’t fit the 50-30-20 rule. But, if you’re looking to save more, or repay debts faster, you may be able to make some changes.
You can book an appointment with one of our financial fitness trainers, who can take you through a quick and easy 30-minute financial health check. Our trainers are on hand to speak to you about your banking needs – and you don’t have to be an HSBC customer.
They won’t give financial advice, but they’re here to help you achieve your financial goals, whatever they may be. They’ll be able to explain where you’re doing well and where you may be able to improve, focusing on what’s important to you.