What is The 80-20 Budget Rule?

The 80-20 budget rule : allocating 80% of your income to categorize essential expenses and savings and debt, while using the result from 20% for discretionary spending and personal goals.

Have you ever felt like your finances are a wild horse that you can’t seem to tame? The constant stress of bills, debts, and expenses can make it hard to enjoy life and achieve your financial goals. But what if there was a way to rein in your personal finances and take control of your money? Enter “What is the 80-20 Budget Rule?”.

The 80-20 rule is a simple yet powerful method that can help you master your personal finances and achieve financial freedom. By allotting 80% of your income to your needs and wants and putting the remaining 20% directly towards your savings, you can create a plan that works for you.

In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to creating an 80-20 golden rule and explain the benefits of this method. So, saddle up and let’s take a go towards financial success!

Key Takeaways

  • This method is a simple types of budgeting for individuals to get you on track.
  • It is only two categories: 80% to needs/wants and 20% to savings.
  • It is great for paying yourself first and can hold you accountable to a budget without taking up a bunch of time.
  • The 80-20 plan is a great starting point for those that don’t like to meticulously track expenses and can set you up for financial success.

What is the 80-20 Budget Rule?

Let’s learn about what the 80-20 rule is and how to manage your personal finances with this rule. It’s a simple yet powerful method that states that 80 percent of our income goes to needs/wants and the savings come from 20 percent. 

The 80-20 rule is also known as the Pareto Principle, which is a theory stating that 80% of results come from 20% of the effort or input.

This rule is a simplified version of the popular 50-30-20 rule, which breaks down into three categories: 50% to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings. The 80-20 rule is a great starting point for those who want to master their finances without spending too much time tracking expenses.

It’s a straightforward formula to follow, and it helps you create a habit of budgeting. With this rule, you pay yourself first, which means you allot 20% of your income to increase your savings before spending anything else. 

This method is perfect for those who face budgeting challenges or want to automate their savings.

How To Create An 80-20 Budget

How To Create An 80-20 Budget

We can easily break down our spending and saving habits into two simple categories using the 80-20 rule. To create an 80-20 spreadsheet, follow these easy steps:

  • Calculate your monthly income: Before you start allotting your income, you need to know how much money you have coming in each month. This includes your salary, bonuses, and any other sources of income you may have.
  • Allocate 80% of your income to requirement: The first step in creating an 80-20 rule is to allot 80% of your income to your requirement. This includes your rent/mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, transportation, and entertainment.
  • Allocate 20% of your income to savings: The second step is to allot 20 percent of your income to savings. This includes your emergency fund, retirement savings, and any other long-term savings goals you may have.
  • Tips for sticking to your 80-20 rule: To ensure you stick to your 80-20 rule, try automating your savings, easier tracking your spending, and reviewing your budget regularly. Additionally, avoid overspending on wants and be mindful of your needs to ensure you aren’t overspending in this category.

Creating an 80-20 rule is simple, but there are common personal budgeting mistakes to avoid. One mistake is not accurately tracking your income and expenses, which can lead to overspending and not saving enough. Another mistake is being too strict with your fund, which can cause burnout and lead to overspending in the long run.

To avoid these mistakes, try to find a balance between being strict with your fund and allowing yourself some flexibility. Remember, the 80-20 rule is a starting point, and you can always adjust it as needed to fit your lifestyle and economic goals.

Benefits Of Prioritizing The 80-20 Rule

Benefits Of Prioritizing The 80-20 Rule

One of the advantages of using the 80-20 rule is that it helps us categorize our savings goals while still allowing for flexibility in spending your money. By automatically allotting at least 20 percent of our income to savings, we are maximizing our savings potential and working towards our long term economic goals.

This method also encourages us to pay ourselves first, which can be a great motivator to stick to our budget and resist unnecessary spending.

To better understand the benefits of the 80-20 rule, we can use the following table:

Benefits of the 80-20 ruleExplanation
Prioritizes savings goalsThe 20% allocation to savings ensures that we are saving for our future financial security.
Encourages paying ourselves firstBy prioritizing our savings, we are putting ourselves first and investing in our own financial future.
Allows for flexibility in spendingThe 80% allocation to needs and wants gives us flexibility in our day-to-day spending while still working towards our savings goals.

Overall, the 80-20 rule is a simple but effective way to start taking control of our finances. By categorizing our savings rate and paying ourselves first, we can work towards our long term economic goals while still having some flexibility in our spending.

Other Budgeting Methods to Consider

Did you know that there are several other methods that can help you save money and reach your economic goals faster?

The envelope budgeting method is a simple, tactile way to manage finances by allocating cash to different categories represented by physical envelopes. With the advent of technology, this concept has been digitalized, with the digital envelope system providing a more convenient and secure method that mimics the cash envelope approach.

The 50/40/10 budget rule is another strategy, where you allocate 50% of your income towards needs, 40% towards wants, and the remaining 10% to savings.

For a more tailored approach, the sub-savings method allows for creating smaller saving goals within a larger savings account, enabling you to save for specific targets.

The 30/30/30/10 budget rule, meanwhile, encourages you to spend 30% on needs, 30% on wants, 30% on savings, and 10% on giving or investing.

The 70-20-10 rule is one such method that breaks down your income into three categories: 70% for living expenses, 20% for savings, and 10% for fun and entertainment. This method allows for a little more flexibility in spending, but still prioritizes saving and financial responsibility.

Another popular rule is the 60-40 rule, which allots 60% for essential expenses, 40% for discretionary expenses. This method is similar to the 80-20 rule, but includes a larger portion for living expenses.

The 60-40 budget rule is a good option for those who want to categorize savings but still have some room for fun and entertainment in their fund.

Lastly, zero-based budgeting promotes fiscal responsibility by ensuring every dollar of your income is assigned a purpose, whether for spending, saving, or investing, ensuring your income minus your expenses equals zero by the end of each month.

Ultimately, it’s important to compare methods and choose the one that works best for your financial situation and goals.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Making a budget strategy for income fluctuations with the 80-20 rule include setting a minimum savings amount and adjusting expenses accordingly. It’s crucial to categorize needs over wants and create a buffer for unexpected expenses. Regular check-ins can help adjust for changing income.

To ensure accurate categorization of expenses for the 80-20 rule, we use expense tracking and budgeting software. This allows us to easily monitor and adjust our spending habits to fit within the 80-20 rule.

We can use the 80-20 rule to pay off debt by categorizing expenses and incorporating debt reduction strategies. This method allows us to save 20% of our income while still covering our requirements.

Staying motivated on the 80-20 rule can be challenging. To stay on track, we find accountability buddies, set achievable goals, and celebrate milestones. Consistency and reminders help us maintain our economic goals.

Adjusting percentages in the 80-20 rule is possible for personalization. It’s important to categorize saving and allot a percentage that fits your needs. However, too much deviation could defeat the purpose of the budget’s simplicity and effectiveness.


In conclusion, the 80-20 rule is a simple and effective method for managing your finances and achieving your financial goals. By allotting 80% of your income to your needs and wants and saving the remaining 20%, you can create a sustainable plan that works for you.

According to a study by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, only 40% of Americans have a budget in place. This is a surprising statistic, considering the importance of budgeting in achieving financial stability.

By adopting the 80-20 rule, you can take control of your finances and work towards your economic goals, whether that’s debt repayment, saving for a down payment on a home, or building an emergency fund.

Overall, the 80-20 rule is a great starting point for anyone looking to improve their financial situation. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can create a budget plan that works for you and take the first steps towards financial freedom.

Remember, budgeting is not a one-time event, but a continuous process. With patience and dedication, you can master your finances and achieve your economic goals.

Hope you get useful information from the article, if you have any questions or want to read more articles about budgeting, loans, debt management, savings strategies, investing and more. Please visit the website: gladstonellc.com

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