calculator and budgeting chart

Spend Smarter

Winging it. Not great for interviews, driving somewhere you’ve never been before, or making smart spending decisions. Think of a budget like GPS for your money: input your starting location and goal destination, and it’ll help your bank account get from Point A to Point B. We Skimm’d what you need to know to get into the driver’s seat.

Step #1: Get Started

Read up on why the ‘B’ word isn’t so dirty...and the parts of your paystub you'll need to actually make one.

Step #2: Talk the Talk

You can probably think of a ton of excuses to avoid budgeting. Now, not speaking the language can’t be one of them.

Skimm'tionary: Spend Smarter

50/20/30 budgeting

50/20/30 (Budget)

A popular budgeting rule that breaks down your paycheck so 50% goes toward basic needs (housing, groceries, getting to work), 20% to saving and investing, and 30% for wants (Netflix, happy hours, haircuts).

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All-Cash Diet

All-Cash Diet

When you detox from bad money habits, like overspending. By using cash for expenses like clothes, food, and entertainment instead of swiping your debit or credit card. When you’re out of money, you’re done spending.

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The fun part of your net worth equation. They’re things you own with a dollar value attached. Think: the cash in your savings account, stocks and bonds, your home, engagement ring...and anything else you have that’s worth something.

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The other B-word. It’s a spending plan based on your needs, wants, and goals. Your money, your rules.

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gross income (budgets)

Gross Income (Budget)

The total amount of money you earn before taxes or other deductions. Not actually gross at all.

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Anything you owe. Like your student loans, credit card debt, and outstanding medical bills. When you go low, your net worth goes high.

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net income

Net Income

How much of your gross (total) income you pocket after taxes and other deductions, like 401(k) savings and insurance premiums. Not as nice as your gross income.

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net worth

Net Worth

What you own (your assets) minus what you owe (your liabilities). The more commas in your number, the better.

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pay yourself first

Pay Yourself First

When you save money as soon as your paycheck hits...and before you do anything else. Like pay your bills or buy groceries. Future you says thanks.

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take home pay

Take-Home Pay

A less fancy way to say “net income,” or the amount of money that hits your bank account after taxes are deducted from your paycheck. Look at this number when building your budget and deciding how much is realistic to save.

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