Basic Budget Setup

Published July 20, 2017

Need to start a basic budget for yourself or your family?
It is simple to set up, but it takes some time, so allow room for trial and error.
Tips to stay on track:
  • Make a grocery list to limit impulse buys at the store.
  • Avoid going out to eat: cook at home!
  • Pay bills right away to ensure you don't spend that money elsewhere.
  • Choose need-based spending over want-based spending.
  • Manage budget daily; we suggest using the Budget Tool with Maps in online banking.
The Budget Tool within online banking gives you options to set your budget. Use the “auto-generate” option to set a suggested expense limit for each category, based on your transactions in the last 90 days, or use the worksheet below to create one from scratch and set the limits yourself.
Starting from scratch allows you to restart with good spending habits. If you already have good spending habits, using the auto-generate option is a great starting place for you.
Best practice is to set up alerts in the Budget Tool that notifies you when payments are upcoming or if you have low balances, as well as to check on your budget and transactional accounts daily.
To start a basic budget, take your paycheck and divide it into the sections below.
HERE is an easy printable worksheet to help you:
35% Housing: Rent or mortgage, utilities, and house/rental insurance
15% Food: Groceries and eating out
12% Transportation: Car loans, insurance, mass transit, and maintenance
8% Debt: School loans, credit cards, or personal loans
7% Retirement Savings: Investing in your future
5% Other Savings: Expense from each paycheck to build savings
5% Cell/Internet: Cell phone bill, equipment, and internet service in your home
5% Entertainment: Cable bill, movie theaters, etc.
5% Health Care: Insurance, co-pays, and any medications
3% Clothing: If you need something or see something fun
Check back next soon to learn how to manage your budget easily using the Budget Tool!