One of the most common percentage-based budgets is the 70/20/10 budget, which can be a great option for people that have higher expenses or limited income.

What is the 70/20/10 Budget?

With the 70/20/10 budgeting rule, your money is divvied up into three different categories, one with 70%, one with 20%, and the other with 10%.

  • 70% – Living Expenses
  • 20% – Savings & Debt Repayment
  • 10% – Flexible Spending

The first section is the 70 percent area, for living expenses. This can include mortgages, cost of living and other things needed to survive and make a living.


The 20 percent piece of the pie is for savings or debt. If you have debt, you’ll want to quickly eliminate that because odds are your debt is costing you more than your investments are earning. The quicker you eliminate your debt, the quicker you can save more and build your nest egg for emergency or retirement.


The final 10 percent of the total is a bit more flexible spending, but with a purpose. This is for items such as additional saving, investing, giving, or for fun. This cash can be used a little more freely but should not be wasted. The goal is to ensure your money is working just as hard for you as you worked to earn it.

70/20/10 Budget Calculator

Input your income in the highlighted field to see how the 70/20/10 budget rule would apply to you! This can be income for any range that you choose: weekly, biweekly, monthly, annual salary, etc.

70/20/10 Budget Google Sheet

Are you a spreadsheet person? Cool, us too! That’s why we’ve put together this Google Sheet resource for calculating different budgets, including the 70/20/10 rule.


Make a copy of our spreadsheet and check it out!

70/20/10 Budget Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you’re still wondering about any specifics to the 70/20/10 budget, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

What is the 70/20/10 budget?

The 70/20/10 budget is a simple way to budget your income. You divide your income into three categories: 70% for living expenses, 20% for savings and debt repayment, and 10% for flexible spending.

How do I know if I'm following the 70/20/10 budget?

Some people use the 70/20/10 budget more flexibly than others. You can choose to follow it as a loose guideline or as a strict rule. Give it a try and see how well it works for you!

What expenses are considered ``living expenses``?

Living expenses are those that you need in order to maintain a reasonably healthy wellbeing, such as rent or mortgage costs, food, transportation, and healthcare. But there can be some gray areas, especially when it comes to things like clothing and entertainment.

Is the 70/20/10 budget realistic?

The 70/20/10 budget will work better for some people than it does for others. This method puts more emphasis on living expenses than many others, which make it a potentially good option for those with lower income. We recommend looking into several potential budget methods to figure out what’s most effective for you.

Other Percentage-Based Budgets

50/30/20 Budget Rule

✔️ Best for those with higher expenses or lower income

80/20 Budget Rule

✔️ Best for the financially disciplined with higher expenses

60% Budget Rule

✔️ Best for those with lower fixed expenses