How Much Should You Budget For Fun Tech Splurges?

How Much Should You Budget For Fun Tech Splurges?

Taryn Williford
Sep 14, 2010

All work and no play can make anybody a dull boy (and it leaves us Unplggd bloggers without anything to write about). The truth is, unless you're in a bout of serious financial hardship, the money experts agree that you should splurge a bit on the things that you love. So how do you know if the new iPod Nano is a wise purchase? Split up your take-home paycheck with the rule of 30.

Splurging on dramatic lighting for your cash is never a wise purchase.
...unless you're a stock photographer.

In their book, All Your Worth, Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi say that it's wise for your budget to follow the 50-30-20 rule—and many financial experts are getting behind them.

Here's how it works:

  • 50 percent of your take-home pay (after taxes) should go to NEEDS. Things like rent, utilities, gas money, insurance and basic groceries.
  • 20 percent should go to SAVINGS. Put it away for retirement or a down payment on a house. Any payments you make on existing debt can be budgeted here, too.
  • Leaving 30 percent for WANTS. This is where you'd budget for weekend restaurant splurges, your unlimited data plan or a new TV.

So the rule of 30 says that if you're living below your means, using around half of your take-home pay for basic living expenses, you should feel good about spending a little bit of cash on yourself.

If you're not yet at the 50/30/20 budget breakdown, don't worry.

A financial advisor will tell you that it's a goal to work towards (and a goal you might never completely reach if you live in high-rent cities like New York or San Francisco). But knowing that guilt-free tech splurges are on the horizon is a pretty good motivator, right?

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