ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Make the Most of Your Limited Income

Updated on November 7, 2018
profile image

Being a person that once had a mountain of debt while living paycheck to paycheck I had to find a way to make the most out of every cent.

Budget the Income

Budgeting your income is the best way to start. People sometimes overlook this simple idea which prevents them from getting out of whatever hole they may find their self in.



For some people that may have never budgeted their money before this is the easiest layout to follow. It doesn't take much find where your expenses fit in.

Calculate Your After-Tax Income

Calculating your after-tax income will give you your take home money. This is the money that you have left over from your paycheck after federal and state taxes have been taken out. Depending on where you work and what plans (health care, life insurance, 401k, retirement) you have more deductions will be taken out giving the total take-home amount to be lower.

50% = Needs

Now that you have your take-home income amount we can now work on where 50% of your check will be going. The needs are just that they are what you need to go about your day. Most of us will have needs like these

  • Housing - Rent or Mortgage
  • Utilities - Water, Electricity, Waste, Phone, Internet (try to keep this with only essentials)
  • Transportation - Car Payment, Gas, (anything that gets you from point A to point B)
  • Debt - Credit Cards, Loans (anything you owe)
  • Food - Groceries (any food cost)


30% = Wants

This is where you can get a little crazy. Wants will be anything that you want, whether it be

  • Dining Out
  • Entertainment
  • Memberships or Subscription
  • Vacations

The main thing to keep in mind here is that you have to live within your means remember that you only have 30% of your paycheck to dedicate to this group. Try to make the most out of it without going overboard. Exciting 30% will start to pull money from other groups which could start to dig you into a hole that you may not be able to get out of.


20% = Saving and Repayment

Here is the more important chunk of your paycheck, here is where you can start to change your life. Here is where you can start to put money away to start building wealth, set up savings or even put more money to pay off debt.

Saving - what you are putting to prepare yourself for the future

  • Emergency fund
  • Retirement fund
  • Investment accounts

Debt Repayment - payment to your debt that is over your minimum payment. Every bit of debt whether its credit card, mortgage, or a car loan will set a minimum amount that has to be paid every month this will fall into the 50% bracket. Debt repayment will be any amount that pushes past this number, helping to get the balances lower soon. This will also mean that you are losing less money to interest but that's a different story.


Budget Set Now What

Follow your own situation to get the most out of your money.

Play with the brackets

Now that you have your budget set you may be wondering what do I do now. Once you have the basics down you can start dialing what "YOUR" needs are what your wants are and what you want to put into saving. For some people, 50% may be too much for your needs if you are one of those people good for you. for other 50% may not be enough.

If it's not enough you need to look over your expenses and see what you can change to bring the number down, if you can't that may be a sign that you may need to look for a better income source or maybe even side income.

If it's enough what you can do is start to move some of the leftover money into savings or even into the want bracket this can help plan for a trip or even pay off any debt that you may have.

You do you

The last thing I want to tell everyone reading we all have the power to get our lives together. I spent a good amount of time not knowing where my money was going and I was living for some time out of my means. This meant that I was not putting money away for savings yet alone putting money away to paying off the debt that I owe. This all changed when I set up a budget and was able to see everything coming in and out. Try this out and see how it may change your life.

Question Time

Do you have a budget set up?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)