If the word “budget” typically makes you want to run and hide—we get it. But when you choose to take charge of your money, a solid spending plan is key. Follow these steps to align your spending to your values, which can boost your satisfaction in life. 

Create a spending plan for what matters most

Decide what you value

Write down what matters most to you. It could be eating out with friends or family, getting a pet, travel and experiences, saving for a home, or starting a family. Be precise. Specificity about what you value—and why—makes it easier to budget accordingly. 

Factor in basic expenses

Before going all out on big goals and wish lists, know how to budget for living expenses. Be sure basic needs like utilities, food, and transportation are covered in your budget. Then, you can focus more on the things that spark joy. 

Review spending

Check your statements and note how much you’re spending on what. Do your purchases align with your values? This can help you fine-tune your budget and spend with purpose. 

Use a worksheet

A worksheet makes it easier to know how to budget for living expenses. Our super budget worksheet has all the formulas and calculations pre-populated to make it easy for you. Ensure you’ve got more money coming in than going out, and add line items unique to your values. 

Download Super budget worksheet (XLSX)Download Super budget worksheet (XLSX)

Check in regularly

Review your budget regularly to keep yourself on track. Know that over time, your values may change—and that’s OK! You can always adjust where needed. 

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

Savings goal calculator

This calculator is made available by one or more third party service providers. It is not intended to be an advertisement for a product or service at any of the terms used herein. It is not intended to offer any tax, legal, financial or investment advice. All examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. Truist Financial Corporation ("Truist") and its affiliates do not provide legal or tax advice. Truist cannot guarantee that the information provided is accurate, complete, or timely. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. Changes in such laws and regulations may have a material impact on pre- and/or after-tax investment results. Truist makes no warranties with regard to this calculator or the results obtained by its use. Truist disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or any tax position taken in reliance on, this calculator. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.

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