Creating a Budget: a step-by-step guide for the recent college graduate


  1. Add yearly salary to any other sources of income. Divide this number by 12 to calculate anticipated monthly income.
  2. Add up necessary payments. These include but are not limited to:
  • Loan payments
  • Insurance (home, life, medical, dental)
  • Retirement Plan (at least 10% of salary/month ideally)
  • Credit Card Payments
  • Taxes (up to 34% of income/month)
  1. Subtract payments from monthly income. This is the amount left for expenditures.
  1. Calculate living expenses. These include but are not limited to:
  • Housing
  • Utilities
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Clothing (including dry cleaning)
  • Investments and savings
  • Personal Expenses (Entertainment, vacations, personal care, etc…)
  1. Subtract 4 from 3. This is how much money is left for saving or spending.