Finding a job is a feat, and we are proud of each and every one of our clients who do so. The hard part of maintaining a sustainable livelihood is understanding how to correctly budget your money. Keeping up with bills and expenses in this time can be difficult. Follow the guide below to help you stay on track and further your sustainable life.

50/30/20 Rule

When looking at what you can afford, you want to think about the 50/30/20 rule. This is a model of budgeting where you spend:

  • 50% of your net income on expenses (rent, car payments, utilities)
  • 30% of your paycheck on wants and needs
  • 20% of your paycheck goes into savings/paying off debts


We strongly encourage all clients to build a budget when first starting a new job to ensure that you are able to make ends meet. Here’s a breakdown of a client making $17 an hour.

Client takes home an average of $2170 after taxes each month.

  • 50% of paycheck going to bills=$1085 monthly
    • Rent: $800
    • Utilities: $100
    • Monthly Transportation(bus): $64 monthly bus pass
  • 30% of paycheck going to wants and needs=$650 monthly
    • Groceries: $200
    • Activities and Leisure: $200
    • Anything else needed: $250
  • 20% of paycheck going to savings=$435
    • If you save $435 a month, you will have $5220 at the end of each year added to savings
    • If you pay off debts, $5220 goes a long way towards consolidating and paying off debt

How Can St. Joseph the Worker Help?

What if your bills are more than 50% of your paycheck? St. Joseph the Worker can help you find another job with pay that matches the bills you need to pay. Just come into one of our offices and we can assist you further. No appointment necessary!

St. Joseph the Worker is here to help you be successful in building a sustainable life. We believe that stable full-time employment is the key to a sustainable life.