How to create a personal budget if you make over $100k a year

John Cook
10 min readDec 31, 2018

At its core, balancing a budget is telling your money what to do. The ideal time to create your monthly budget is before the start of the month. For example, I created my budget for January 2019 in December. This month, i’ll be managing an income of $16,636.53 to be distributed across 6 categories as outlined below. Note how every penny of income is allocated to a budget category, there is no ‘buffer’. This month i’ll be living off 52.01% of my post tax income. What’s amazing to think about is that once my student loans are paid off, and once i’m married, i’d be living off of just 39.98% of my post-tax income. Wow!

I have a ‘budget template’ that serves as my starting point, but always end up customizing it for the one-off bills that are due in each particular month. For example, this January I have a one-off medical bill of $159.10 as well as eye contacts to purchase for $150, so I’ve added it to my ‘Insurance’ category which already has 2 recurring expenses (Progressive car insurance, and Lemonade renters insurance):

My budget template also underscores 2 very real problems we all have: debt and life events. In addition to paying off $170,000 by