It is fun to teach elementary school fractions. If you put 1/3 and 1/2 on the board and ask how much pie a student wants, the answer is definitely 1/3 until you draw the pie showing the fractional parts. One third is a fraction that I see in finances also. No more than 1/3 of our income should be spent on rent or mortgage.
If you are working with someone living on an income of $900 a month, they have quite a bit to say about this. Most notably is where can you find rent that low. The more that our budget moves away from the 1/3 mark, the more stress it puts on our finances. There is no room for anything unexpected.
There is the 1/3 rule for extra cash that comes perhaps because of a tax or credit refund. If you can't apply the entire amount toward your debt, at least use 1/3 towards debt, 1/3 for now, and 1/3 for an emergency fund. I always feared that the entire amount would be used for a new television to watch the Super Bowl. Luckily this year, checks were not distributed until the end of February.
When teaching a financial class, I always ask the class how many do not even open their bills knowing that they can't pay—about 1/3 of the class. Let's change that!
Opening a bill when it comes is a step forward. Saving to pay the bill when it comes is a huge step forward.
Financial classes and individual counseling are offered at MAM.
The more that we understand finances, the better able we are to make financial decisions that enable our lives. Take a financial class and see if it can reduce your financial anxiety by 1/3!