What are your goals? Is it to save more money, learn a new language, learn a new talent. Does your goal have a quantifiable means of achievement? That’s basically a fancy way of asking if your goal can be tracked by progress.

For an example, let’s say you want to save more money. Now, we could follow the method of saving money from the past. That is saving what we have left at the end of the month but that isn’t sustainable for long. How long passes before we decide that it’s okay not to save anything for one month? Then how long does it take for that one month to become 2, 3 or even 4?

Before we know it we’re back where we started; not saving at all. We need a smart tactic!

This is where the 20% rule comes in.

What is the 20% rule?

The 20% rule states we must do 20% of one thing to then achieve the other 80%. For example, we must learn the most important 20% of words in a new language and then the other 80% will be picked up by using the 20% in context.

How does it apply to money? Easy. Save 20% of what we earn every month and don’t touch it. Or, if you’re up for a real challenge, try and save 80% of what you earn and then spend the other 20% on whatever you want. However, this does raise a problem. “I don’t want to lose my lifestyle for the sake of money, so what should I do?”

With this in mind. I split the 20% rule followers into the 2 following camps. The strict followers and the loose followers. Read my descriptions of them below and tell me which one you would fit into.

Loose Followers

Following a goal loosely can be dangerous but sometimes it is necessary.

Carrying on my example, a loose follower would say “I’m going to save 80% of my money but I’m allowed to use it for emergencies”. What I’m saying is every month you still try and save the 80% but if you need the money you use it. For example, if rent is higher than normal or an unexpected bill happens you’re allowed to use the 80% to cover it.

Basically, this is the flexible option, you adjust the percentage of savings around your life.

Strict Followers

The route to the strict following is for the determined ones among us who aren’t scared about risking it all.

If you want to be a strict follower of this rule, everything you do must adhere to the 20% rule. You must dedicate all your resources and effort to saving that money for example. You bend and move your lifestyle around the 20% rule.

This could mean downsizing your apartment, buying cheaper foods or even selling your car for a pushbike. Whatever is necessary is what you must do, you must save that 80% without fail. You must follow the 20% rule!


If you can, I recommend you follow the strict path as you’ll definitely get more done and you’ll definitely make more progress to your goal. However, you have to sacrifice a lot more to get there.

Personally, the loosely following route is the best option for the majority of people as it fits in with the lifestyles we lead. It is liquid, it is malleable, it can be moved as you need. But most importantly, even after it has been moved it is still there enforcing the rule. You can move the rule but the rule is still 80%, you just have more exceptions.

So, what route would you take? How much risk are you prepared to take? Tell me down below.

Sign up to newsletter post image