Much like baking cookies, creating and maintaining a budget is exact and messy. Baking includes a list of ingredients that, depending on how you utilize it, can make or break your expected outcome.

FOOD RECIPE: Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • Flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Melted butter
  • Brown and white sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Vanilla extract
  • Chocolate chips


  1. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients melted butter, brown sugar, white sugar, 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks, and vanilla extract. Add the mixed dry ingredients to form the cookie batter.
  3. Add chocolate chips to the batter.
  4. Refrigerate cookie dough batter for at least of 2 hours to let the flavors sink in.
  5. Roll the dough into cookie balls then bake in the oven.

FINANCIAL RECIPE: The Anatomy of a Budget

When it comes to budgeting, think of it like baking cookies – following an exact amount of ingredients and a step-by-step process to achieve the expected result.

  1. List your expenses and classify them into two groups:
    1. Non-negotiables - living necessities such as food, shelter, and household bills
    2. Wants - items that you buy for fun and leisure

One good formula you can start with is the 50-30-20 rule, find more about it here.

  1. Stick to it. In the same way that baking procedures must be followed precisely, always follow the limits you have set. Not sticking to your budget might derail you from your financial goals or worse, get you into debt.
  1. If something is not on the budget, find a way to work around it. Being creative for occasional treats and indulgences let you enjoy your hard-earned money without busting your budget. Take it from Randell and Gabbie, whenever they want to indulge on fancy food, they would spend on ingredients and cook good food at home. After all, they can get more out of the money spent for the same price as eating out.

Practice makes progress. Making perfectly baked cookies is achieved through learning and consistent practice. Research on tools that can help you keep track of expenses. You can even consult a licensed financial planner for recommendations on how to best allocate your money based on your goals.

Start your financial recipe today:

Get on top of your spending, try our Expense Calculator

Learn how you can begin your journey to financial independence with our Getting Started Module

Don’t have a financial advisor yet? Try the advisor match to talk to a Sun Life Advisor.

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