Budeting Made Easy

What You Need to Know

Managing Debt

You can not achieve financial freedom without budgeting. Why? People who can account for their money are in control of it. You can not run a business successfully without a business plan. And you can not successfully run your household without a budget.

Start this process by writing down your fixed monthly expenses like rent, car payments, and insurance. Then make a list of your flexible expenses like groceries, hydro, gasoline, and incidentals. Finally, list discretionary expenses such as clothes, entertainment, etc. Make sure not to leave anything out; don’t forget your morning cup of coffee or your newspaper! The key is to include every expense from a loonie to your mortgage payment. Review your bank statement or online Interac history to see where you’ve been spending money.

Use these suggested percentages for spending and see how your spending compares.

budgets, household spending, budget percentages
Does your spending line up with our suggested household budgets?

 

 

Budgeting Can Be Easy:

What You Need To Know

Learn how to successfully manage your money and avoid credit problems. This guide will give you money management techniques that can put you in control of your money and help you plan for a successful financial future.

We’ve created this guide with two purposes in mind:

  • To help you create a successful budget and use it.
  • To give you proven strategies for avoiding too much debt.

Making the most of your money can be tough, but without a budget, it is tougher. Budgeting can be easy if you are given the right tools and guidelines. Remember, now’s a great time to learn how to create and live within a budget. The longer you delay the budgeting process, the longer you will be in financial chaos. If you don’t learn to manage your money now, the headaches your debts create may stay with you for a long time.

At Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. we help many individuals and families who are in debt. We want to help you avoid problems and become financially successful.

You can’t achieve financial freedom without budgeting

Why? Because people who can account for their money are in control of it. You can’t build a house without a blueprint. You can’t run a business successfully without a business plan. And you can’t successfully run your household without a budget.

You may be amazed to learn that many Canadians live paycheque to paycheque, without knowing where their money goes, what their spending habits are, or when they will be out of debt.

Myths About Budgets

“A budget is restraining and limits my freedom.”

Not so. A budget actually does the opposite; it puts you in control and helps you achieve your financial goals.

“I can’t solve my money problems unless I make more money.”

False. You can do a lot to solve your money problems right now by sticking to a budget.

“Budgets are complicated and take too much time.”

No way. With a little instruction, anyone-even children-can create and maintain a budget. After the initial setup, maintaining your budget records takes about 30 seconds per transaction.

Can you plan for the future if you’re living paycheque to paycheque, with no spending plan, no savings plan, no end-of-the-month summary report, and no idea of when you’ll be out of debt? No way.

Having a budget doesn’t make you a slave. Properly done, it will reflect your lifestyle and include allowances for fun and recreation. What a budget will do is allow you to stop overspending and start saving. It will bring order and new priorities into your life.

You don’t need an extensive filing system to keeping track of expenses; all you need are envelopes for receipts and account sheets. Start by separating your expenses into fixed, flexible, and discretionary categories, and list them on account sheets as you pay them.

Use business-sized envelopes for each month as you go along. Then get one big file or envelope, indicate the year or period covered, and keep your monthly envelopes in it. Records from chequing accounts, tax-related transactions, etc., should be saved for at least seven years. Tax returns should be saved indefinitely. For household receipts, two or three years is adequate. Insurance policies should be saved as long as they are in force.

Start the budget process by writing down your fixed monthly expenses like rent, car payments, and insurance. Then make a list of your flexible expenses like groceries, utilities, gasoline, and medical expenses. Finally, list discretionary expenses such as clothes, entertainment, etc. Make sure you don’t leave anything out; don’t forget your morning cup of coffee or your newspaper! The key is to include everything you spend money on. Look back over your cheque stubs or bank statement to see where you’ve been spending money.