Budgeting & Planning
In order to make an effective plan on how to manage your money, it is first important to determine what you are working towards. Maybe you want to save up to purchase a new vehicle, or are striving to move out on your own. Knowing this will help you develop a perfectly tailored budget to reach your goals.
Interested in learning more ways to balance your budget? Attend one of our free workshops.
Before making any financial decision, please consult a financial advisor to ensure it is recommended for your individual circumstance.
Developing a budget from scratch can seem like an overwhelming task, so we have developed a budget template that you can work from. Check out our budgeting tips article on how to best put your budget into use, and then continue to customize based on your individual circumstances.
For example, you may realize that there are additional items that you spend money on that are not listed or vice versa. Even if you want to design your own budget, our spreadsheet can provide you with a place to start on what items can be included in your budget and how best to track them.
Developing a budget is the easy step, and you can even use budget spreadsheet like ours, but following the budget and managing your plan can be challenging. Here are a few tips on how to make budgeting easier:
- Track your spending: For at least a week, keep track of what you’ve purchased to see how you spend your money. If you have no idea where your money goes, it becomes very difficult to create a budget and properly allocate your money. This will also help you identify some of the areas where you can potentially reduce your spending, for example - limiting the amount of times you eat out during the week.
- Review your budget: It’s important to reflect back on your budget each month to make changes if needed. Don’t worry if you’re significantly over or under in certain categories at first because you are not sure how much you usually spend in these areas - this is common and you’ll get the hang of it over time.
- Save first: Setting up an automatic transaction with your banking institution so a certain amount immediately goes into a savings account on days when you get paid is a great way to save without having to think about it. It is much easier to save in the beginning, than trying to put money into savings at the end of the month when you have already over-spent.
- Understand your financial goals: Keeping in mind the goals that you are striving for will help you remain motivated. It is much easier to set aside some money into savings when you know it is taking you one step closer to that dream vacation you have been planning. Try measuring how close you are to reaching that goal; consider placing money in a jar, as witnessing ongoing progress can keep you excited and striving towards success.
- Manage your entertainment: Budgeting isn’t about restricting yourself entirely, as this makes it much more challenging to stick to your budget in the long-term. It is important to have a balance. Plan ahead an appropriate amount of money for entertainment and going out with friends that fits within your budget. You can also try brainstorming some activities that cost less, like going for a hike in a new area.