A budget will help you live within your means, reduce your debts, and plan for significant purchases or events. It will also leave you with more money to spend on the things you love.
Here are a few tips to help you make budgeting easy.
Before You Start
Before starting your budget, think about what your goals are. Do you want to pay off your debts, buy a car, or pay for your kids’ education?
Evaluate what your needs are. Your needs are what is essential to your survival: a roof over your head, food in the fridge, clothes on your back.
Evaluate what your wants are. Your wants are what you desire but don’t necessarily need. A particular brand of clothing will be a want. A less expensive shirt can still do the job. If you can use public transport, a car will also be a want.
For a month or two, track where your money is going. Keep your bills and categorize them between the needs and the wants. Try to limit the wants. Instead of going to the coffee shop every morning, why not make it at home? It seems like a tiny thing to do, but when you think about it, a $2 coffee every morning comes up to $730 after a year.
Make Your Budget
Now comes the time to make your budget. You can use the Budget Calculator to help you. It’s a free tool provided by the Government of Canada.
List your incomes and expenses. The Budget Calculator will help you do just that. It will also help you categorize everything, and maybe even pinpoint your needs versus your wants.
Time to analyze your budget. Make sure you didn’t forget anything. Target a category where you could cut your spending. Use that money to pay off loans and credit cards instead. The fastest you pay those, the more money you save because you’ll pay less interest. Once these are paid, you can use the extra money that you will have to do whatever you want. Whether it be to build a savings account or to spend on something you love.
Make An Emergency Fund
Nothing can make a dent in a budget like an unforeseen emergency. When you manage to save extra money by following your budget, it’s always a good idea to start an emergency fund. When that is not possible, or you haven’t had time to save enough yet, what can you do? An online personal loan could be the simplest solution. They are easy to get, and you receive your money within twenty-four hours. You repay the loan within three months, which you can easily add to your budget.
Don’t forget. Making a budget and sticking to it can save you a lot of money in the long run. You will be happy to have gone through with it!