Everyone needs to budget. It’s a great habit to get into because it keeps you aware of money you have coming in versus money you have going out.
The most crucial thing for proper budgeting is to keep every receipt. Then, on a monthly basis, you can add up the amount of money you spent on the following items (where they apply):
(a) Housing (mortgage/rent, property taxes, insurance, heat, hydro, water, property maintenance, condo fees, home phone, cell phone, cable, internet, etc.)
(b) Food (groceries, restaurants)
(c) Clothing (purchases, cleaning, repairs)
(d) Transportation (loan/lease payments, insurance, plates, fuel, parking, maintenance, etc.)
(e) Household Expenses (property improvements or purchases, cleaning/help, pets and pet care, etc.)
(f) Personal Care (medical, dental, vision, etc.)
(g) Personal Insurance (life insurance, disability insurance, health insurance, etc.)
(h) Loan Payments (credit cards, lines of credit, investment loans, student loans, etc.)
(i) Capital Accumulation (emergency fund, education fund, retirement, etc.)
(j) Lifestyle/Miscellaneous (donations, personal gifts, regular vacations, entertainment, recreation, subscriptions, cigarettes/alcohol, personal allowance, club dues, lotteries, etc.)
By reviewing your budget on a monthly basis, you will notice any unnecessary expenses right away, be able to decide whether or not they should continue and you could even invest any leftover money to help with future costs (expected or unexpected). Budgeting can also help you determine approximately how much money you will have in a given time if your spending habits stay the same, so if you are trying to save money, you can see why this is crucial. The earlier you get started, the better.
We have some more great ideas on how to budget effectively and we would love to work together with you on yours, but if you like, you can use this monthly budget worksheet to help you get started. Otherwise, click here to book your free consultation today.