Monday, November 18, 2013

Budget Worksheet and Best Practices

There are many ways to reduce the expenses in your monthly budget. The most obvious is to eliminate frills.  For example, consider whether you need to buy a muffin on the way to work when you could bake a dozen every weekend for a fraction of the cost.  Make coffee at home instead of grabbing it from the drivethru window.  Wait for sales before you do your holiday shopping.

When it comes to the essentials, clipping coupons has become much more popular in recent years - and it’s easier than ever because so many deals are advertised online. Searchable sites such as collect and summarize discounts on goods and services across the country. Meanwhile, lets you order a range of coupons on brand name products that are mailed to you free of charge.

In categories such as cable and communications, consolidating services with one company can save you money through bundling. If you have several providers, call them up and ask for their best deal on the telephone, internet, and television services your family needs. While you may not enjoy playing hardball, the reality is that you will often only get their best deals by threatening to leave for a competitor, so don't be shy.  

Many Canadians can also quickly reduce their debt costs by paying off high-interest credit card balances and consolidating debt in a lower interest single line of credit.

Get your whole family involved in the quest for new saving strategies because this works best when it is a joint effort. If you have children or grandchildren, keep them motivated by rewarding them for their best ideas with a money free treat - such as a game of catch at your favourite park.

A simple budget doesn’t take much time to set up and can help you see very clearly where your money goes each month - and where there may be opportunities to reduce costs. Collect your household’s bank statements and bills and then record your expenses in categories such as those listed on the following Budget Worksheet. This will help identify where your money is going and how much you are spending monthly.  Next, turn to your income. Add it all up and calculate a monthly average for your income as well.  Lack of awareness is the single biggest obstacle to creating a great savings plan for you and your family.  Get started with this worksheet (just click to enlarge), and give us a call at 905-332-6633 when you're ready to build your wealth and put together a successful retirement plan for you and your loved ones.  For more tools & tips, visit the Continuum II Inc. Resources page of our website.  

monthly budget worksheet template

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