How to Budget Your Money | Budget Planning for My Money
Learn how to create a spending plan and manage your money better
In regard to budgeting money, Charles Dickens once said,
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen—result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty-one pounds—result misery.”
Spending more than you make can be fun for a while, but in the end, Charles Dickens is right—it can be misery-making. There is nothing fun about paying interest on money you have already spent. The good news is that life doesn’t have to be this way. If you have been spending more than you make, you can reverse the process and escape the misery. If you haven’t been overspending and you are simply trying to be pro-active and make a plan to avoid misery, then you are steps ahead. We have loads of free resources created to help you develop your own spending plan: a budget.
What is Budgeting and Why is It Important?
Budgeting is the process of creating a plan to spend your money. Creating this spending plan allows you to determine in advance whether you will have enough money to do the things you need to do or would like to do.
If you don't have enough money to do everything you would like to do, then you can use this planning process to prioritize your spending and focus your money on the things that are most important to you. Learn more about budgeting and why it's important.
Here are three different ways to learn how to budget: 1) our 7 Steps online workbook, 2) our interactive budget calculator that guides you, or 3) attending one of our online budgeting workshops.
How to Budget
Below are three easy ways you can learn to budget. Choose the one you like best, or do some of each.
Option 1 - 7 Steps That Will Help You Build a Budget That Works
This is one of our popular budgeting resources. Tens of thousands of people use it every year to learn money management basics, budget planning and how to develop a personal or household budget that works. Click here to explore the 7 steps or click here to download a PDF copy (that you can fill out and save or click here to download a copy to print out at home). If you would like to obtain a printed copy of this booklet, please contact us to mail you a free copy (please note: we only mail to addresses in Canada. If you live outside of Canada, you can download one of the PDF copies of the workbook).
If you don’t have time right now to go through this workbook and are just looking for a quick overview of how budgeting works, click on the link below to get a highly summarized version of how to get started budgeting your money.
7 Steps to a Budget Made Easy
This is a quick way to get started with your budget. It will give you some guidelines of what it takes to design a budget that will work. If you want more details, try our budgeting workbook 7 Steps that will help you build a budget that works.
Option 2 - Step-by-Step Budgeting Guidance & Advice
To make budgeting more fun and even easier, we've created an interactive budget calculator that guides you through the process of creating a budget. It tells you if you're spending too much or too little on different areas of your budget. It graphs your budget so you can actually see how much you're spending on various expenses and how your spending compares to suggested guidelines. As you fill your details in, it makes suggestions to improve your budget and help you save money. This smart budgeting calculator is available as a downloadable spreadsheet you can save on your computer. It's all yours to keep privately and come back to whenever you want to.
Option 3 - Online Workshops
If you'd much rather have someone show you how to budget and go over the elements of a successful budget such as tracking expenses, creating emergency savings, and planning for irregular expenses, then attending one of our online workshops may be a great fit for you. Click here to check out the budgeting workshops (we call them webinars) that are currently available.
How to Address Budgeting Challenges & Problems
What if I’m facing reduced income? What should I do?
If you are facing a reduction in your income, it is important to take some immediate steps to help survive these difficult times. If you don’t, you could be looking at financial disaster. This is an overview of what you should consider doing to make the best of your situation and hopefully make this difficult period a little more manageable.
What if I have really low income or no income at all? What can I do?
If you don’t know if you will have enough money to pay the rent this month or buy groceries, this can be one of the most difficult situations that someone can find themselves in. If this is happening to you or someone you know, here are some important points to consider.
8 Common Financial Problems That Can Make Budgeting Difficult & How to Overcome Them
Financial problems and challenges happen to everyone at some point, and the stress and worry can get to you. However, realizing that there is almost always a way out can help give you some hope.
You may be able to find the way out yourself, or you may need someone else's perspective to help you find a solution.
We’ll show you 8 of the most common financial problems and how to overcome them. But, one size does not fit all. If your situation is beyond the help and tips provided here, we’ll also let you know who you can go to for more in-depth assistance. Learn more.
Personal Money Management & Budgeting Course Video:
How to Build a Budget That Works on Any Income | Free Online Course
If you need more budgeting or debt help, here is where you can find personalized help—usually for free.