How to make a budget
In order to make a useful budget you need an effective tool that is easy to use.
The Budget Planner is a tool that allows you to create a personalized budget and save it online. It gives you tips and guidelines and helps you figure out your next steps with suggestions. It also creates charts that show you where your money goes. You also have the option to compare your budget with those of other Canadians like you.
Steps to make a budget
Take the following simple steps to make your budget.
Step 1: List your income, savings and expenses
· take your recent pay stubs, bills, and account statements
· enter the amount of income, savings and expenses into each category of the Budget Planner
When you're done, review the amounts to make sure you didn’t forget anything. These items should represent your current situation.
As you’re entering data, the tool will give you tips to help you save more and/or spend less. Consider those tips in order to balance your budget.
When you’re done creating your budget, save it online so you can return to it anywhere, at any time.
Step 2: Review your results
The results section provides you with average guidelines. These guidelines tell you what Canadians usually spend or save for each budget category, for example, food, housing, clothing, insurance, etc.
Look at the different alerts you receive for each category:
· Thumbs up: this amount is within the average range
· Warning sign: this amount is slightly above the average range
· Stop sign: this amount is above the average range
These alerts will help you determine where you should focus your attention or try to reduce costs. Everyone’s situation is different and while the guidelines can’t apply to everybody, they provide a good starting point.
Review your results graphics, they give you a clear visual of your overall budget. You’ll see a graphic that shows you how your budget compares to those of other Canadians in similar situations. It’s valuable to compare your financial habits with people with the same age, income, housing and family situation.
Step 3: Review your next steps
In the next steps section, the tool gives you personalized suggestions. These suggestions are based on your situation and what you have entered in your budget. They help you figure out your next steps whether you have money left or are overspending.
Read them carefully and follow the links to useful educational tools and content in order to improve your budget.
Budgeting made easy
Enter your budget data
Save your budget online
Review summery and suggestions
How to make a budget
A. Choose the right answer(s) from a, b or c:
1. The budget planner is a tool that you’ll find -----
a. online b. in the bank c. at the office
2. The budget planner gives you -----
a. money b. advice c. ideas
3. The budget planner helps you realize ----- with suggestions.
a. your problems
b. what you need to do next
c. how much money you have
4. The budget planner creates ----- that show you where your money goes.
a. diagrams b. money c. debts
5. The budget planner gives you the option to ----- your budget with others’ who are like you.
a. choose b. evaluate c. match
6. The steps to make a budget are:
a. enter, save, review b. review, enter, save c. save, enter, review
B. Mark the sentences true (T) or false (F). Correct the false ones:
1. The budget planner is divided into categories. ----------
2. You have to enter the amount of income and expenses in the budget planner but your savings are not important. ----------
3. The items you enter in your budget planner should show your actual situation.
4. The budget planner will give you advice where to save more and spend less.
5. You can save your budget on line but you can’t use it anywhere or any time.
C. Answer the following questions:
1. What are examples of budget categories?
2. What are the different alerts you receive for each category?
3. Why can’t the guidelines apply to everybody?
4. Why is it valuable to compare your financial habits with people in similar situations?
D. Fill in the blanks with the correct word(s):
Suggestions – left – online – follow – spending - tools
The tool gives you -------------------- that are made especially for you. They are built according to your situation and what you have entered in your --------------------budget planner. They help you determine your next steps whether you have money -------------------- or are -------------------- too much.
Read them carefully and -------------------- the links to useful educational online ---------- and ideas in order to improve your budget.