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Introduction To Budgeting


A useful suggestion

This page begins to identify the specific areas of your current spending (the next page works out how much you spend).

Where do you start looking for this information? Some suggestions include your

  • Cheque book,
  • Bank statements,
  • Credit card statements,
  • Cash flow receipts, and
  • If you often pay in cash, you may have to examine your memory.

Looking in the shoebox

If you have a shoebox that you "file" old receipts in, take some time to go through it.

Look for the unexpected. The most difficult part of this exercise is making sure you have all your expenses recorded. It's easy to overlook infrequent costs, such as an annual insurance premium.

It is a good idea to include your own luxury or spending fund. It's your budget and if you want to spend money on yourself, do so and don't feel guilty about it. If you are completing a budget with your partner, it's a good idea to have a luxury or spending fund each.

Take your time. One of the keys to budgeting is understanding your costs. To that end, we strongly recommend that you take as long as you need to uncover all those costs. Don't worry if you miss a couple; successful budgeting is ongoing, and changes can always be made at a later date.

The budget spreadsheet

Now you have an idea of where your money goes, enter the values in the budget spreadsheet. Add or delete budget categories as necessary.

We now recommend that you print your budget or, better still, take a moment to save your budget.