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5 steps to balancing your budget

You can use pen and paper, a simple automated spreadsheet, or a budgeting app. Many banks offer budgeting tools, so see what works best for you. FACT covers topics ranging from managing your budget to avoiding default. Plus, you can access your loan information and receive personalized feedback to help you better understand your financial obligations. First, estimate how much money you will have coming in each month. Here are some tips for assessing your income:.

Creating a Budget

If you have not yet received an aid offer from your school, you can use FAFSA4caster to get an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid. This may be a bit time-consuming but will definitely be worthwhile in helping you understand where your money is going and how to better manage it.

After that, gather your bank records and credit card statements that will show you other expenditures that may be automatically paid. If you are still researching your school options, keep in mind that college and career school costs can vary significantly from school to school. We have resources to help you estimate and compare school costs.

Pay yourself first every month!

BBC - Capital - Balance your budget — with lunch

Your savings can be used as an emergency fund to help you deal with unexpected expenses. The ideal amount of an emergency fund typically covers three to six months of your expenses. To do so, you simply subtract your expenses from your income.

If you have a positive balance, then your income is greater than your expenses. Instead, focus on putting the extra money toward your savings to cover your emergency fund or to support future goals such as buying a car.

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Build an emergency fund for unexpected bills that come up like a furnace that breaks in January. You might have to look for places where you can spend less and make adjustments along the way. Use our Budget worksheet to create your budget.

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A budget can help you: keep track of your income and expenses stay on top of your monthly bills be prepared for unexpected expenses avoid overspending figure out how much you need to save to meet your financial goals. Fixed monthly expenses — These expenses tend to stay the same or close to the same from month to month.

How to Make a Budget in Excel - Part 1

They include bills such as your rent or mortgage, cable, Internet, utilities and fixed loan repayments. Variable expenses — These expenses change from month to month. They include things like gas, groceries, your daily coffee, meals out and entertainment expenses. Occasional expenses — These expenses come up from time to time, such as clothing, gifts and vacations. Savings — Make room in your budget for short-term emergency savings and longer-term savings to help you reach your financial goals. Figure out your variable expenses Use reasonable estimates to create your first budget.

Plan for occasional expenses Include room in your budget for expenses that come up from time to time, such as clothing, gifts and vacations. Budgets are for saving too Pay yourself first — make savings a part of your budget. Take action Use our Budget worksheet to create your budget. You may also like… Multilingual financial resources for Ontarians Finances with your partner Worksheets Omnibus poll: Canadian budgeting, saving and investing behaviour Finding a place to rent.