START WITH A GOOD BUDGET

A budget is useful for keeping track of your income and expenses, as well as for determining how much you can save for your financial goals. Your budget should ideally include all you receipts and disbursements.


HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CHECK MY BUDGET?

That's really up to you. But remember, the more often you check your expenses, the better your chances of sticking to your budget and saving enough for your special project. Your budget should ideally include all your receipts and disbursements. Naturally, you can change your budget if there's been a change in your life, like getting a raise, receiving an inheritance, or having to cover an unexpected expense.


FAMILY BUDGET OR PERSONAL BUDGET?

If you and your spouse pool your finances, then you should prepare a family budget. But if each spouse pays his or her share of the expenses separately, then a personal budget would be in order.

The project you're planning also has an impact on the type of budget you prepare. Buying a home will probably call for a family budget, while buying a new wardrobe is a more appropriate goal for a personal budget.

To determine how much you can save monthly, complete this table by entering your monthly expenses.

 
  Individual budget Family budget
Net income (after expenses)
Salaries/commissions

Child support

Rental income

Interest

Other

Fixed expenses
Rent/mortgage and taxes
Electricity/heating
Telephone
Cable
Life insurance
Car insurance
Home insurance
License/registration
Daycare
Alimony
Loan payments
Credit cards
Payroll deductions
Other
Variable expenses
Food
Transportation
children's health/education
Prescriptions
Clothes
Home maintenance
Tobacco/alcohol
Leisure activities
Pocket money
Other

Submit to know the total of expenses