SAVING & BUDGETING
Ah yes, budgeting. The foundation of any good financial plan. Whether you’re looking to create a budget, get advice on your current one, or have no idea where to start – we can help you out. Knowing where your money is going, and how much you have available gives you the financial power you need to succeed.
Why do I need to make a budget?
Creating a budget allows you to really understand all of your money coming in and going out. Having a firm grasp on how much money you make vs how much you spend can go a long way to reaching your financial goals. Creating a plan for your money will help you monitor your expenses so you can implement your goals into your budget. Sitting down and having an honest look at your expenses can also help identify places you didn’t realize you were over spending – like on restaurants, or clothing.
What should I include in my budget?
Everything! Ideally every penny is accounted for in your budget, don’t leave anything out on purpose. Below is a list of just a few common budget items with some examples of what falls in each category in brackets.
- Rent or Mortgage
- Transportation (car maintenance, insurance, transit pass)
- Food (groceries, eating out, vitamins/supplements)
- Utilities (internet, cable, cell phone, electricity, water)
- Subscription services (Netflix, Amazon, food box)
- Clothing (work clothing, sports jerseys, special occasion wear)
- Entertainment/Recreation (gym membership, movie tickets)
- Loan or Debt Repayment (student loans, credit card, line of credit)
- Medical Expenses (dentist, glasses, prescriptions)
How much should I be saving per month?
How much you save each month is entirely up to you. Consider all of the things that you are currently saving for – whether it be a new car, a down payment on a house, a trip, education, or all of the above – it’s good to know your end goals so you can properly allocate your money to reach them. Your savings goals should be external from your rainy day fund; which is used in case of emergencies. There are certain tips that Hayter & Associates can teach you to help make saving easier and reach your goals faster such as using an RRSP or TFSA.
How can I optimize my budget to save money?
Think of your budget as a working document. The plan is meant to be a guide, it is flexible. If you want to save more, you can either spend less or bring more money in. Sometimes simple lifestyle changes can allow for big savings in your budget, like making your own coffee (decreasing your latte factor), getting a roommate, working out at home instead of a gym, and taking transit instead of owning a car. You can also use a budgeting or money monitoring app to help track your daily spending and make sure you know immediately if you have room in your budget for that ice cream or awesome pair of shoes.
When should I start saving for retirement?
When you first enter the workforce, retirement might seem like a lifetime away. You’ve got student loans to pay off, a house to save for, and traveling to do. Balancing your retirement goals with enjoying your life as you go can be difficult and everyone’s priorities are different – we can help you lay out your goals and create reasonable steps to reach them within your timeline.