Here’s a handy guide from OCAD University’s Financial Aid Office on how to make a budget in 10 minutes (and one month)!
- Track your spending for a minimum of one month
- Use this worksheet, a notepad or app (try com) to record and categorize everything you spend for at least one month so you know exactly where your money goes
- Determine your current income
- Open p.17 of Do What You Love: Financial Planning for Artists & Designers
- Record and sub-total your job income, savings, bursaries, loans, RESPs and any family support
- Calculate your current expenses
- This is where the tracking comes in. Write what you spend each month for rent, groceries, entertainment, transport and other categories.
- What do your expenses add up to monthly?
- Subtract your expenses from your income
- Is your balance (income-expenses) positive or negative?
- Plan your spending
- In the planned spending column, determine how you can increase your income or reduce your spending for the month so that your balance is $0 or more
- Try doing this exercise each month (because every month is different)
- Include savings in your plan
*Instead of the word “budget,” consider it a spending plan. “Spending plan” is much more empowering because YOU decide how you’re going to spend your money!
What’s your best financial tip?!