You probably know how much you earn each month – but do you also know where it all goes? Find out by tracking what you’re spending. Spend as you normally would, but for a few weeks, jot down every cent you spend. It’s easy and you might be amazed by what you find out.
Start by making a list of all your household income sources and the amounts. Include everything: wages (after taxes), commissions, self–employment income, child tax benefits, pensions, child maintenance & spousal support, and other regular income.
To make your list, print these Budget Worksheet pages and fill in the column labeled “initial.”
Now it’s time to record your spending. This can be difficult because, for most people, they are clear about where their money comes from, but not as certain about where it goes. Spending includes everything you spend your money on; all of what you may typically think of as “expenses” (utility bills, groceries, transportation costs), but savings for a rainy day, debt payments, life insurance premiums and RRSP contributions are all expenses as well.
Tracking ExpensesTo be absolutely sure where your family’s money is going, record everyone’s spending for two or three months.