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Define a household budget now in order to avoid financial headaches for the rest of the year!

Posted on Friday January 18, 2019


Define a household budget now in order to avoid financial headaches for the rest of the year!

Define a household budget now in order to avoid financial headaches for the rest of the year!

This is the time of year for making resolutions, and budgeting is a major concern for all New Brunswick families. Certain financial issues arise frequently, and it's important to plan over the short, medium and long term. Here's how to go about setting an effective, realistic budget for the next year.

 

Document all work and personal projects you have in mind

Our dreams and ideas have a greater chance of becoming reality when we have a plan for moving forward with them. The first thing to do is to identify them clearly. Without making any judgments at this point, take a piece of paper and write down everything you'd like to get done this year, whether it's taking a family trip, buying a new vehicle, doing home renovations or paying off an old debt. Next, put everything in order by priority and assign a completion date and approximate budget to each item.

 

Setting a monthly budget that works

Making a detailed list of your income and expenses remains the only way to find out if you're living within your means. Any number of mobile apps are available to help with this task, but an Excel spreadsheet or old-fashioned notebook will also do the trick. After identifying all your monthly expenses and income, you'll have a better understanding of your financial situation and can then proceed with making any necessary adjustments. The UNI website offers a free tool to assist you in setting a budget.

 

Reassessing household priorities: go camping or get a new roof?

Decisions are never easy! Do you really need two vehicles? Should you go south this winter or get the windows replaced in your house? Every expenditure you make has impact on the rest of the household. This makes it important to review your decisions regularly to make sure you are keeping to your plan.

 

Monthly tips for saving money: they take time but they're worth it!

Here are some money-saving tips so you can free up cash without turning your life upside-down:

 

  • Is your car or home insurance coming up for renewal? Consider shopping around for a better rate. This is also a perfect time to look at any other policies you hold and search for better deals.

 

  • Start up an RRSP to take advantage of the tax benefits (even if you're still young!). Did you know that contributing to an RRSP both helps to build up your retirement savings and reduces the amount of income tax you have to pay? A UNI representative will be pleased to assist you in starting up an RRSP.

 

  • Take advantage of promotions on things like Internet and telephone services. In addition to package plans intended to lure new customers, most companies also offer promotions to loyal existing customers.

 

  • Rent out or sell things that you no longer use on Kijiji, LesPAC or another website. Besides bringing in money, you may also find that getting unwanted items out of your house makes your life feel "lighter"? in addition to making the day of the person who's been looking for whatever you're selling!

 

  • Carpool to save money you may even make some new friends along the way! Besides putting fewer vehicles on the road, it creates opportunities for you to spend more time getting to know your co-workers.

 

  • Exercise outdoors to save on gym fees? and reconnect with New Brunswick's beautiful scenery.

 

  • Go on vacation in the low season. New Brunswick is gorgeous (and a popular spot) in the summer. Take advantage of all our province has to offer during the warm months, and save that trip abroad for the low season.

 

  • Identify upcoming major purchases so you can take advantage of sales now. Is the time coming to get a new lawn mower or dishwasher? Decide on items you will need to replace over the short and long term and then start looking now for sales or buy used.

 

There's no magic solution when it comes to budgeting. It involves simply stepping back and taking a hard look at where you spend your money each month. You may be surprised at what you discover!

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