Based on an informal survey of our readers, the top five reasons for not budgeting in Canada are:
- it’s too hard to budget
- it takes too much time
- I don’t know how to work a spreadsheet
- my spouse pays all of the bills
- what’s the point; I’ve got too much debt so I can’t pay all of my bills anyway
Those are valid reasons. Budgeting is difficult. It does take time. To make a good budget, you need to keep track of all of your expenses, and update your budget regularly.
Not knowing how to work a spreadsheet is also a valid reason. Of course there are other computerized solutions, like Calendar Budget, that are good alternatives that don’t require any spreadsheet skills.
If your spouse pays all of the bills, that’s great, but you are in this together, so you should both know where your money is going.
If budgeting is too difficult, manage your money the easy way: pay your bills as often as you get paid. If you get paid twice a month, pay half of your monthly bills each payday. If your phone bill is $100 per month, pay $50 every pay day, by internet banking. Here are two videos that explain the process in more detail:
The Secret to Budgeting, Part 1:
The Secret to Budgeting, Part 2:
And what about the fifth reason? What if you have so much debt that you can’t budget, because there’s no money left over at the end of the month? If you have too much debt, budgeting alone won’t solve your problems. You need to consider filing a consumer proposal, or perhaps even bankruptcy in Canada to deal with your debts. Once your debt problems are solved, managing your money becomes much easier.
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