It’s been a long time that I’ve been reflecting… alas, I’m writing my first post to share my findings and discoveries on personal finance. I will certainly have the occasion to write regularly on the subject.
For this first time round, I want to harken back to something extremely important: savings. There’s a rule in personal financial planning that says we should systematically save about 10% of our net income right away, yes, yes, you’ve read correctly, now, today!). Read more
Budget Express is a tool that guides you step by step when you create a budget with the help of its software. A complete package, Budget Express allows you to plan for almost any situation! However, to speed up the process and lighten the task, here are a few tips:
Before plunging into the making of a budget, whether it be through Budget Express or on paper, there are a few things that are unavoidable.
First Rule: Before starting, gather all pertinent papers. Bank and credit card statements are especially useful for tracking spending and recurring income. Read more
Making one’s budget is a continual process that is refined over time. Despite all the care that’s put into planning, it always ends up getting modified to fit the reality. A planned budget is different from a real budget. Budget Express is an excellent tool for comparing the two. Let’s take a closer look.
Why a planned budget?
Making a budget starts by examining past spending in order to better predict future expenses so that we can more easily attain our financial objectives. It’s what is called the planned budget, and gives a global picture of money coming in and going out. Read more
To attain financial ease, you’ve got to use the right ingredients and follow the right steps, like in a cooking recipe. There are several ways to achieve this, but a common base applies to all financial success: planning, skill, patience and a little luck. One thing’s for sure, the road is often long, so it’s best to start right away.
Ensuring one’s financial security is not the result of chance and doesn’t happen by itself. Some people rely on the government for a smooth-sailing retirement. With the economic health of our ministries (or lack of), you ought to forget this notion. In fact, in the same way that companies develop their famous 5-year plans, why not apply the same plan to our personal finances? Recording our financial objectives must be written down in a plan. This formalizes everything and ensures reaching our goals. Success rarely happens by accident… so have a plan! Read more
Sylvie has recently acquired a semi-detached house. She now needs to monitor her budget closely to pay all the related expenses. Still, it’s nothing compared to the joy she gets from having her own home and land now!
Woman, 38 years old, programmer/analyst, owns a semi-detached house, lives alone, has a recent car that is completely paid, does contribute to a RRSP on a regular basis, considers her debt ratio to be low. Read more
Did you know you can use your tax refund to make a bigger payment on your mortgage, if permitted by your financial institution, and save thousands of dollars in interest?
Budget Express provides a practical calculator that enables you to see the benefits of this operation.
Here is an example. Let’s suppose you make monthly payments on a $200,000 mortgage over 25 years at 4% interest. Read more
Have you ever used the follow-up tab to monitor your credit use in Budget Express? It is a simple way to see the evolution of the balance and find that your reimbursement efforts are paying off!
If your financial situation requires you to follow your budget very closely, the credit follow-up function could be very useful. To take full advantage of it, you must have a credit account, for example a credit card. Each time you purchase something using the card, you enter an expense in Budget Express and specify the method of payment. As it is a credit purchase, the effect is not immediately visible in the calendar view and the amount is indicated in gray. Read more
Canadian households have continued to increase their debt level during the third quarter of 2011, bringing it to 151% of disposable income, which could make it, eventually, the “Sword of Damocles” hanging over the financial security of consumers for years to come.
“Abnormally low interest rates have allowed the ability to manage these high levels of debt relatively well, until now. But the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, has warned Canadians that they should exercise caution with their credit applications, as interest rates are going to reach ‘normal’ levels, sooner or later”, as stated by Michael Gregory last December, senior economist of BMO Capital Markets. Read more
Jean had never experienced money problems and was enjoying life. When an accident happened to him, he quickly found out that the disability insurance does not allow him to maintain the same lifestyle. He needed a financial cushion and a good budget!
Man, 36 years old, parts finishing trainer, owns his house where he lives with his life partner and their 2 children (9 and 10 years old), has no investment other than RRSP, considers his debt ratio as average. Read more
You’re back home from a superstore and you find out that your bill contains both clothing and groceries. Did you know it is possible to allocate the amount of the bill between several budget items in Budget Express?
First of all, you can do it manually. You add up the amounts for each expenditure item, such as “Clothing” and “Grocery,” and you enter them in your calendar according to the planned operations.
If you use the bank reconciliation, here’s how to achieve it. Read more
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