Canadians spend money on countless expenses. For example, the average Canadian has lots of money flowing out each month from rent, transportation, entertainment, furniture, tuition, internet, or dining out. The average Canadian household spent $10,311 on food expenditures in 2019. So, how does one track that money or compare it to their income? Budgets are great tools to track spending and income. However, only about half of Canadians report keeping a budget.
What Is a Budget?
A budget is a spending plan that helps you keep track of how much money you receive, spend, and save. However, budgets can be ongoing or created for a certain period, sometimes a week, month, or year. People use all sorts of tools to budget – templates, budgeting apps, or simply notes on a pad.
Are you struggling with debt and budgeting? Talk to one of our counsellors today.
What is a Budget Template?
In the event that you’re lost on how to create a budget, consider using a template. A budget template is a tool that helps you stay on track with your finances. In addition, it’s customizable to meet various budgeting needs and tracks the nitty-gritty details.
What Are the Different Types of Templates?
There are many different types of budgeting templates from various providers, and many of them are free!
Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet Budget (free only if you have Microsoft 365)
Consolidated Credit Canada (that’s us, and it is totally FREE!)
There are also specific kinds of budgeting templates to meet different needs, such as:
- Household or family budget
- Personal budget
- Business budget
- School budget
- Gift budget
How does a budgeting template help you?
Creating a budget and using a budget template helps you track your spending habits. Chiefly using a tailored budgeting template gives you structure and guidance to help you organize your finances. Above all, a template should be accessible and intuitive so that people can update it with ease.
Budgeting templates also help you track your spending behaviour over time. For example, you might notice that you spend more money on entertainment in the summer than you do in the winter. Or that you spent more money on groceries one week than any other week. Regardless, the budgeting template shows you facts about your spending and helps you learn about your habits.
As a result, learning your behaviours with money helps you address your issues and better plan for the future.
Budgets can help you to:
- Find extra money to pay debts
- Track your spending
- Live within your means
- Find a sense of control with your money
- Reduce costs and find savings
Features on Our Free Budget Template
Our free budget template helps you learn about money management, pay down credit card debt, and feel more in control of your finances.
Moreover, our free budgeting tool is useful for people dealing with student debt. Here are the charts it comes with:
- Borrowing Worksheet: This chart tracks all of your creditors, your products with them, their interest rates and costs, amounts borrowed, and monthly payments.
- Income Worksheet: This chart tracks all of your net income (after tax) from your employer, business, allowances, internship stipends, gifts, tax refunds, etc. The chart shows you your bi-weekly and monthly income.
- Credit Card Debt Tracker: This chart tracks all of the credit cards you have, the balances, and monthly payments.
- Expense Tracker: This chart tracks your fixed expenses, or the expenses that stay the same every month. Examples of fixed expenses include rent, credit card debt, mortgage payments, car loans, insurance, student loan payments, books, extracurricular or hobby fees, etc.
- Flexible Expenses: Your flexible expenses aren’t always fixed. You can control how much you spend by going to a discount grocery store or buying things on sale. Examples of flexible expenses include your groceries, hydro bill, clothing, household supplies, and your savings. Therefore, we recommend to have at least 5% of your income going towards savings.
- Discretionary Expenses: Discretionary expenses are frivolous and not vital to your survival. If you are having a cash flow problem, expenses in this category should be the first that you minimize. Examples of discretionary expenses include dining out, movies and entertainment, vacations, hobbies, newspaper subscriptions, and sporting events.
Use Our Calculators to Plan for Unpredicted, Emergency, and Annual Expenses to Avoid Debt
Interested in finding more organized ways to improve your financial health? Consider using our free financial calculators.
Our loan calculator takes information about a loan you’re considering by using your interest rate and loan term. Then, to help you decide if you can afford that loan or not it shows you an estimate of your monthly payment.
Our credit card debt repayment calculator helps you figure out the right monthly payment that works with your financial scenario. It also helps you tackle your credit card debt.
Our debt-to-income ratio calculator weighs your expenses against your income and reveals if you’re financially overextended.
Excel Budgeting Template is Secure and Saves You Money from Sitting Down One-to-one with a Budgeting Expert
It’s important to keep any budget template you use safe and hidden. The templates show a lot of information that someone could use against you. Using a Microsoft template is completely secure. Microsoft spends over 1 billion every year in cybersecurity, to protect your personal information.
Microsoft offers many different budget templates, including:
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The benefits of using a budgeting template are clear. You can take control of your personal finances. First, rack your income and expenses, find more savings, and address poor spending behaviours. Then, keep track of your spending with a budget template. So if you’re struggling to meet your monthly bills and are overextending yourself, check out our free printable budgeting template today!