Why some budgets don't work

Drawing up a budget isn't very difficult. It's just a question of making sure your income and expenses balance.

The most important part is to review your budget regularly (weekly or monthly, depending on your needs).

5 reasons some budgets don't work

1. You're using approximate amounts

In order for budgets to work, all the numbers you put in must be as exact as possible. A budget based on estimated amounts is hard to follow.

2. Your budget spreadsheet is incomplete

Budgeting means defining all the expense categories you use. Just one omission can throw off your budget balance.

To use our spreadsheet, see Your budget (PDF, 227 KB).

3. You're not including all your expenses

Not all expenses reoccur on a monthly basis. Think of municipal taxes, registration, certain types of insurance and "do not pay for one year" purchases.

Here's a tip: Break these expenses down into 12 monthly amounts and include them in your budget spreadsheet so you pay them off before the deadline.

4. You're losing track of your daily cash spending

When you have cash in your pocket, it's easier to make impulse purchases that aren't in your budget.

Remember, many small harmless expenses can add up to one big expense at the end of the day.

To maintain control, you should always only carry the amount you budgeted for personal expenses.

Attention: This is also true for your credit card!

Here's a tip: Save all your receipts and include them in your budget spreadsheet.

5. You have no savings plan for future projects

Do you have future projects? The best way to make them happen is to create a savings plan for each one.

Here's a tip: Choose a savings or investment tool that suits you, and transfer into it regularly—every week or month—so you can accumulate the amount your need for your projects.

Tools and tips

Make your budget

Use this tool to calculate all your income and expenses and draw up a monthly budget.

Your budget

My budget tool

Available exclusively to Desjardins caisse members, the My budget management tool gives you an accurate picture of your everyday income and expenses.

Learn more  about Budget management tool - My budget