Over time and gained experience, we have developed tools that are used in our everyday activities at Entraide budgétaire Ottawa. We would like to share them with you!
The tools that we provide you are essential for healthy financial management. They are the same tools that we provide you during our budget counselling sessions.
You can use these tools yourself by downloading them to your computer or you may send them to your counsellor when they contact you, if required.
|Goals & Projects||Download (Excel)|
|Financial Statement||Download (Excel)|
|Annual Budget||Download (Excel)|
The assessment grid will help you have a clear picture of your present financial situation and identify realistic short, medium, and long-term goals that need to be met. You must therefore be able to answer the following questions:
What is my situation?
- What do I own (my assets, holdings)?
- What do I owe (my liabilities, debts, or obligations)?
- What is my stress level regarding my financial situation?
Where do I want to go?
- What are my goals?
- Pay off my debts as quickly as possible? Restore my credit?
- Reduce my stress level regarding my finances, stop having difficulty making ends meet each month, improve my lifestyle?
- Reach goals such as purchasing furniture, a car, or appliances, trips or paying tuition?
Press here to download the financial assessment.
For Entraide budgétaire Ottawa, a budget is more than a matter of money. It is the tool that will enable you to reach your goals by adjusting your lifestyle to match your financial resources. On the annual budget grid that we suggest for your use, try to create a balanced budget. Here are a few suggestions:
- Start by estimating all your income, expenses, and liabilities (debts) for one year.
- The more realistic you are, the less likely you are to be faced with unpleasant surprises!
A Long-Term Project
After you’ve planned and balanced your annual budget, it’s time to manage it! This means that you will need to keep an eye (in general, on a monthly basis) on your income, expenses, and liabilities (debts). However, be aware that even if your annual budget is balanced, you may have a deficit for some months and surpluses for others; this is normal since your expenses, and maybe even your income, vary from one month to the next. Remind yourself that the important thing is to balance your annual budget at the end of the year. In addition, you need to:
- Be aware of your habits. A person who tends to spend a lot can use pre-authorized payments to pay bills at the start of the month or keep fixed amounts in envelopes for certain expenses.
- Think about tomorrow. Start by planning your expenses in advance, for each pay period or at the beginning of each month, so that you can make ends meet more easily. Keep end-of-month surpluses in a separate account for the months when you have a deficit!
- Adapt to change. A budget is not set in stone. If your financial situation changes, adapt your budget! A decrease in income should lead you to scale back on certain expenses or negotiate with your creditors.
And don’t forget, even a well-planned and balanced budget will not be effective if it is not also well managed. Your motivation and positive attitude toward your budget will be the keys to your success!
Your stress level, financially
Your level of financial literacy
Your attitude toward budgeting
Thinking about our attitudes toward budgeting can help to identify what prevents us from sticking to a budget. Complete our test by checking off the statements that you agree with:
- “It’s boring…“
- “You have to be good with numbers… “
- "It’s going to limit the things I can do…“
- “I’m afraid of knowing where my money is going or of feeling guilty…“
- “I’m afraid it will discourage me even more…“
- “I’ll have to stop going out, treating myself…“
- “It takes too much time…“
- “I’ll have to jot down all my expenses almost to the penny…“
- “My spouse won’t get involved…“
- “My spouse and I are already fighting about money…“
- “I don’t have time…“
- “I have already tried it and it doesn’t work…“
- “I don’t need to do it, I don’t see how it would change anything…“
- “I’ve never done it and things are going well, we live well…“
- “I don’t want to see my reality; I’m afraid of seeing the actual numbers…“
If you have checked off several of these statements, chances are that the budget will be pushed aside after two weeks! With a good attitude, you have a better chance of being able to manage your budget and reaping its benefits, the most important of which is to improve your quality of life starting today!