To budget or not to budget

Budgets: Some people swear by them, others swear at them! The truth is, even if they set a budget, most people aren’t likely to follow it. So why bother?

Creating a budget can be useful because it can help you clarify priorities. For example, suppose you make a budget and notice you’ve only allocated $100 a month to savings — yet you had intended to put $3,000 a year into your RSP. You need to look for ways to reduce spending in other areas to make up the difference.

Now, imagine this same scenario without a budget, without tracking spending, without a system of any kind. Five years pass, and your RSP savings are a fraction of what they could have been.

The important thing is to monitor your spending and be conscious of what you do with your money. Whatever system helps you do this is just fine, because it puts you in control.