MONEY MANAGEMENT

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What is a budget?

A budget is a management tool that allows you to optimize the use of your resources so you can achieve your goals and satisfy your needs. In other words, it is a way of organizing your expenses according to your income so that you can fulfill your obligations.

A budget is a way of managing your finances regularly by keeping track of where your money comes from and what you do with it. This planning also allows you to ensure that you are living within your means.

Concepts and Definitions

Net income: The portion of your income that you get to spend after paying taxes and business expenses. Think of it as your disposable income.

Fixed expenses:  Regular and predictable expenses such as rent or the cable bill.

Variable expenses:  Expenses that come up regularly, but with varying amounts. Examples include heating and electricity bills.

Incidental expenses:  Expenses that occur irregularly, like medical expenses or gifts.

Remember, a budget is a tool that can help you become financially responsible. Good planning helps people organize their expenses so they can avoid going into debt. But budgeting isn't a magic cure for irresponsible money management. Even with a budget, it still takes discipline and smart financial decisions to stay out of debt.

Excerpts from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada’s “The Financial Guide”

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