In any economy, it’s important to be financially stable. However, with

household expenses, food costs and other expenses that mount up daily, it’s often hard to make that happen unless you create a plan of action and stick to it. Creating this plan can be difficult, unless you know some basic steps to include when making a new budget. Here are a few tips to help you learn how to become financially stable.

• Track your current spending. Write down every

entry from your cheque book, each charge from

your credit card bill and any cash purchases

expenses, you need to make a change quickly.

• Create a budget based on your regular expenses. Look for any adjustable costs you can reduce such as dining out, entertainment or simply reducing utility costs by making an adjustment

to your thermostat. Consider taking your lunch to work instead of eating out every day. Make coffee instead of purchasing it on your way to work. Bring cans of soda to the office instead of raiding the vending machine.

• Stop using credit cards, especially high-interest ones. Carrying a balance on your credit cards for everyday items means that you are paying more for them once you pay interest on your charges.

Fortune sides with

him who dares

– Virgil

you make. Categorize these entries into several

groups including: food, rent/mortgage, utilities,

entertainment, travel, insurance, healthcare and

clothing. If you have children who go to day

care, you’ll need to include this category, as

well. A miscellaneous group is often necessary

for random expenses that are incurred.

• Analyze all income, including your regular pay

cheques, any interest earned and any rent income.

• Determine your progress (or lack of progress)

by comparing your expenses to your income.

If your income is considerably less than your

• Pay off bills. Bills that are high-interest bearing or are close to being paid off are the ones to focus on first. A good rule of thumb to go by is to pay off bills in order of size from the lowest to the highest. Establish a monthly plan to pay off all of your outstanding bills.

• Use extra money (if there is any) to pay off other bills or put it in a savings account. Don’t spend it. Utilize it to help yourself become more financially stable.

• Consider taking an extra job or creating another stream of income if your budget still doesn’t work.

Even if you have to take a job for a short amount of time to get ahead on bills, it’s a good sacrifice.
• Learn to enjoy free or cheaper activities. For instance, instead of going to the movie theatre, rent movies or watch television.

• Create an emergency fund consisting of three to six months of income. This fund can be used for unexpected household or auto repairs, or as back-up income if you become unemployed