A budget helps you manage your money and support your financial goals. It’s a tool to balance your income with your expenses and guide your spending habits.

A budget is even more important if you’re dealing with debt and feel overwhelmed by your finances – it will help you set spending limits and feel more in control of your money.

3 simple steps to create a budget

With information adapted from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), here are three steps to start budget.

  1. Assess your current situation. Find out where you’re at so you know where you want to be. For example:
    • Find out where you’re spending your money. Track your spending for one to two months so you can evaluate it.
    • After you’ve spent some time tracking your spending, determine your total income, debts, possible savings, and all your expenses. When you’re done, review the amounts to make sure you didn’t forget anything. These items should represent your current situation.
    • Think about your needs and wants. How much of your money is going towards things you like but don’t necessarily need?
  2. Set your goals. Once you know your current situation, decide on your short-term and long-term financial goals. For example:
    • Short term goal: pay off a credit card bill
    • Long term goal: pay off all your debt
  3. Use a budget planner. The FCAC has a tool to help you create a personalized budget and save it online: The Budget Planner. According to their website, the Budget Planner “gives you tips and guidelines and helps you figure out your next steps with suggestions. It also creates charts that show you where your money goes. You also have the option to compare your budget with those of other Canadians like you.”

Where to go for help

Creating a budget isn’t something we can help you with but there are other options to consider. You may be interested in speaking to your financial institution or a financial advisor to see if they can help you reach your financial goals. The FCAC also has information and resources available online to help you make a plan to be debt-free.

Getting calls from a debt collector?

We know dealing with debt can be stressful, especially if you’re getting collection calls. In BC, you have rights when it comes to debt collection. Not everyone’s experience with debt is the same but the rules apply to all of us. Learn your rights in BC and access tools and resources to help you on your debt journey.

Learn more

How to get the calls to stop
What to do if it’s not your debt
The rules debt collectors must follow in BC
The impact of debt on your credit report
4 ways to manage debt
Debt relief: Credit counsellors vs debt repayment agents
8 tips for choosing a debt relief service
3 simple steps to create a budget
How to save for a rainy day
How to prepare for changing interest rates

About Consumer Protection BC

We are responsible for licensing debt collectors and regulating certain aspects of the debt collection industry in BC. The law speaks to when a collector can contact you and how they can communicate with you. We can’t help with every debt related issue and we’re not financial advisors. Find out more about us and the other industries and transactions we oversee by exploring our website.