0016 - Debt Related Queston: Bankruptcy Question # 0016

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QUESTION #0016:

Budgeting what I have is a challenge. How much of my income should be spent on housing, my car, and everything else? What can I do to make my money stretch through the month?



ANSWER:

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (2005), the average Canadian spends 25% Housing, 15% Transportation, 10% Utilities, 10% Food, 5% Clothing 5% Medical/Health, 5% Personal, 5% Entertainment, 5% Debts, and 15% Savings. Your budget may not look exactly like this, but the percentages are a useful guideline. The key to budgeting is to take control of your money, and choose where and how you will be spending, before you spend. Start off by figuring out your core living expenses; rent/mortgage, hydro, basic phone line, food, transportation. This is the minimum you need to live. Now, spend at least two weeks tracking every penny spent. Once you know where the money is going, you can take control and budget effectively. Flexible expenses, such as long-distance charges, eating out, coffee shops, movies (including rentals) and everything else you spend on, can be changed immediately and are the type of expenses you want to monitor, and change if necessary.