Master These Budgeting Skills to Succeed in Life

What do you think about when you hear the word budget? Does it send shivers down your spine? Do you immediately think of sacrifice and feeling restricted?

What if mastering budgeting skills could help you win at life? What if it could help you feel more at ease and have more freedom?

If you’re ready to win at your finances, check out the top budgeting skills you need below.

Record your Spending using a Paper or Electronic Transaction Register

You won’t know how much you have each month unless you track what is coming in and going out.  It also helps keep you accountable. You’ll know when bills are due and what you owe. You’ll also know if you’re close to over-drafting your accounts and how much money you can save for emergencies or retirement.

Keep Track of Irregular Expenses

Even if you’re great at tracking your regular monthly expenses – those pesky irregular expenses can get you. Rather than letting them sneak up on you, write out all irregular expenses for the year. Think of expenses like Christmas spending, real estate taxes, annual insurance premiums, and home repairs.

Estimate the total cost of your irregular expenses and divide the total by 12 months. Put away at least this amount each month so that when the expenses come up, you’ll have the funds to pay it.

Get Good at Finding Deals

Shopping is a necessity, but you don’t have to overspend. Know when to buy products that you need, such as linens, clothing, appliances, furniture, mattresses, and cars. Time your purchases during the times these items are priced the lowest.

For example, furniture is usually the cheapest at the end of summer and end of winter; clothing is cheapest at the end of each season, and mattresses go on sale around each major holiday.

Shop with Lists

Shopping without a list, especially grocery shopping can be dangerous. Planning saves you money and stops you from buying things you don’t need.

Before you shop, create a meal plan for the week. Know what you’ll make for all meals and snacks. Plan your meals around the sales and/or coupons you have. If staple items you use often are on sale, stock up on them so you don’t have to pay regular price when you run out. 

Avoid Impulse Buying

Impulse buying can send even the most thought out budget out the window. When something catches your eye, walk away from it. Give yourself 48 hours to think about it. If the item is still on your mind after 48 hours, consider the purchase, but do your research. Can you find it cheaper? Will there be a sale? Can you find a coupon?

Mastering these simple budgeting skills will help you stay on track financially. You’ll know when funds are low and you’ll see where you can cut back or make changes. Staying flexible and adaptable throughout the process will help you feel less restricted and even make you feel like you have more freedom to do what you want. 

Don’t Let the Pandemic Cause Financial Anxiety

The whole world is in panic mode right now as we all work through the pandemic of the coronavirus. Whether you’ve had the illness, are out of a job, or your hours were cut, there’s no doubting that it’s scary times, right now, but that doesn’t mean you should panic. We will get through this and when we do, you want to feel good about how you handled your personal and financial life.

So what should you do to get through this time? Check out our top tips below.

Don’t Make Hasty Decisions

It’s important to stop and take a deep breath. When the worry settles in, relax. This isn’t going to last forever. In the meantime, seek advice if you’re worried. Take this time to make a budget and see where you stand. What do you need help with and where can you get it? 

Continue reading “Don’t Let the Pandemic Cause Financial Anxiety”

Creditaid Operational Update – Yes, We’re Open – COVID-2019

To our valued clients,

UPDATE: April 2, 2020 – In response to the Government of Manitoba’s public health order and for the safety of our clients and staff, we have closed our office for in-person payments and appointments. Our team can be reached during regular business hours by phone at 204-987-6890, by email reception@creditaid.ca or chat with us online at creditaid.ca.

UPDATE: March 22, 2020 – In light of the recent changes by the Government of Manitoba, please do not come to our office if you have any of the following:
– feeling sick
– have been out of the country
– have had close contact with someone who has returned from an international trip

Our team members continue to be available to help you with any questions by phone and email. Please email reception@creditaid.ca as this email will be monitored each business day.

Additionally, we do have protocols in place to keep you and our staff safe, including social distancing, when you come to make a payment in-person. However, to minimize interaction, we strongly encourage you to send in your payments via bill payment through your financial institution. Note that it takes 1 to 3 business days for an online bill payment to get processed.

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With the concerns here in Manitoba and abroad about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world, we want to update you about what Creditaid is doing in response to this health concern.

First, we want to emphasize Creditaid remains open for business. We are fully operational and have taken steps to ensure we will be able to continue to carry out our work for you under changing circumstances.
We have taken precautionary measures to ensure the health and well being of our clients, team members, and families.

Creditaid has also increased its cleaning protocols in our office to ensure a safe environment for our team members and clients. In addition, to limit the potential impact of COVID-19, Creditaid is also requesting any staff showing symptoms, or who have reason to believe they have been exposed to the virus to self isolate for 14 days.
We are monitoring communications from Health Canada and the Province of Manitoba closely, and we are prepared to respond to the rapidly changing nature of this pandemic. Should the need arise, some team members are able to work remotely, supported by our IT infrastructure. Your information will remain confidential and secure on our servers.


Our team members continue to be available to connect with you by phone and email, or at this time, in person. We ask that you direct your inquires to reception@creditaid.ca as this email will be monitored each business day.


If you normally make your payments in our office, we are suggesting that you make plans to send in your payments via bill payment through your financial institution. Please be aware that it can take 1 to 3 business days for an online bill payment to get processed. If you do require to make payments in-house, our office will be open to take payments by Interac (debit), which is the preferred in-house method, or by cash (exact change only). We do not accept personal cheques.


If you have questions, concerns or require more information on payment options, please do contact our office for assistance.

How do you Track your Financial Progress?

You’ve set your budget – congratulations. Now how do you know if you’re doing it all right?

This is where your budgeting really comes into play. You can put anything you want on paper, but it’s how well you follow the budget in real life that matters. So how do you track your financial progress?

Check out the steps below.

Choose a Tool

Tracking your financial progress comes down to one thing – tracking your income and expenses. You can do this with pen and paper, but that gets tedious and is hard to keep up and stay consistent. Today, it’s easier than ever to track your finances electronically with either an online program or mobile app.

Choose the program that suits your needs and budget (many are free). For example, some financial institutions have tracking tools with their accounts. Whether you use the tools to their full advantage by tracking your income, expenses, investments, and net worth or you just track your income and expenses, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of how you’re doing financially at all times.

Measuring your Progress

Remember, budgeting is flexible. There’s room for change and even errors. That’s the beauty of it and why it’s so important to track how you’re doing. As you go, evaluate your financial status each month. Are you finding that you overspend in certain categories or that you don’t have enough money to put away in savings each month?

Look at the problem areas and figure out ways to problem solve. Do you need to change some of your line items, cut expenses, or maybe get a side gig? If you are spending more than you’re bringing in, it’s time to rethink your strategies to achieve financial freedom.

On the other hand, if you find that you’re doing better than you thought, reallocate some of your funds to your savings and investment accounts. This is a sign that you’re doing well and you can start achieving some of the short, mid-term, and long-term goals you’ve set for yourself.

Be Flexible and Stay Consistent

As you work through your budget, especially in the beginning, it’s important to be flexible not only with your spending but with how you track it too. If you find that the tool you’ve chosen isn’t working, choose another.

The key is to stay consistent, though. Whether you change tools, fix your budget, or keep everything status quo, continually check the status of your budget and measure your progress. If you set goals, check on your progress every few months. What milestones have you reached? If you haven’t reached any yet, what can you do to reach one?

Keep yourself accountable by tracking your every financial move. While it may seem tedious at first, it’s the best way to keep yourself on track. If you notice things not working, it’s a sign to change things up until you figure them out. If things are going well, stay consistent and look for ways to continually add to your savings and investments to help fuel your financial success.

If you need help with your spending plan, give Creditaid a call at (204) 987-6890 or email info@creditaid.ca to for more information.