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Financial Empowerment: Budgeting and Savings

This guide provides quick access to resources on the topic of personal finance.

NSCC Financial Five: Financial Tips for Students

Nova Scotia Community College. (2016, May 5). NSCC financial five: Understanding credit & banking [Video]. YouTube.

Preparing a Budget

A budget is a plan, or an outline of your income and bills that you can use as a guideline for spending and saving. A budget can help you pay your bills on time, cover unexpected emergencies, and reach your financial goals. When you are thinking about preparing your budget, consider the following:

1. Wants versus needs

It's important to distinguish between "needs" and "wants". You need food to live, but eating out at a restaurant costs a lot more than eating at home. At the same time, getting out with friends is important to your mental health so the trick is finding a balance.

2. Money coming in versus money going out

Money coming in or income includes money from your parents, savings, student loans, scholarships, bursaries and money from part-time jobs. If you're not sure of all your sources of income, make as good a guess as you can. Remember that for employment income, taxes will be taken off.

3. Compare your expenses and your income

If you are over budget, adjust your flexible expenses, such as spending money or groceries or entertainment. If you know in advance how much you'll be short over the entire year, you can trim by just a little bit throughout the year and maintain control over your budget.

(Dalhousie University, n.d.)