Family Budgets

Family Budgets

One of the most significant stressors for parents/caregivers is managing family finances within a budget.  From saving for children’s education to making sure there is enough money to pay the bills, money seems to be a constant pressure for many.  Rural Response for Healthy Children’s “Dollar$ense” resources provide numerous local resources and supports available to educate families and provide some financial help for specific situations.

Saving For School
The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is money that the Government of Canada deposits directly into a child’s Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) account to help parents get a head start on saving for their child’s education after high school.

Smartsaver.org is our favourite site to learn more about saving for your children’s education.

Dollar$ense Local Resource Contact List
This Local Resource Contact List is available for Huron County residents and agencies to use as a referral guide for services related to household finances and budgeting.

Dollar$ense Huron County Library Collection
In collaboration with Huron County Libraries we created the Dollar$ense collection for adults and Back Pack Kits for families (ages 3-9 and 9-teen).  The Back Pack kits include age appropriate books, games, parent guides and a suggested movie list with important information and messages about how we think about and manage money.  The books, kits and movies are available for borrowing through every branch, just ask for the Dollar$ense-Huron collection.

Dollar$ense OnLine Resources
Rural Response for Healthy Children’s TOP PICK is from Gail Vaz Oxlade.Gail Vaz Oxlade is a Canadian financial advisor, author and reality TV host.  A budget will help you see where your money is spent and gives you an idea of how much may be allotted to monthly savings and debt payments.  She recommends family budgets allocate 50% of income to needs, 35% to debt and savings and 25% to wants.  She offers an excellent budget template that you can download to your home computer or if working at public computer, such as the library, save as a Google Doc.  If you don’t use computers, you can copy the template into a notebook.

Rural Response for Healthy Children’s TOP PICK is the SmartSaver website.  It is so important to start saving for your children’s education as soon as possible.  Saving for education comes from the 35% of your household budget that is dedicated to debt and savings in Gail Vaz Oxlade’s model.

Below is a list of additional resources, reviewed by Rural Response for Healthy Children.

Budgets
Organize Personal Finances – Credit Canada offers excellent Excel worksheets; including a Spending Plan and Weekly Expense Tracker.

Learn the 50/30/20 budget guideline to create your household budget. Establish your own percentage amounts, but aim for something close to 50/30/20. It may take a year to transition your spending and savings patterns to this model.

Taxes
Canada Revenue Agency provides an online series about filing taxes.  Tax filing is essential to ensure eligibility for benefits, rebates and subsidies.  Rural Response for Healthy Children’s Parent Support team are also trained to help you access tax benefits suited to your family’s situation.  Did you know there may be benefits from up to ten years ago that you haven’t claimed?

Expenses
An informative video be Canadian Money Experts about Spending

Frugalchic provides 5 ways to reduce spending in this video

A blog post by Credit Counselling Society about impulse shopping

Calculate how much your debit card costs you

In this article, discover much money do you spend by using a credit card

Ten tips to stop living pay check to pay check