Two-thirds of young Canadians don't track expenses
TORONTO, Oct. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - With a plethora of online budgeting tools available, the habit of tracking spending should be a fairly straightforward routine to get into. However, this is not the case for Gen Y; while they have embraced the importance of saving, they are slower to embrace the habit of tracking where their money goes each week, month and year. According to new research from TD Canada Trust, more than half (55%) of Gen Y save at least 10% of each paycheque, but in contrast, 66% either do not have a budget or do not follow the one they created. This helps explain why Gen Y says they are most likely to overspend on entertainment (48%), snacks (41%), fashion (38%) and tech gadgets (29%).
"Budgeting is the key to battling the habit of overspending," said Raymond Chun, Senior Vice President, TD Canada Trust. "Cash flow clarity is essential to gaining control of where your money is going and ultimately reaching financial goals. Just like building an exercise routine, it's tough to start, but eventually becomes easier and more automatic."
Building a budget can be as simple as tracking income against expenses, and following Chun's simple tips, it doesn't have to be a chore.
1. Create a Budget Template
"There's a misconception that budgets mean complex spreadsheets - this doesn't have to be the case with a personal monthly budget," said Chun. "An effective budget can be as simple as a sheet of paper with two columns: one for money coming in and one for money going out."
The key to developing a good template is to allow space to capture all income and expenses in any given month, including discretionary spending. The 'money out' column should allow space for everything from monthly rent and living expenses down to snacks and miscellaneous spends. 'Money in' should capture any incoming funds like paycheques and government rebates.
|Date: October 1, 2013|
|Money In||Money Out|
|Paycheque: $__.__||Breakfast: $__.__|
|Provincial sales tax rebate: $__.__||Rent: $__.__|
|Birthday gift: $__.__||Transit Pass: $__.__|
|Dinner with friends: $__.__|
|RRSP Contribution: $__.__|
2. Track your Spending
"Once you have a template in place, track every single expense," says Chun. "A great starting point is to take advantage of virtual tools that are already tracking spending - like online debit or credit card statements - and then build on anything additional that's not tracked online."
At the end of the month, all the documented expenses simply need to be categorized into essential and non-essential expenses.
"However you track your spending, the goal is to have a full picture of how and where money is being spent," says Chun. "It can be surprising to some to see how non-essential spending can really add up, but the clarity helps in finding out where adjustments are needed."
3. Review Spending Habits
With spending habits in hand, it's time to see if changes should be made. While fixed expenses like rent and transportation may not change, look closely at discretionary categories like entertainment, eating out and shopping. Set a maximum monthly spend for each category and, if this results in a surplus at the end of the month, consider putting it towards a savings account or paying down debt.
4. Repeat, repeat, repeat
As with any strong routine, getting into the habit through repetition is key. It is important to review the budget each month, especially if income or lifestyle changes take place.
"Always push yourself on whether it's possible to put more money towards savings," said Chun. "Life and circumstances are ever-changing, and a monthly budget will reflect this. The good news is, once a regular habit of budgeting has been adopted, making changes will be a piece of cake."
For more resources and tools to make everyday finances easy, please visit: tdcanadatrust.com.
About the TD Canada Trust Cash Confessions Poll
TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group (www.environics.ca) to conduct an online custom survey of 6,014 Canadians aged 18 years and older, including 1,072 Millennials (born 1981 to 1999). Responses were collected between January 10 and 25, 2013.
About TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over 1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For more information, please visit: www.tdcanadatrust.com. TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America.
Image with caption: "Gen Y: Curb that urge to splurge (CNW Group/TD Canada Trust)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131007_C7490_PHOTO_EN_31722.jpg
SOURCE: TD Canada Trust
For further information:
Sandra De Carvalho
TD Bank Group