Glenise shares how budgeting puts her goals within reach

24 January 2018
Author: Chloe Stanois
Some people think of a budget as something that puts limits on them. But a budget is really a way to take charge of your finances. Community Financial Counselling Services (CFCS), a non-profit credit counselling agency in Winnipeg, helped Glenise, a single senior living on a fixed income, understand how creating a budget could help her achieve her financial goals. 
 
In March 2017, Glenise met with a financial counsellor in CFCS’s budgeting program to build a budget, learn how to save and pay back debt. Glenise began meeting with her counsellor once a month, but after a few months she decided to change their meetings to every two weeks to help her stay on track.
 
“Sometimes it was a struggle to follow my budget, but this process made me aware of how much money I was spending on what,” Glenise said. To help Glenise follow her budget and achieve her financial goals, her counsellor provided her with strategies to keep her on track. 
 
Tracking expenses increases awareness of spending habits
 
Glenise began tracking expenses by paying with cash or a debit card. By not using her credit card, it made her more aware of her spending habits. She quickly realized that her daily trips to a coffee shop to socialize with friends meant she was buying a coffee and pastry that she didn’t necessarily need. “I decided to connect with people outside of the coffee shop and spend more time attending free programs and church activities instead,” Glenise said. 
 
Collecting spare cash in a jar can help with paying down debt
 
To save and pay off her debt, Glenise’s counsellor suggested a jar strategy. Glenise kept a jar at home where she adds spare cash that could be used for debt repayment, gifts or clothes. Since she is in the process of paying back debt to a family member, this was an easy way for her to give them the money when she sees them as opposed to taking out money at the bank. This was also a great way for her to visually see the progress of saving little by little over time.
 
“I realize at this point that achieving my goals is still a process, but I feel motivated to just keep at it,” Glenise said. She has made great strides towards her goals, but continues to meet regularly with her counsellor to share her successes and try new strategies.  
 
Budgeting can be a practical way to be aware of spending habits, reduce or pay off debt, and save for medium and long-term goals. Budgeting can also improve an individual’s financial well-being by reducing feelings of stress, and increasing confidence and control over finances. 
 
CFCS
 
CFCS has partnered with SEED Winnipeg to improve the financial well-being of Canadians living on low income and expand proven financial empowerment interventions through the Financial Empowerment Champions (FEC) project. The project is delivered in partnership with Prosper Canada and funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program. CFCS is using their affordable and accessible financial counselling/financial literacy services and programs to help Manitobans improve their financial well-being.
 
Learn more
 
Read more about CFCS and their budgeting program.
 
For more information about the Financial Empowerment Champions project, visit: www.prospercanada.org/FEC
 
Budgeting resources
 

THE AUTHOR

Chloe Stanois is the Marketing and Communications Officer at Prosper Canada. Chloe is passionate about using storytelling to share Prosper Canada's vision and connect with others. She has a communication studies and sociology degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a corporate communications and public relations post-graduate certificate from Centennial College.

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