A new interactive budget calculator helps Canadians better manage their finances in 2011

OTTAWA, February 22, 2011 Canada News Wire - An easy-to-use interactive budget calculator that does the math for you has been launched by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) to help Canadians see how much money they take home and where they’re spending it.

A budget can help you find ways to pay off debt faster, achieve your financial goals and find ways to make your dollar stretch further. But making a budget and sticking to it can be difficult.

“The budget calculator shows you where your money is going. It’s divided into categories that prompt the user to consider every possible source of income, savings and expenses,” explains FCAC Commissioner Ursula Menke. “It’s so much easier to manage your finances and change your spending and saving habits when you can see how daily spending, even your daily cups of coffee, adds up over a year.”

FCAC already has a paper-based budget worksheet on its website. But this new interactive budget calculator does the hard work for you. It can be downloaded as a spreadsheet and saved onto your computer to help you keep a close eye on your finances.

“A carefully crafted budget is a very good financial tool that helps you manage your spending. It makes it easier to reduce unnecessary expenses and save regularly,” adds the Commissioner. “It’s also important to be financially prepared for any unexpected expenses. If people spend their own money, rather than borrowing it in an emergency, they avoid expensive interest charges. A budget is key to avoiding the debt trap,” she stresses. “So as we take a step into the next year, FCAC wants to raise awareness of the importance of budgeting and being financially prepared.”

No more need to cringe at the word “budget.” FCAC’s budget calculator, other tools and publications can be found on You can also view Rodney Noriega’s Success Story. He incurred a lot of debt while studying for his business degree from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. He explains how he uses FCAC's tip sheet Making a Budget and Sticking to It to better manage his finances and reduce his debt load.