Rent/mortgage payments, student loan payments, internet services, and insurance are examples of expenses that automatically fall into this category

We all have the best intentions when creating a budget, but when money gets tight, budgeting can become much more difficult. Although budgeting should be a tool available to everyone, budgeting tips often cater to people with “middle class” incomes. What if your mandatory expenses eat up most-or all-of your income? What if an unexpected blip in your financial situation (like a car repair or a missed week of work) could be enough to derail you completely?

If it feels like all you can do is make sure you have enough to cover your bills, youre not alone. Its still possible to use budgeting to help increase your financial security, plan for the future, and reach your goals, even on a limited income. Heres how to get started:

Rethinking budgeting

If youve spent any time researching budgeting strategies, youve probably come across many tips and tricks that dictate that your “needs” (such as rent, groceries, transportation) should account for roughly 50 percent of your income.

However for many Albertans, only spending 50 percent on “needs” may not be realistic.