Budget planner – how to manage your money


Owning a home can be difficult because expenses and mortgage rates keep increasing in the world of mortgages and finance. Cost of living is also up by 50 to 100%. Therefore, it is crucial to plan your finances wisely.

I have been working in finance for years and have seen how hard it is for people to buy a property in places like Vaughan and Ontario, including major cities.

In today’s expensive world, many Canadians still hope to own a home despite the high cost of living. However, the journey to owning a home has become increasingly complex. Mortgage rates have experienced a dramatic surge, more than tripling in the past 22 months.

The sudden increase has made it difficult for people to afford their mortgage payments and manage their financial responsibilities.

Credit card debt has increased, causing many people to have lower credit scores. This has resulted in homeowners seeking a second mortgage to increase their cash flow and keep the revolving credit down. This chain reaction can cause problems for homeowners, making it harder for them to get loans and handle their debts. My work in mortgages and finance has inspired me to act because of the uncertain financial situation.

Budget planning solutions for you

In some cases, people use budget spreadsheets or Google Sheets templates. I created a budget template for residents of Vaughan and nearby areas. The purpose is to assist them in improving their money management skills and put them at ease. Many people overlook many expenses, and this template aims to address that issue.

This template is essential for financial stability and achieving homeownership. My template is formulated and is not just numbers but a lifeline and roadmap for individuals and households. All you have to do is put the numbers, and you will see how fast you can see the accurate picture.

The goal is to help people feel confident and wise when dealing with their finances as homeowners.

I made a detailed budget template with essential elements for making sound financial decisions.

You can use this budget calculator and learn how to budget; I hope you enjoy it as much as my clients did. By creating a budget, you can use your monthly budget template and change your expenses as your scenario changes. Let me share with you that the budget exercise can be intimidating. I find it is better to go though the pain then get caught in the pain of not knowing where your money is going.

Step 1 : Download this template

Step 2 : Pick a time and lets talk

1. Holistic Income Assessment:

  • Delve into diverse income sources, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the financial inflows. Ensure you enter all income sources; it gives you a better picture!
  • If you are in the service industry and get tips, enter them. The template is for you and your family to get the complete information.
  • You may receive a child tax credit or other government incentives. We designed this budget template to account for every income you receive.
  • You may receive annuities and other types of fixed income; it’s all entered into the template.

2. Strategic Expense Management:

  • Categorize expenses in detail and compare between fixed and variable costs. Individuals can use this detailed approach to identify areas where they can make room for savings.
  • Gifts, closing, medication, supplements, and other lifestyle expenses are also part of budget planning.
  • When entering fixed expenses, such as car loans or other loans paid bi-weekly, consider calculating the monthly amount correctly. You do this by taking the bi-weekly amount multiplied by 26 annual payments and dividing it by 12. For example, $200 x 26 = 5200 รท12= 433.33, this is your monthly payment, not $400.

3. Debt Management Strategies:

  • Address existing debts in an orderly by providing tailored strategies to manage credit card balances and other outstanding loans. It takes discipline, but it works.
  • Some financial planners insist on paying down the most significant card first. Some other planners believe in concentrating on the smallest amount rather.
  • I believe paying down the credit card with the smallest amount first is better. It gives a sense of accomplishment and a win. When you concentrate on paying off the minor card, don’t forget to keep paying the cards with the largest balance, otherwise, you will risk lowering your credit score and go into default. Make sure you do not neglect any of your debt obligations.
  • By doing the above, you will increase your cash flow and will make all other debt obligations more attainable.

4. Building Emergency Funds:

  • Focus on building emergency savings, a vital financial cushion for unforeseen situations, providing reassurance and stability.
  • Having an emergency fund is essential. You always want to account for that when you create your budget.
  • An emergency fund should typically be between 6 to 12 months of expenses. This is an emergency fund and should not be treated as a regular savings. It is your cushion, not your operating account.

5. Savings Roadmap:

  • Create a savings plan for specific goals like buying a house, saving for retirement, or paying for education. If purchasing an RRSP, there are ways that you can have fewer taxes deducted from your payroll. You will have to fill out a form However, you should make sure that this is an option for you and that you do it correctly. You can talk to your payroll department to get guidance.
  • A Registered Retirement Savings Plan will decrease your taxable income and can generate a rebate at the end of the year or decrease your taxable payroll.
  • HBSP, a Home buyer savings plan, can help you save for a down payment only if you are a First-Time home buyer. Unlike RRSP contributions, you do not need to pay it back into your RRSP, and it will give you a tax rebate.

6. Credit Score Nurturing:

  • Educate yourself about credit scores and how your credit bureau works. You can get tips on improving and keeping a good credit in good standing. By keeping your budget in check, you can avoid unpleasant surprises.
  • You can get free scores from Equifax and Transunion

7. Financial Empowerment Workshops:

  • Extend beyond the template, offering interactive practice and one-on-one consultations. These sessions provide tailored guidance, addressing specific concerns and ensuring a deep understanding of financial strategies.

The budget template in Vaughan is not just a tool; It gives hope to the community’s dream of owning a home. It gives people the power to achieve their dream of owning a home by providing financial support.

By embracing strategic financial planning, we can transform challenges into opportunities. With knowledge and caution, we can understand the mortgage industry and help people achieve their dream of owning a home.

I can help you turn aspirations into reality and foster a community where homeownership is attainable for all.


Don’t just take my word for it.
See what my clients say.

A man smiling for the camera in front of trees.

“With a brief description of the financing I need to Lucia, and my general financial picture, she immediately went to work. Her short and exact interview extracted the required information from me for her to configure exactly what I needed in a few options. Her method of configuration and solutions were imbued with what is best for me base on my financial picture and my financing needs. All the logistics were effectively and efficiently put into effect by Lucia to get an appropriate financing deal done in the shortest time. Lucia kept her monitoring eye and updated me regularly on all the flow of my cycle to a done. This is elegant service and care from Lucia and I am very please with her execution, service and commitment to help me get my financing needs fully handled. Thank you Lucia !!” B.R. from Vaughan, Ontario

A woman with long hair and a smile.

“Lucia…we met a year ago and you helped us purchase our home. We knew that we were going to have a challenging year, but we did it and have increased our investment. You once again helped us to refinance with a more manageable payment structure and at the same time saving thousands of dollars. You are truly an amazing person and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts all that you have done. You are not just our mortgage broker,you are a friend, and we treasure the relationship! Thank you” Theresa, from Markham, Ontario

A man with a red and white checkered shirt smiling.

“I had the opportunity to work with Lucia in the search for my first home’s mortgage. That was a pleasant experience. Lucia was very informative throughout the whole process with numbers that make sense. She advised us on different scenarios and different approaches for the best results. I feel very comfortable making my own decision based on Lucia’s advice to look for the mortgage that best suited my situation. I definitely recommend Lucia’s service to assist in your search for a new home. Paul Dinh”

Paul, from Vaughan, Ontario

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“We have been dealing with Lucia since 2008 and we didn’t have any issues with her. She’s very accommodating and listens to our needs. She would explain the process thoroughly to us and answer our questions well. She comes highly recommended.”

Agnes T, from Toronto, Ontario

A man with short hair and a smile.

“Our experience was a thoroughly enjoyable one. We felt fully supported during the entire process. We can’t wait to begin our next mortgage adventure with Lucia Gugliuzzi (Lic. 12296). Thanks so much!” Alex P, from Richmond Hill, Ontario

A man with short hair and a red shirt.

“My experience with working with Lucia is a memorable one, she is very professional, but is also very down to earth as well, she knows her job very well, and is more than willing to go above and beyond for you. Thank you so much Lucia!” Khem, from Markham, Ontario

Frances ProtopapasFrances Protopapas
02:50 28 Nov 23
I am so satisfied over the years of many mortgage transactions for myself that I had recommended Lucia to my children, whom in turn have used her many times with satisfaction. My children in turn have also referred Lucia to their friends for a great experience.We feel Lucia is experienced, knowledgeable and has good resources to then follow up with the lawyers to make sure the process is completed in a timely manner. Lucia is an honest, dedicated broker and I continue to recommend her to anyone that wants to get it right the first time.
Barry CaverlyBarry Caverly
18:53 16 Nov 23
We could not be more happy with the interactions we had with Lucia during our latest house purchase. She is so professional and represented us very well to the lenders and we feel she worked extremely hard to get us the best possible deal.We highly recommend her to anyone looking for a mortgage.
Katrina & NathanKatrina & Nathan
17:56 09 Nov 23
Lucia has been incredible to work with, and she has helped us tremendously in securing a great mortgage rate for our first home together! The level of professionalism she displayed from start to finish was impeccable. She was always attentive, would listening to our concerns, and always made herself available to answer our questions. She was always communicating with us and advocated for us throughout the process. Trust me, you will not get this kind of service anywhere else!
Eric AshfieldEric Ashfield
23:00 25 Aug 23
Lucia always offers calm professionalism and absolute dedication to my best interests. She is not judgemental but at the same time, she is practical and absolutely honest. I was right to trust her and you can too! A top, honest professional.
Kalidas KalimuthuKalidas Kalimuthu
22:11 17 Aug 23
Response and friendly communication move to next step.
Anjana SharmaAnjana Sharma
19:36 30 Jul 23
She is very knowledgeable and helpful. She guided us the right path just through a phone call.
Emelle YalcinEmelle Yalcin
18:39 20 Apr 23
Lucia is an AMAZING mortgage broker!! We trusted her to get us the best mortgage rate and she delivered AGAIN. She works very hard to get you the best deal and keeps you informed all through the process. She was an absolute pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend her to anyone, especially 1st time home buyers. Thank you Lucia!
Atena HAtena H
00:27 23 Dec 22
My family and I are living in our new home about half a year now and it would never have been possible without the skilled determination and expertise of Lucia. We were previously working with someone else before Lucia that ended very badly and we were left discouraged and without hope. Lucia came referenced to me by my boss and I'm still thanking him to this day. My husband didn't have much history in terms of credit being a travelling musician all his life, but somehow Lucia made the impossible happen. Securing us with a great rate, terms and borrowing account.She loves what she does and it shows! Its hard to find that these days especially in mortgage brokerage. I hope to work with her again someday if we every choose to move again. It would be a pleasure.
Dolores BrennanDolores Brennan
23:15 13 Dec 22
Lucia was an absolute pleasure to deal with, professional beyond words and totally went above and beyond to help us out with a very difficult financial arrangement. She is so knowledgeable about current market trends and has such patience and determination to make sure she gets you what you need was remarkable.I would highly recommend this amazing lady whose work ethics are incredible.
Ryan CurryRyan Curry
22:35 25 Mar 22
Lucia was able to help me secure my mortgage renewal at a great rate. I was under pressure to lock in the best rate as fast as possible and she made it happen without sacrificing a fraction of a point. She has great interpersonal skills and knowledge of the industry. She worked very quickly and efficiently. Her super quick response time to texts and phone calls was astounding. All in all a great experience. Thank you, Lucia!
Nat BarnesNat Barnes
17:41 08 Jun 21
I can't believe I'm writing this, but Lucia actually made getting a new mortgage a FUN experience! She is an absolute expert in her field, she is tenacious, and she clearly puts her clients first. But even more than that, Lucia is a genuinely kind and thoughtful person who took the time to get to know my family to understand our goals, limitations, and dreams for a new home. Every interaction with Lucia is enjoyable. At the end of the day, she got us exactly what we needed at a great rate... and made it a great experience. I recommend Lucia without reservation.