Money Management
Made Easy

In the last issue we looked at financial fitness starting with your credit score. Your credit score is calculated based on your credit history — payment history, amount of debt, and the length of your credit history. A healthy credit score can benefit you in many ways, like if you’re looking for a mortgage.

In this issue we’re looking at some basic budgeting tips everyone should know, starting with creating a budget. Budgeting is a cornerstone of every financial plan — it’s fundamental to your overall financial fitness.

A budget helps keep your spending on track. A good budget will even highlight cash flow problems and can lead to freeing up even more money to put toward other financial goals.

Six Steps to Effective Budgeting
  1. Gather all your financial statements. Everything from your bank account records, to your income tax returns. Include everything — credit card statements, mortgage or rent, investments, utilities, gym memberships, etc.
  2. Calculate your income. This includes your spouse's income too. Work from your net income if you have a paycheck with automatic deductions. Includ e outside sources of income, such as child support for example. Record your total monthly income.
  3. List all of your monthly expenses. Write down a complete list of all the expenses you have during a month. Include everything from mortgage payments or rent, car payments (don’t forget services & maintenance), insurance (home, life, auto etc.), food, utilities, dining out, loans, childcare, etc. As well, don’t forget to include any savings you might be putting away on a monthly basis.

Pro tip: use 3 months of bank statements, receipts, and credit card statements to identify all your spending.

  1. Group your expenses as fixed and variable. Fixed expenses are mandatory expenses. This usually includes items like mortgage or rent payments, car payments, internet service & cell phone plans. Don’t forget about fixed amounts you plan to pay for debt or to a savings account. Variable expenses are the type that will change from month to month. These are things like: groceries, fuel, entertainment, etc.
  2. Total up the income, and the expenses. You’re in a good spot if your income is higher than your expenses. The difference can be used towards other areas of your budget such as eliminating debt, or your retirement savings.

    Pro tip: consider adopting the “50-30-20” budgeting philosophy where "needs" or essential expenses should represent half of your budget, “wants” should make up another 30%, and savings and debt repayment should make up the final 20% of the budget.
  3. Adjust your spending where needed. If you find that expenses are higher than your income, you’ll need to make adjustments. Find areas in your variable expenses you can cut. Look for ways to reduce your spending. Sometimes when you’ve done a thorough, and transparent look at your expenses it can be pretty obvious — like eating out less.

Your budget is one of the fundamental financial tools you have. When you have a budget in place it can guide your spending and help you reach those important goals, like buying a home or eliminating debt.

Health & Wellness

This time of year heralds not only a change of seasons, but for many a change of menu. We start craving cozy weather comfort food. Here’s a recipe that can be summed up in three simple words — simple, fast, cozy. Just carrots, celery, onions and garlic flavor this creamy chicken orzo recipe.

Creamy Chicken Orzo

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped about 1 cup
  • 2 Ribs celery, chopped, about 1 cup
  • 2 Large carrots, peeled, sliced, about 1 cup
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups Chicken stock
  • 2-3 cups Chicken, cooked, shredded
  • 1 lb box Orzo
  • 1 tbsp Flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat
  2. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook until the onion is translucent (about 7 minutes)
  3. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes longer
  4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil
  5. Add the cooked, shredded chicken breast along with the orzo
  6. Reduce the heat to medium and add the parsley, salt and pepper
  7. Simmer for 20 minutes so that the orzo is cooked through (most of the liquid has been absorbed by the orzo), and the veggies are tender

Simple — Fast — Cozy


Excellent Service

Everything was spot on! Our mortgage consultant did explain things as well as she was nice. Many reasons to recommend Capital Direct: friendly people, great service, very informative, professional, and very efficient. Keep excelling on current practices!
Gurinder S., Surrey, BC

The equity in your home is something that you've worked hard to build. Every month, Capital Direct helps Canadians just like you to realize their dreams.

What about you?
'Let your house lend a hand' ©
Contact a Capital Direct mortgage specialist
to discover your options.

October Sudoku

Did you know?
"Jack o'lantern" comes from the Irish legend of Stingy Jack. A man that tricked the devil into not taking his soul, but that God didn’t want in heaven for eternity.

9 5  
8 9  
2 8  
4   7
1   5
  2 4
  3 9
  3 6

Click here to view the solution

Request our new booklet: Borrowing for Success

How to Borrow What You Need to Succeed Guide

Learn how you can use your home equity to your greatest advantage.
To receive your FREE copy of this informative new booklet, email us at [email protected] with the subject line: “New Guide Request”. Please include your full name and postal address, and we'll send you a copy via Canada Post.

Mortgage Broker Licence Numbers: Ontario 10549 / Admin 11408; BC X026311MMB; Alberta MW-9811291; Nova Scotia 10769862.
Capital Direct is a member of CAAMP, MBABC, AMBA, Vancouver Board of Trade, and accredited with the Better Business Bureau.