Please note that the inclusion in this section of a site, particularly one that offers sales or services, does NOT constitute an endorsement or a recommendation.
These sources are offered as places to find reference material that is actually available to Canadian consumers in Canadian funds. Tools have been trialed. None of the tools listed requires membership or offering identifying personal information to be saved on external servers. Students are cautioned against signing up for any services on these sites, particularly credit card / loan services, and against making contact with people on rental listings. These are for INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY.
One of the elements of this project is that students need to learn how products - including lodging, transportation and health care - are marketed to people, and that companies use specific design elements, from word choice to colour choice, image choice and vague promises - to persuade potential customers to spend their money on a particular product or service. Students must learn to look at the details of an offer to determine whether or not it appears to be trustworthy. Remember that something that seems to be too good to be true probably IS too good to be true.
The onus is always on the consumer to do their leg work - buyer beware.
The key resource for this assignment is My Money Coach, a Canadian financial literacy site. It has terrific, Canada-specific resources and tools. Well worth bookmarking long after this course is over and done. Blog entries on a wide range of subject related to financial literacy are of particular use to students and adults alike.
This link takes you to the My Money Coach homepage. To access the spreadsheets: Select the "TOOLS" tab from the top of the screen.
This will open up the choices under Tools. Select from "Expense Tracker" from the column on the left. This will bring you to the choices for the expense tracker files.
The BEST Choice for this assignment is the monthly expense tracker (the file on the left, see pink circle below). The key issue is that it does all calculations for you automatically. It DOES NOT print out well. And you have to be careful to only input data (amounts of money or text) in the correct cells, so that you don't cause errors in the formulae. That being said, IF you would prefer to do print a hard copy, you could open and print the file on the right hand side (Daily and weekly personal expense planner).
I tried it and it turns out that you can, indeed, upload the first file into Google Sheets and have it work effectively (if you can do it with the file on the left, it would also work for the file on the right).
The advantage to using Sheets in Google Drive is that you can work on it anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. You can even, if you have downloaded Chrome, usually work on files offline and have them sync the next time you have access to the internet. You do not, then, need to remember a USB. You also don't need to worry if you use a Windows platform at home vs. the Apple platform we use at the school. You would also then be able to submit your work to me digitally by sending me the file link, avoiding the need to print out your work.
What you would need would be a Gmail account which comes with a Google Drive account.
Some of the budgeting tools on My Money Coach are available as Excel for Mac OR Windows files, OR as Open Office files. Open Office is a free, online work suite. In order to use the files, however, you must download their software. IF students want to be able to work on these files at home and at school but have Windows / PC hardware at home (whereas the schools are all Mac based) it may be easier for them to access the Open Office files.
Students are under NO OBLIGATION to download or use Open Office. They can choose to do the spreadsheet at home and go with their chosen file format, or solely at school and use the Mac format. They can also choose to print out the pages and do the files manually but they will then need to replicate the calculations accurately. Students are also free to find another similarly formatted budget sheet/tool, as long as it will provide a viewable end result with all of their budgeting information.
Planning Shopping (incl. grocery/meal plans) and Regular Expenses
Once again, please note that this reason that these links are here is for students to have access to current, accurate information they can use in setting reasonable budgets for expenses. These links are for reference purposes ONLY.
Students are recommended against signing up for services or memberships. Students are NOT encouraged to do actual shopping. Students can price out items at other stores /locations if they would be appropriate to the project (i.e. match the student's chosen city of residence).
Keep in mind that in order to budget accurately, you must take Sales Taxes into consideration. The centre button in the final row of the section below, where you can find out what the sales taxes are in any province / territory in Canada.