CALGARY, AB, Jan 16, 2015/ Troy Media/ You may have noticed that Cutting Corners was on hiatus over the holidays. No, I didn't spend my winter break shopping or visiting - although I did a little of those things. I spent it getting my book manuscript to the publisher.

As I was fine tuning those footnotes and finessing that last paragraph, I could not help but notice that writing books and turning family budgets into financial masterpieces have a few things in common: Just as it takes several drafts to finish a book, our family budgets may need multiple revisions until it works for our families.

A family budget will help you meet your financial goals

Editing pays for both books and budgets, and January is a great time to edit the family budget.

What do I mean by editing your family budget? Editing your budget is taking a look at what you spend your paycheque on, deciding what needs cutting, what needs to be added, and what you really want to highlight as spending priorities.

In other words, you need to figure out how to create a financial happy ending. In accounting speak, happy endings translate as financial goals. If you financial decisions aren't getting you closer to the life you envision for yourself, it's time to change the plot.

Fortunately, the tools we need to plot our own financial stories are probably already on our computers. If you are a MAC user, check out your Numbers software. The budgeting tools in Numbers allow you to edit your financial plot as you go. You will find templates for personal savings, loan comparisons, education savings, net worth, and monthly goals. If you are a visual thinker, you will love these tools because they let you see your progress in charts and graphs. As you watch your progress, your confidence that your hard work and savings habits are taking you toward your happy ending grows stronger.