Manage your budget

Manage your budget

This information will show you how a personal budget will help you make the most of your money and help you avoid committing to spending too much. It will also help you plan for the future.

Advantages of using our budget planner

  • With an accurate budget, you’ll be able to manage your spending and save money, or stop running up big debts.
  • If you already have debt problems, a budget will show you how much spare cash you have. This will help when you talk to your creditors (those you owe money to), because you’ll be able to make realistic offers to pay them back over a period of time.

Use our budget planner

A budget planner has headings for different kinds of income and spending, under which you can enter your own figures. You’ll find our budget calculator on this website by following this link.

Outgoings

  • Start by working out what you spend on your outgoings.
  • Make sure you check your bank statements, bills for gas, electricity, telephone, Council Tax, water rates, insurance and similar expenses.

    Don’t forget to include your priority debts such as mortgage or rent payments, loan/hire purchase repayments or child maintenance and food.

Income

Next we take account of your income

  • Check your payslips to get an accurate figure for wages or salaries.
  • Look at your bank statements for benefits, Child Tax Credit and similar income.

Don’t forget to include any rent from lodgers or contributions from other people such as Maintenance and Child Support.

If you have a shortfall

If your outgoings are higher than your income, you will have to start to prioritise your spending and consider cutting back, especially the items you can’t afford.

Remember, that your priorities, household bills and housekeeping should come first.

If you complete our budget planner and find that you have little or no money left, you may need to remove the payments for unsecured credit or ‘non-priority’ debts. These include credit cards, bank loans and overdrafts, catalogues, and finance company loans.

You may need to think about reducing these payments. This is where we can help; look in our money worries section of this site for more information about the ways we can help.

If you have a surplus

Using our budget planner is all about making sure that you have money left over after paying all your bills.

If this is the case for you, you may want to think about starting to save money, towards a major expense (such as a holiday or a new car).