A personal budget is an essential tool to help you manage your money. Your personal budget will help you see how much money you have coming in, how much is going out and how much you have left over.
Your personal budget will help you to manage your finances and plan your future spending, based on what you can afford.
If you are in debt, personal budgets are essential in helping you determine what you can afford to repay and how long it will take you.
You can get help creating a budget and receive money advice online by completing StepChange Debt Charity’s free online tool Debt Remedy.
step 1 – work out your income
step 2 – work out your spending
step 3 – work out what money you have left over
The first thing to do is write down what money you have coming in each week or month. Only include guaranteed income so that you are not relying on money coming in that you might not get.
Write a list of everything you need to pay out. It is important to be honest about how much you spend. Some of these expenses will be things that you pay for once a year, so divide the amount by 52 or 12 depending on whether you are doing a weekly or monthly budget. You should also note down smaller expenses that can add up, for example: newspapers, snacks, lottery tickets, children’s pocket money, cigarettes etc.
It is a good idea to set aside some money each month which you can save. This will help you to budget for things like Christmas and birthdays, large electrical items, new furniture or even a rainy day. These savings however small, will help you to avoid debt in the future.
Things to consider include:
When you’ve finished your budget you will hopefully see that you spend less than you have coming in.
Check it! Spend a couple of months checking what you actually spend; it may be a little different than the budget you worked out.
If you are spending more than you earn you will need to look at reducing the amount of money you spend on non-essential things, or whether you can increase your income.
Top Tip Set up Direct Debits for regular bills. This will ensure your bills are always paid on time which can prevent late payment charges.
StepChange Debt Charity
They operate an anonymous debt helpline - call 0800 138 1111 Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-4pm. Alternatively visit their Debt Remedy to get anonymous help and advice. Click here for free debt and budgeting advice
The Money Advice Service
Telephone 0300 500 5000 or visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
The National Debtline
Telephone 0808 808 4000 Monday-Friday 9am-9pm and Saturday 9.30am-1pm, or visit www.nationaldebtline.co.uk
Our MoneyWise Team can help - if you would like to speak to the team please call 01270 503575 or use the form below.