When you budget, you build a clear picture of what money is coming in and how it is being spent.
A budget enables you to know what you can and can not afford, it allows you to save money and set money aside for emergencies and also make arrangements to lower your debts.
We have made a simple budget planner to get you started.
How to budget
1. Income - List what money is coming into your home, i.e. your wages, partner’s wages, benefits, child maintenance etc. to give you a total income.
2. Outgoings - List all your outgoings, bills, expenses, food, debts etc. to give you a total expenditure.
3. Disposable Income - anything left over after all your outgoings have been taken from your income.
Ideally you should have more money coming in than going out, so if you need support to look at your finances, check you are receiving all your benefit entitlement or need help with debt, contact our Money Advice Team on 01204 329868.
Be aware of high interest lenders
Please be aware: Debt management companies, doorstep lenders, loan sharks and high street money lenders are all profit making organisations that are out to make money from you.
They will charge high interest rates and make charges for lending money.
For low cost and affordable loans, we would recommend Hoot Credit Union, click here for more information.
Documents you need to help you budget
Get together as much information as you can before you start to complete your budget planner, the following will be useful:
- Bank statements over the last few months
- Standing orders & direct debits will give you an accurate idea of what you spend
- Income details, payslips, benefits letters
- Debit and credit card statements
- Regular bills and outgoings
- Receipts for things you usually pay for in cash
- Food bills - gather all receipts for the last three months, then divide by three to reach your average monthly spend
- Make sure you include all your expenses, for example money you spend on your partner or family