A budget is a list of all the money you receive and all the things you spend money on every month.
Creating a budget is the first step towards taking control of your finances and getting your situation back on track.
Budgeting helps you to see where your money is going, so it’s easier to make sure that you’ve covered all of the things you need to pay. You can also spot areas where you can make savings.
As most of your household bills and debt payments are made monthly, we suggest that you make all the figures in your budget calendar monthly.
How to create a budget
Work out your total income. Add together all the income you get each month. Make sure you include everything – whether its wages, benefits or pensions. If some of your income is paid weekly or 4-weekly, you’ll need to turn these figures into calendar monthly ones.
To do this you need to multiply the weekly figure by 52 and then divide this by 12. This will then give you a calendar monthly figure to include in your budget.
Make a list of everything you spend each month. You need to include amounts for things that you only pay for once a year, such as Christmas, car repairs or vets bills.
To do this you need to divide the yearly cost by 12 to give you a monthly figure which you can include in your budget. You can then set this money aside until the bill is due.
If you’re not sure what you’re spending your money on, try writing down everything you buy over a month. This will give you a clearer idea of your regular spending.
Deduct the total amount you spend each month from your monthly income. If you’ve got any money left over after you’ve paid for everything you have a ‘budget surplus’. If you’re spending more money than you’ve got coming in you have a ‘budget deficit’.
How we can help
If you would like help making a budget you can use our online Debt Remedy tool or call our free Helpline on 0800 138 1111. We’ll create a budget that covers all of your household costs and give you the best advice for your situation.