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Making a budget

i This advice applies across the UK

How to manage your budget

Managing money is a key part of getting on top of debts or juggling household costs. These are our top tips to help you stay in control of your money.

Make a budget

Making a budget is the first step to managing your money.

It shows you what:

  • Money you have coming in
  • You need to spend each month

Budget for one-off expenses

Some expenses happen once a year, like Christmas.

Work out:

  • What you spend over the year on these, and
  • Divide that amount by 12

Save this money each month until you need to spend it.

Save your money

Think about saving some money every month.

This helps you:

Even small savings quickly add up.

Monitor your bank account

Check your bank account often.

This helps you make sure you have enough money for bills.

Check your Direct Debits.

  • Make sure you know what you pay for
  • Make sure you only pay for things you use

Use cash

Using cash helps you control spending.

When you go shopping or have a day out:

  • Take what you can afford to spend with you in cash
  • Leave your debit card at home

This way you can only spend what you have.

Regularly review your budget

Living costs can change over time.

Review your budget often.

This helps you spot areas where you can save money.

Keep track of when contracts are due to end

Write down the end date whenever you start or renew a contract.

Contracts can be things like:

This reminds you to check for a better deal before your contract ends.

You could end up paying more over time if you let your contract lapse.

Cut back on spending

You can save money without making big changes to your lifestyle.

Cutting back on little things makes a big difference.

For example:

  • You spend £2 on a coffee every weekday
  • This adds up to £520 every year

You can save by:

Check for ways to make extra money

  • Have you checked if there are benefits you can get?
  • Are you in a position to take on a second job?
  • Have you tried using a cashback website?
  • Get a little money back every time you buy
  • Save it for one-off expenses like Christmas and birthdays

Shop around

Before buying something, ask yourself:

  • Do you need it?
  • Is it an item you could get by without?

If you feel you do need it:

  • Shop around
  • Look online to find the best deals

Deal with your debts

We provide free, impartial debt advice.

Use our free online debt advice tool.

We can help you find the best way to manage debt.

couple at their coffee table

Need help making a budget?

We can work out your budget for you.

Get help online now