Before completing a budget
- Get a bank statement of at least 1 month’s transactions to hand.
- Note down all your current regular payments including Direct Debits
Budgeting Tool Online
- Work out your budget - Citizens Advice
- Budget Planner | Free online budget planning tool - MoneyHelper
- budget-planner.pdf - stepchange.org
- Benefit and budgeting calculator - betteroffcalculator.co.uk
When planning for Christmas or Birthday spending, list down every person you buy for and how much want to spend on their present. This will help you accurately budget and should be easier to stick to. By planning in advance, you can look for any offers on presents you are going to buy anyway.
To estimate yearly costs such as car insurance or car repairs, check what your bill was last year and use that number. You may need to adjust if you know the price is going to change drastically, or you have used comparison websites to shop around.
How to save
Plan to save and ensure you have an emergency fund to deal with any surprise expenses.
How to reduce your spending
- Look for better mobile and internet deals.
- Ensure you are receiving Council Tax Support if you are on a low income or welfare benefits.
- Get advice if you have debt. Make a Money Advice enquiry
- Make your food go further.
- Turn your heating off when you are not home.
- Pay your bills on time. Make sure you are not getting additional charges for late payments.
How to check if your income is correct?
- If you are working, check your payslip shows any overtime you have worked and inform your employer if anything looks incorrect.
- Check you are on the right tax code. Check your Income Tax for the current year - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Check you are claiming the correct benefits.
Don’t forget, if you are claiming a benefit you are no longer entitled to, the DWP will ask you to pay this back if you have not let them know of a change in your circumstance.