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Help with budgeting

Small changes to how you spend your money can make a significant difference. Planning carefully so that you don’t spend more than your income will ensure you stay in a healthy financial position

To make changes it is important first to understand your current income and expenditure. When this is done properly many people are surprised at how much they spend on some things.

You can also use a budgeting tool by the Money Advice Service to manage your money and identify where you should spend and where you should cut back.

When completing these tools, don't forget to include all your expenses, such as saving or spending for things like Christmas, birthdays and anything you put away too save. You should also remember to add repayments for any debts you have including credit cards, store loans and arrears payments for things like rent and Council Tax.

The expenditure form should include everything you spend money on. It is helpful to have a recent bank statement or an online banking app with you when you complete the budget calculator. It is important to complete honestly. If you know about your spending habits, you are in a better position to help yourself

Spending tips

For some tips on smart shopping that will help you save money, visit the Money Advice Service website.

For more information, please also visit our cheaper energy bills page and community food clubs page.

Prioritise your spending

If you have not got enough income to pay for everything you want to, then you should work out what is most important. Things to prioritise spending on are:

  • rent, mortgage payments and council tax
  • gas or electricity bills
  • your TV license payment
  • any court fines you might have
  • any unpaid income tax, National Insurance, VAT, child maintenance or child support
  • payment for goods bought on hire purchase or conditional sale (where you are paying in instalments to own)
  • other debts such as credit card and catalogue debt

Once these most important payments have been made, you have more opportunity to make your own spending decisions.

Please visit the Citizens Advice website for more information.