Once you have completed the basic part of your budget, you can start to think about what other spending is important for your family.
Work down the budget form and include the things you choose to spend your money on, start with the most important and work down. At this stage don’t worry if you start to get the feeling that your spending is higher than your income. Making the budget balance is the next step.
What to include in the budget will depend on your personal circumstances, record the spending in order of priority, ask yourself questions such as:
Do I need a car for work? If you work and the distance is too far to walk then a vehicle will be an important allowance within your budget, you may need to consider this next.
How important is the internet for me and my family? Do you need to allow for this?
What will I do if my washing machine or other household appliance breaks down? Do I need to set aside some cash for emergencies?
Do you have children? If so then what additional essentials do you need to allow for?
Do you have Pets? Don’t forget to include any extra essential costs for them.
If your circumstances have changed or your budgeting has not worked out in the past there could be commitments and demands on your income record the payments on your budget, click here for the help with debt section.
Or visit Money Advice Service for impartial money advice and Citizens Advice for free, impartial and confidential advice on a range of consumer issues, including benefits and debts.
The balancing act
When you have all your spending recorded, add the figure up and take it away from your total income.
How does this look? Does it balance? If so then use your budget as a guide for your future decision making, remember to review and update it regularly.
If you are spending more than you have coming in then you will need to take some action.
Go back through the steps and consider:
How can you increase your income?
Are the amounts you have recorded accurate?
What can you cut back on?
Making a budget balance is the most difficult bit, sometimes it helps to talk it through with someone, contact the Financial Responsibility Team or Citizens advice
If your budget doesn’t balance then it is likely you will be falling behind on some of your important bills visit the help with debt page for help.
Click here to go back to the Financial Responsibility homepage