Keeping an eye on your money will help you stay in control. Drawing up a budget can help you know where your money is going, avoid or get out of debt and make decisions about your finances.
Draw up a Budget - step by step1. Choose
whether to draw up a monthly or a weekly budget. You can use the Money Advice Service online budget planner
.2. Make a list of all money coming into your household
. This may include wages, benefits, tax credits and pensions. You may need to change some of the figures from weekly to monthly or monthly to weekly to fit in with your chosen budget timescale.3. Find out how much money is going out
. Some of these will be fixed amounts that are the same each week, month or year, such as rent, council tax, TV licence or car tax. Other bills will vary, so it is a good idea to take an average of your telephone, electricity and gas over a full year.4. Keep a spending diary for a month
to keep track of how much you spend on food and household items.5. Don’t forget to budget for items
that you buy only occasionally like birthday presents, clothes and hair cuts.6. Be realistic when drawing up your budget
, as you may need to stick to it for some time. 7. If your budget shows that you don’t have much money left over
, you may need to look at how to reduce your spending. Have a look at whether there is anything that you could do without until you get back on track. This calculator shows how much you could save: Money Advice Service - Cut Back Calculator.
Money Advice Service online budget planner
Some phone numbers can cost a fortune to call - especially anything beginning with 0870. Some big companies including banks and gas/electric providers use premium numbers to make money. Visit the following website to search for an alternative number:Saynoto0870.com Money Saving Expert Advice
Martin Lewis is a money saving guru and has some great tips, advice and vouchers on his website and weekly email. Visit the following website to get some top tips on how to save money in a variety of different ways:Moneysavingexpert.com