Set up a budget

Where does your money go each month? What is your detailed spending breakdown ?

How much money do you have left over after you’ve paid your most important bills?

The first step to taking control of your finances is doing a budget. It will take a little effort, but it’s a great way to get a quick snapshot of the money you have coming in and going out.

Setting up a budget means you’re:

  • Less likely to end up in debt
  • Less likely to get caught out by unexpected costs
  • More likely to have a good credit rating
  • More likely to be accepted for a mortgage or loan
  • Able to spot areas where you can make savings
  • In a great position to save up for a holiday, a new car, or another treat
  • What you need

Learn how to manage your money better with our Budget planner spreadsheet.

To get started on your budget, you’ll need to work out how much you spend on:

  • Household bills
  • Living costs
  • Financial products (insurance…)
  • Family and friends (presents…)
  • Travel (car costs, public transport…)
  • Leisure (holidays, sport, restaurants…)

A great way to work out your budget is with our free and easy to use Budget planner. Just grab as much information as you can about your income and spending (bills, bank statements…) and get started.

Alternatively you can set a budget up using a pen. Just write it all down on a piece of paper. There are also some great free budgeting apps available and your bank or building society may have an online budgeting tool which takes information directly from your transactions.

If you’re spending more than you have coming in, you need to work out where you can cut back.

This could be as easy as making your lunch at home, or cancelling a gym membership you don’t use.

You could also keep a spending diary and keep a note of everything you buy in a month. Or, if you do most of your spending with a bank card, have a look at last month’s bank statement and work out where your money is going.

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