Planning your budget

The first step to improving your situation is to understand your current situation by completing a budget planner.

It is a very helpful exercise to see where you are spending money and will help you to work out any options you have to increase your income and reducing your outgoings.

Some people are put off by the idea of making a budget planner, but we complete hundreds of these a year for our clients, and they are a very helpful tool.

If you don’t have debts

The Money Advice Service have a great online budget planner that you can use, and you can create a free account so you can update it later.

If you do have debts

You can use our budget planner (printable version) or budget planner (computer/phone version).

Alternatively, you can use the free budget calculator and online advice session from StepChange who are a debt advice charity providing free advice. This will also help you make a personal action plan and review your debt options.

You will need to gather as much information as possible about your income and outgoings, a lot of information will be on your bank statements.


If you have money left over after your essential living costs, you might want to save a small amount for emergencies or unplanned spending (e.g. broken washing machine).

Having some savings means you can deal with unexpected events better when they come up.

Most creditors will allow you to save 10% of your disposable income after you pay your essential living costs (up to a maximum of £20 per month).

Last updated on 21/04/2021