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6 Step Guide to Budget Planning

Unlock the door to financial success by mastering the art of money management through budget planning. Seize control of your fiscal destiny and establish and achieve your ambitious financial objectives with ease in the UK, courtesy of valuable resources like the Standard Financial Statement and access to shrewd comparison tools for your payments, utilities and insurances. Your path to monetary stability is now clear and attainable.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of creating a budget step-by-step. We will cover everything from determining your annual income, and tracking your expenses to setting financial goals, monthly payments, and monitoring your budget. By following the budgeting technique provided in this guide you will be well on your way to achieving financial stability and security.

Determine Your Income

Embarking on the budgeting journey starts with unravelling your income sources – the lifeblood of your financial plan. Explore every nook and cranny, from salaries to occasional windfalls; and remember to peek at pay slips for the absolute truth, net income, as taxes and deductions aren’t factored in those gross figures. For the intrepid self-employed and business owners, it’s time to dust off those accounts or tap into your bank statements to deduce your average monthly income.

It’s also important to check whether you are entitled to or expect to receive any benefits. You can use the benefits calculator to see the details of what benefits you may be entitled to.

Now you’re ready to lay the foundation for a sturdy budget!

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Budget planning

Track Your Expenses

Embark on an insightful journey to scrutinize your routine monthly expenses. Delve deep into recording your living costs – rent, council tax payment, utilities, car insurance payments – while also keeping an eye on seemingly innocuous expenses like groceries, shopping, entertainment, and savings. Who knows, you might unearth instances where your hard-earned money is being frittered away on non-essentials.

To streamline this endeavour, consider a simple way of harnessing the power of budgeting apps or spreadsheets for creating budgets and tracking your financial blueprint. In the UK, Money Dashboard, Yolt, and Emma are some renowned budgeting apps that can bolster your financial awareness journey.

Experience the simplicity of managing your finances with the Standard Financial Statement (SFS). As a universally adopted tool across UK debt advice agencies, SFS efficiently evaluates your disposable income by comprehensively dissecting data on your income and expenses.

Embrace financial clarity and take control of your financial future with this expert-approved solution.

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Categorize Your Expenses

Once you have a list it’s time to group them into categories. This will help you see where you’re regular spending the most money and identify areas where you can cut back on what you pay for. Common categories include housing, transportation (car insurance, breakdown cover etc.), food, entertainment, savings and debts.

You can create your own categories of bills based on your spending and saving habits but it’s important to be consistent. Make sure you’re grouping similar expenses together so that you can get an accurate picture of your spending.

Set Goals

Congratulations on unravelling all the money mysteries of your cash flow! The world, or perhaps just your bank account, is now your oyster. So, what’s next? Squashing that pesky debt? Creating a cozy nest of savings for your future dream home? Building a cushion of funds to survive the zombie apocalypse (emergency fund)? Or perhaps, simply becoming a money-saving guru?

Whatever your heart (and wallet) desires, remember the golden rule: be specific, measurable, and realistic. These trusty goals are your financial GPS, guiding you on a satisfying thrift adventure and helping keep your spending priorities on track and cut costs. Happy saving!

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Create Your Budget

Alright, you’ve done your homework, and now the fun begins – let’s craft your monthly budget! Start off by proudly showcasing your income at the very top. Next, be brave and confront those pesky expenses by subtracting them from your monthly income. Have extra cash? Brilliant! Use it to chase those financial dreams. A bit tight? No worries, we’ll scout for some smart savings opportunities.

But hey, remember – slow and steady wins the race. Being overambitious or slashing expenses drastically won’t help anyone in the long run. Instead, let’s commit to small, realistic tweaks that’ll snowball into big, budget-friendly successes such as paying for a new car.

Monitor Your Budget

So, you’ve crafted a snazzy budget, but that’s just the beginning. To truly become a budget master, take some time each week or month to review and tweak as needed.

Why not make it easy on yourself with handy budgeting apps or spreadsheets? They’ll track and manage your spending and quickly pinpoint where you’re splurging a little too much. Remember to stay focused on your goals – and don’t worry, it’s okay to make adjustments along the way if you find you have more money left.

Tips for Creating a Successful Budget

Ready to master the art of budgeting? Here’s a collection of clever hacks designed to make budgeting less daunting and more rewarding. Dive in and watch your budgeting success skyrocket!

  • Use the Standard Financial Statement (SFS):

Discover the magic of SFS, a one-stop solution used by every debt advice agency in the UK! Let it guide you through the world of income and expenses, breaking them down to help you keep an eye on where your money goes. Say hello to the fantastic tool that unveils your disposable income!

  • Find cheaper alternatives:

Discover budget-friendly ways to have a blast and savour tasty meals! Swap high-end eateries for a fun, homemade culinary adventure or trade the big screen for a cosy movie night with streaming services like Amazon Prime or Netflix. Enjoy the best experiences without breaking the bank!

  • Save on utility bills:

Want to shrink those pesky utility bills? Check out cost comparison tools like to find the most wallet-friendly energy providers that cater to your specific needs. Go on, start saving today!

  • Save money on insurance:

Ever dreamt of effortlessly snagging the best insurance deals that fit your needs? Well, buckle up because we have just the thing for you! Visit and explore the magical world of comparison tools. Navigate through car and home insurance offers with ease and watch yourself save big! Happy comparing!

  • Prioritise your spending:

Achieve your financial dreams by prioritizing them in your budget! Dedicate a portion of each month’s income towards reaching those goals, and then adjust other areas to keep yourself on track.

  • Review your budget regularly:

It’s key to review regularly – maybe take some time out once a week or even monthly for an update check-up and reassess the situation if needed.


Ready to conquer your finances like a boss? Let’s start by crafting a budget that puts you in the driver’s seat, helping you navigate towards your dream financial destination. Keep it real, focus on what matters, and keep tweaking as you go.

With a pinch of effort and a dash of discipline you’ll soon be basking in the glow of financial stability. And guess what? You’ve got nifty tricks up your sleeves to help you save on utilities, insurance and track expenses like a pro.

Let the budget magic begin!

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* To qualify for debt write off in an IVA with us, you must have a minimum of £7,000 of qualifying unsecured debt owed to two or more creditors.  The amount of debt write off is based on your own personal circumstances – typically this could be up to 85% of what you owe; and this has been achieved by over 10% of our customers who have successfully completed their IVA’s in the last 12 months.  The amount of debt write off differs for each customer and is dependent upon their individual financial circumstances and subject to the approval of their creditors.

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