Budgeting is comparing your income and outgoings to ensure that you are able to meet all financial obligations without falling into debt.
The first step in completing any budgeting work is to write down what money comes in every month, and how often it comes in. From here the next stage is to see how much is spent each month on bills, as well as other spending such as food, transport, clothes, entertainment etc., as well as other payments which come out less regularly and can cause issues.
There are various budgeting tools which can assist in looking at whether your income and expenditure balance, and to see where your money is going, links to which are provided below:
When looking at your outgoings, your priority bills are the ones which are the most important to pay as they are the ones which can have the biggest consequences for not paying. Priority bills include:
- mortgage or rent
- Council Tax
- gas or electric bills
- County Court Judgements or Magistrate fines
- secured loans
- current telephone bills
If you are struggling with your rent and are on a low income you may be able to get assistance through housing benefit or Universal Credit. It is important that you speak to your landlord to advise on your current circumstances.
Should mortgage payments be causing issues then there is assistance to pay the interest from the Department of Work and Pensions, however this will only start following a period of 39 weeks on a qualifying benefit.
If you are having issues with your rent or mortgage payments then advice can be given by the housing solutions team.
Similarly you may be able to get assistance with your Council Tax if you are on a low income through Council Tax Support. You can also view information if you are having problems paying your Council Tax.
If you have debts which you are unable to pay then there is specialist advice which may allow you to address these in order to have a balanced budget going forwards.