Everybody wants to manage their money better. To help you get a clearer picture of how to get to where you want to be, we are offering a short questionnaire to help you look at your income and expenses to find your over-all financial position. Working out a monthly plan can then help you realise your aims and plans for the future. 

Planning for what you want and managing your money

Nobody says there are any quick fixes to getting what you want. Most experts recommend that the best way is to understand where you are now financially, clarify your plans and then make a budget.

So here’s a planning and budgeting table to help you work it out.  Maybe you’ll need to make changes, but you’ll never know if you don’t give it a go.

Don’t despair if the situation looks bad.  There are people who can help. There’s more info on that below.

1. Work out your monthly income 

For income that arrives in periods other than a month, work out the total for a year (if paid weekly multiply by 52, if paid fortnightly multiply by 26).  Then divide the yearly figure by 12. 

Enter your income after tax from all sources.  From income received irregularly (e.g. bonuses) work out how much you make per year, then divide by 12 to find the monthly amount.

Source Yourself £ Partner £
Main employment    
Other employment    
Pension    
Child Benefit / Child support / maintenance recieved    
Benefits    
Other income    
Totals    
Joint Total    

2. Work out your monthly expenses 

Again, for expenditure made in periods other than a month, work out the total for a year (if paying weekly multiply by 52, if paying fortnightly multiply by 26, if paying quarterly multiply by 4).  Then divide the yearly figure by 12.

You can’t control your money until you know where it’s going, so you need to count every expense.

EXPENSE AVERAGE PER MONTH £

Rent/mortgage

 

Council Tax & Water Charges

 

House building insurance

 

House contents insurance

 

Childcare/Child Support expenditure

 

Gas/electricity

 

Phone/broadband

 

Satellite TV

 

TV Licence

 

Mobile phone

 

Fares

 

Petrol & parking

 

Car insurance

 

Car repairs

 

Car tax

 

Garden maintenance

 

Other insurance(s)

 

Groceries (including food & cleaning materials)

 

Takeaways & eating out – include school meals, work lunches & snacks, drinks & refreshments while out, sweets etc.

 

Hairdressing

 

Toiletries & cosmetics

 

Clothing & accessories

 

Socializing/going out/hobbies/sports

 

Newspapers, magazines, books, DVDs, music etc.

 

Cigarettes

 

Treats

 

Gifts & cards

 

House improvements

 

Church/charity donations

 

Pet expenses

 

Holidays

 

Bank charges/postage

 

Self-employed NI contributions

 

Savings

 

Other expenses

 

Total

 

3. Work out your monthly debt repayments

As usual, convert all the periods to monthly figures. You don’t need to mention any mortgage as you’ve already listed it in the Expenses table.

Purpose of Loan Who is it owed to? APR (%) Normal monthly repayment £ Balance left to pay £
         
         
         
         
         

Total

   

 

4. Find your overall financial position

Once you know your total income and total expenses you will know your overall position.  Take away total expenditure from income.

  £

Monthly income

+

MINUS Monthly expenses and debt repayments

-

Balance

=

If the result is a positive number, you can add the extra money to your savings to reach your goals sooner.

If your expenses exceed your income, you’ll need to make some adjustments to bring your finances back into balance. You might want to take some advice. It’s always better to identify problems and deal with them sooner rather than later. There are people who can help, www.eamoney.co.uk provides links to a number of agencies in East Ayrshire which can provide free, confidential advice. They include East Ayrshire Citizens Advice Bureau, East Ayrshire Advocacy Service, East Ayrshire Carers Centre, Macmillan Money Matters, Home Energy Scotland, Citrus Energy, East Ayrshire Works and some housing associations.

And now we’re at the fun stuff - thinking about the things you want to do ...

5. Aims and Plans

Your financial aims are things you want to do with your money, within a certain time period.

Financial advisors tend to agree that you can increase your freedom to do what you want by prioritizing paying off any debts. Try to pay off the debts with the highest APRs first, or see if you can transfer a high interest debt to a less expensive type of loan.

What do you want to do? When by? How much will it cost? £ How much savings do you already have? £ How much more do you need? £ How will you raise that money?
           
           
           

Total

       

Now you can redraw your budget to work towards what you want. Sometimes you will need to make changes to your spending in order to save more. Are there expenses that you can cut down on to free up money for more important things?

 

Credit Union saving and a Credit Union loan may be a good way forward. Sovereign Credit Union may be able to help, so please get in touch with us.