Working out your personal budget

Transport and travel

Include the costs of travel to work, school and for shopping. This should take into account using public transport, buying travel season tickets and all the costs of running a car or motorbike if you have one. If you have extra travel costs because of a disability or because you live in a rural area, use the additional notes section in your budget summary to explain to your creditors what these are.

What if we have more than one vehicle?

If you have a good reason why you need two vehicles, it is very important to explain this to your creditors. For example, creditors are likely to be understanding if you need two cars because:

  • someone in your household has a disability;
  • you and your partner need to travel to separate workplaces; or
  • you live in a rural area where there is little or no public transport.

If you have more than one vehicle, use the additional notes section in your budget summary to explain why this is.

Hire-purchase or conditional-sale goods and cars

Include here payments for any goods you have bought on hire purchase or conditional sale. If you need a car for work or for mobility reasons (and you have bought the car using a hire-purchase or conditional-sale agreement), you will need to include these payments in the Your outgoings - fixed costs section of Your budget or you may lose the car. If you are behind with these payments or if you have a Motability car, contact us for advice.

Hire purchase or conditional sale

School costs

Include spending on school uniforms, after-school clubs and school trips. The cost of school meals aren’t included in this section.  Remember that your council may help with the cost of school clothing. This will depend on your circumstances.

Pensions and insurances

Pension payments

Only include what you actually pay into your pension yourself. Do not include any payments that have been already taken out of your wages by your employer..

Other essential spending

If you have other fixed spending that is not listed in the Your outgoings - fixed costs section of Your budget, click on Add a new outgoing. For example, if you belong to a church or other religious group, you may wish to give a regular contribution to them. If you are paying a magistrates' court fine and are up to date with the payments, you should add it in this section.

Magistrates' court fines

These are priority payments and you should include them in Your outgoings. If you are behind with a magistrates' court fine, contact us for advice. They are different from county court judgments (CCJs), which you should include with non-priority debts.

Magistrates' court fines