Working out your personal budget

Monthly outgoings - flexible costs

Think about whether you can reduce your spending on these sorts of costs, but make sure any reductions are realistic.

Communications and leisure

This includes your home phone and any mobile phones you have. Only include your ongoing bill. Don't pay more than you need to for your phone.

Are you paying too much for your phone calls?

Hobbies, leisure or sport

This might include clubs, pubs, eating out, sports and gym membership. Be careful about how much you spend on these things. If you need to cut back, these are areas you might look at.

Gifts

Don’t forget Christmas, birthdays and charity donations.

Food and housekeeping

You will see that housekeeping covers lots of different items, including food, cleaning materials, school meals, meals at work and so on. Make sure you include any extra costs you have because of an illness or disability. For example, you might have a special diet which means you spend more on food. Don't forget to include housekeeping costs for any other dependants who are included in your household.

School meals and meals at work

Remember, you will save money if you take a packed lunch to school or work. Check to see if you can claim Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit. If so, you can claim free school meals. You can also claim if you receive Child Tax Credit, work less than 16 hours a week, and your income is below a set amount. If you get Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit), you can claim free school meals. If you get Universal Credit, you can claim free school meals in England. Contact us for advice.

 

House repairs and maintenance

Don't forget routine house repairs, repairs to washing machines, maintenance contracts and so on.

See the figures in the table below for a rough guide to typical spending on housekeeping. Add the figures together for any children or other dependents in your household. 

 Weekly housekeeping budget 

Single person​ Couple​ Each child  under 16​ Each child      16 - 18​
​£56 - £72 £99 - ​£113 Up to £27 Up to £37
 

Monthly housekeeping budget 

Single person​ Couple​ Each child  under 16 Each child       16 - 18​
​£240 - £310 £428 - £488 Up to £1​18 Up to £159