HOW TO BUDGET YOUR MONEY
Do you need to know how to budget your money in these changing times?
With the Coronavirus outbreak, many of us will have a significant change in both income and expenditure. For some, the biggest worry is can you afford to live during these changes?
We have developed a budget template, which will help you keep track of your finances. Many things will change, and below we have listed some of these changes to help get you started. You may just be thinking about the drop in income due to reduced wages, but most peoples expenses will also change during this time.
Below is a simple budget template, but we also have a full budget template that you can compare your budget to your actual income over the year. The full spreadsheet also includes a worked example, instructions and free download.
Download the free template using the link at the end of this page.
Save the spreadsheet to your hard disk.
Go to the budget tab and start changing the Income 1, Income 2 etc. to you actual income. Examples of your income might be wages, benefits and carers allowance. See the example below.
Do the same for the expenses. Examples are rent, mortgage, council tax, food, petrol, utilities and clothes.
The best place to start is by looking at your most recent bank statements. If any of these figures will stay the same, enter them into the spreadsheet. Examples of figures which may not change are direct debits and standing orders. Other figures may vary, and at the moment, you may not know what they are. This template will help you to look at different situations and change the figures as needed.
Budgeting Changes to Income
Due to the Coronavirus, there may be changes to your income. Below are some useful resources to see what your income might be.
If you have lost your job, look at the Turn to Us website to see what you are entitled to claim in benefits. They have a benefits calculator which is a great tool.
The Government website has lots of information on employment and financial support https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus. It includes statutory sick pay (SSP), Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance.
If your employer has kept you on, but you are not working, the Government has set up a scheme where they pay 80% of your salary. Your employer may make up the difference, but if they don’t, your wages will reduce. Remember that the tax and NI will change as well.
For self-employed it may be difficult to know what your income is, put in your best guess.
With help calculating wages and self-employed income use https://www.employedandselfemployed.co.uk/tax-calculator
Once you have entered all the income is is time to start looking at expenses.
How to Budget your Money – Changes to Expenses
There are a few ways in which you can reduce your expenses and below are some ideas which might help.
Mortgage Holiday and Interest
If you pay mortgage one of the most significant ways, you can reduce it is by taking a mortgage holiday. Speak to your mortgage company directly. Remember that it will add on to the end of the mortgage period. If you are on a variable rate mortgage due to interest rates reducing, the mortgage company should pass it on. They will notify you of any changes.
Although your monthly food bill may stay the same, it is worth looking at any take-aways or eating out. A good way of saving money is to cook food from ingredients where possible. Enter your figure for what you think you may spend per month.
While staying at home, your petrol spend should reduce. It might be through not doing the school run, going to shops less, visiting friends or outings. Estimate what you think the cost will be. For some, it may even be zero.
It can be a difficult one as spending will change. With most shops shut your spending may go down, but online is still available. If you have the kids at home, you may need to purchase items to keep them entertained. Be realistic about the monthly spend.
Now might be an excellent time to see if you can get a better deal on your utility bill. There are lots of choices; using a comparison site is the best way. They offer deals which you can’t get directly.
For other expenses, look at each one and decide if it will stay the same, increase or reduce. Be realistic at what your costs are.
A good place for further help is https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/03/uk-coronavirus-help-and-your-rights/
Once all the figures are entered check to see if your income is higher than the expenditure. If the spending is higher, look to see if there are any ways to reduce your spending further.
You may need to review how to budget your money several times as things change or perhaps more help is put in by the Government.
By downloading our simple budget template you agree to our terms.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Angela Boxwell, and while I endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, I make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.