Income & Expenditure


Creditors will want to see a breakdown of of your income and expenditure and a debt adviser needs to assess it to identify your most appropriate debt options. It can seem quite a challenge at first and you may see several versions of your budget during the debt advice process.

This section explains where you should start and how a debt adviser works with your budget.

Why are budgets important in Debt Advice?

Budgets are a very important part of the debt advice process and more generally for managing money well. When you are experiencing problem debt, it is important to find out where your finances are now, and where they need to be to manage your essential household and living costs better in the future. It is also important to look at your budget to see which debt option might be best suited for you.

It is pretty common for several budgets to be drafted during a debt advice enquiry before finalising one at the end. Don't feel overwhelmed with this step because your debt adviser is skilled in helping you get the right figures together.

Start with your own budget

The important thing to have in mind is that the first budget you do needs to be your best shot, don't hide anything, and don't worry if it doesn't balance, this is common. Remember that the budget you put together for your debt adviser is confidential, and is not going to be used with creditors, it needs a professional eye first. Don't be afraid to tell it how it is.

It can be difficult to think of everything that you spend money on, especially if you use cash machines regularly. If you are not sure about your regular spending, we recommend that you keep a spending diary. This does not have to be complicated, it can be notepaper that you carry around with you, or if you have reasonable access to a Wi-Fi connected device, there are some free online budgeting tools that might help:

Money Advice Service Budget Planner

Money Saving Expert

If you have bank accounts, your bank statements are a great place to start.

Create a spending diary

A lot of people dismiss this as a waste of time but you would be surprised how effective it can be to keep a track of your spending. It is easier then to see areas of spending where you could cut down. You can also get a much more accurate picture of your finances.

Help with calculations

What is a Standard Financial Statement (SFS)?

Income Maximisation & Budgeting Advice

Different types of budget