Planning a budget

A budget shows how much money you have coming in and going out. Working out your weekly or monthly budget is an important step to managing your everyday finances. Once you’ve created a budget, it will help you understand what you need to do next.

Online budget calculator

You can use our online budget calculator to help you work out your budget.

After you put in your details, the online calculator will add everything up for you. You can also get personalised guidance on where you may be able to make changes to help balance your budget.

Writing down your budget on paper

You can choose to plan your budget on a weekly or monthly basis. It depends on what suits your situation. To convert between weekly and monthly amounts:

Weekly amount x 52 ÷ 12 = monthly amount

Monthly amount x 12 ÷ 52 = weekly amount

Three steps to working out your budget

  1. Write down your regular income from all sources and add it all together. This is your total income.
  2. Write down everything you spend (monthly or weekly) and add it all together. This is your total spend. You may not spend money on everything we suggest in our budget calculator, but make sure you include everything that applies to you.
  3. Subtract your total spend from your total income. This gives you your balance. This is the amount you have left over each month (or week, depending how you have calculated).
  4. If the final amount is less than zero, you are spending more money than you have coming in. This is called having a shortfall. If you have a shortfall, you should check whether you can increase your income and look at ways to cut your spending.

Back to Planning and managing your finances


Reviewing your savings, investments and income will help you plan your budget.


If you are struggling to cover your essential costs, call us on 0808 808 00 00. You may be eligible for financial help.

Managing payments

It is important to keep track of your bills and bank accounts. There are ways to make managing them easier.


Make sure you’ve considered other options before borrowing money. Choose the cheapest type of borrowing and know how you’ll make repayments.

Sorting out your affairs

Planning for the future could include writing a will and deciding what will happen to your possessions.

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax is paid if your estate is worth more than £325,000 after your death. This includes property, money and possessions.