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Managing Your Money - A Straightforward Method


Everybody wants to manage their money better. To help you get a clearer picture of how to get to where you want to be, we are offering a short questionnaire to help you look at your income and expenses to find your over-all financial position. Working out a monthly plan can then help you realise your aims and plans for the future. 

Planning for what you want and managing your money

Nobody says there are any quick fixes to getting what you want. Most experts recommend that the best way is to understand where you are now financially, clarify your plans and then make a budget.

So here’s a planning and budgeting table to help you work it out.  Maybe you’ll need to make changes, but you’ll never know if you don’t give it a go.

Don’t despair if the situation looks bad.  There are people who can help. There’s more info on that below.

1. Work out your monthly income 

For income that arrives in periods other than a month, work out the total for a year (if paid weekly multiply by 52, if paid fortnightly multiply by 26).  Then divide the yearly figure by 12. 

Enter your income after tax from all sources.  From income received irregularly (e.g. bonuses) work out how much you make per year, then divide by 12 to find the monthly amount.

Source Yourself £ Partner £
Main employment    
Other employment    
Child Benefit / Child support / maintenance recieved    
Other income    
Joint Total    

2. Work out your monthly expenses 

Again, for expenditure made in periods other than a month, work out the total for a year (if paying weekly multiply by 52, if paying fortnightly multiply by 26, if paying quarterly multiply by 4).  Then divide the yearly figure by 12.

You can’t control your money until you know where it’s going, so you need to count every expense.




Council Tax & Water Charges


House building insurance


House contents insurance


Childcare/Child Support expenditure






Satellite TV


TV Licence


Mobile phone




Petrol & parking


Car insurance


Car repairs


Car tax


Garden maintenance


Other insurance(s)


Groceries (including food & cleaning materials)


Takeaways & eating out – include school meals, work lunches & snacks, drinks & refreshments while out, sweets etc.




Toiletries & cosmetics


Clothing & accessories


Socializing/going out/hobbies/sports


Newspapers, magazines, books, DVDs, music etc.






Gifts & cards


House improvements


Church/charity donations


Pet expenses




Bank charges/postage


Self-employed NI contributions




Other expenses




3. Work out your monthly debt repayments

As usual, convert all the periods to monthly figures. You don’t need to mention any mortgage as you’ve already listed it in the Expenses table.

Purpose of Loan Who is it owed to? APR (%) Normal monthly repayment £ Balance left to pay £




4. Find your overall financial position

Once you know your total income and total expenses you will know your overall position.  Take away total expenditure from income.


Monthly income


MINUS Monthly expenses and debt repayments




If the result is a positive number, you can add the extra money to your savings to reach your goals sooner.

If your expenses exceed your income, you’ll need to make some adjustments to bring your finances back into balance. You might want to take some advice. It’s always better to identify problems and deal with them sooner rather than later. There are people who can help, provides links to a number of agencies in East Ayrshire which can provide free, confidential advice. They include East Ayrshire Citizens Advice Bureau, East Ayrshire Advocacy Service, East Ayrshire Carers Centre, Macmillan Money Matters, Home Energy Scotland, Citrus Energy, East Ayrshire Works and some housing associations.

And now we’re at the fun stuff - thinking about the things you want to do ...

5. Aims and Plans

Your financial aims are things you want to do with your money, within a certain time period.

Financial advisors tend to agree that you can increase your freedom to do what you want by prioritizing paying off any debts. Try to pay off the debts with the highest APRs first, or see if you can transfer a high interest debt to a less expensive type of loan.

What do you want to do? When by? How much will it cost? £ How much savings do you already have? £ How much more do you need? £ How will you raise that money?



Now you can redraw your budget to work towards what you want. Sometimes you will need to make changes to your spending in order to save more. Are there expenses that you can cut down on to free up money for more important things?


Credit Union saving and a Credit Union loan may be a good way forward. Sovereign Credit Union may be able to help, so please get in touch with us