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Budget Planning


How to Make a Budget Plan

Depending on your personal circumstances, you may find that you want to view term-time income and expenditure separately from vacation income and expenditure. If, for instance, you return home during vacations then the demands on your income are likely to be less than during term-time. On the other hand, if you live independently and you have to meet housing costs and bills all year round, then you will probably find it easier not to separate your term-time and vacation income and expenditure.

Step 1- Work out your income

Find out how much money you have coming in. Draw up a personal budget plan to work out your annual, term and weekly income. Only list money that you are certain you will receive.


Remember that student income arrives in a variety of ways, grants and student loans come termly, earnings weekly or monthly - so in order to get a clear picture of annual, termly and weekly income you will have to use some basic arithmetic!

Step 2- Work out your expenditure

It is vital that you establish practical priorities in your spending from the outset. Work out your essentials such as rent, food, fuel and travel costs. Continue your personal budget plan working out your annual, term and weekly spending.

Step 3- The Balance

Subtract your expenditure from your income to find out just how much money you have left over. Do you have a surplus or a deficit? If you have a surplus, it is worth earmarking at least some of that money for emergencies. If you find that you have a deficit, you can either consider ways to economize, or if that is not possible, investigate ways of maximizing your income.
It is advisable to test your budget from time to time. Over one week, keep an actual record of all your expenditure and see how it matches up with your budget.

Track of finance


Keeping track of your finances

You might find it useful to keep all paperwork relating to your finances (bank statements, bills etc.) in one place e.g. a box file. Keep a record of your visits to the cash dispenser, of the cheques you write, which bills you've paid, and check through your bank statements. Take advantage of the up-to-date balance information that you can get from your bank cash dispenser or online banking service.

By putting aside an hour a week to do your accounts, you can avoid the horror of the forgotten bill and have a good idea of your current financial situation.

Remember! Review your budget as your circumstances change (e.g. when moving off campus etc).


For example


Use this simple budget planner to work out your income and expenditure and see what you have left to spend (or not!).

INCOME Ann- ually Per Term Mon- thly Weekly
Student Loan
Money from parents
Bene- fits
Part- ner's income
Main- tenance
Extra funding
Rent / mortgage
Insu- rance
Council tax
Water rates
Electri- city
TV licence
Tele- phone
Pre- script- ions
Child- care
School / work meals
House- keeping (includ- ing food)

Take your expenditure away from your income to see what your 'residual income' is, i.e. what you have left to spend.

Income minus expenditure Totals => - - - -

Reasons for a budget


Budget …

• helps you reach your goals
• lets you control your money instead of the other way round
• will tell you if you’re living within your means
• can help you meet your savings goals
• frees up spare cash
• helps your entire family focus on common goals
• helps you prepare for emergencies
• can improve your marriage and your relationships
• reveals areas where you’re spending too much money
• can keep you out of debt (or help you get out of debt)
• actually creates extra money
• helps you sleep better at night

Budgeting Tips


A budget is a systematic plan for the expenditure of a usually fixed resource, such as money or time, during a given period. As a single mother, you might groan at the thought of putting together a household budget with all your expenses, but it's easy to do and will also help you become very financially organized.

Shaping up your finances is particularly important if you are experiencing a life altering experience such as a marriage, divorce, new baby, or any other event that changes your finances dramatically. Whatever the state of your financial life, developing a sensible household budget will allow you to be in charge of your money.


Budgeting: :
everybody does or wants to do it. But it’s not as easy as it may sound. Is your budget realistic? What makes a good budget?

We have 10 wise tips that will tell you if you’re on track and if your budget is a good budget

• Categories that fit your personal situation and your spending habits.
• Accurate income projections.
• The right number of categories: not too broad, but not too specific
• Inclusion of expenses that don’t occur on a monthly basis
• Regular review of categories.
• Cash expenditure tracking and recording.
• A line item for savings.
• Realistic written goals.
• Identification of spending patterns.
• Internal motivation and a positive attitude.

Create a Simple Budget


Your Cash Flow

The core of budgeting is for you, as a single mother, to see your monthly spending needs and habits. The purpose of a household budget allows you to track your personal cash flow. Your personal cash flow is how much money comes in and how much goes out.

Adding up your monthly income is easy, but totaling up all your expenses takes a little more effort. First, collect all your bills, your credit card statements, your checkbook register, and receipts for your groceries, gas, or anything else you buy with cash.


If you haven't been keeping good records, you may have to get a receipt of every dollar you spend for a month before you put together an accurate budget. Track your expenses by making entries in a notebook or learn how to it in Microsoft Excel. You can also use a money management program such as Quicken or Microsoft Money. They are really worth the investment, because they make the budgeting process easy and the software can often be found discounted at computer retailers or bookstores.

Now, divide your spending into fixed costs and variable costs. Your fixed costs will include such things as mortgage payments, rent, or loan payments. Your variable costs will include such things as clothing, food and entertainment.

How to Stick to a Budget

Once you are managing your spending, you can easily decide which costs as a single mother you can cut and which you cannot. In most cases, as soon as you see how much you are spending on your morning latte and breakfast items, you will be motivated to cut back. Stay motivated by setting goals.

Here are a few budgeting tips to get you started:

* Budgeting isn't difficult, but getting started does take motivation. Promise yourself a reward for your efforts.
* Gather three months of bills or, if possible, all of the past year's bills, and add up how much you spent every month. Divide them into categories such as housing, entertainment, and food.
* Take a good look at what you can spare. Entertainment expenses are easy to cut, but utility bills are not. Keep a daily journal of what you spend each day. This may sound obsessive, but it can be helpful. Once you know where your money goes, you can spot your unnecessary costs. It is really not that hard to give up lattes or bring your lunch from home.
* Pay bills as soon as they come in. Avoid destroying your budget with late fees.
* Decide what you can cut, and then cut it out. Track what you are saving, and you will be pleased with the results.

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