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Managing my money
Managing my money

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2.3.1 Your budget – the income side

This is your first opportunity in the course to use a budget planner. The UK government has set up an independent service called the Money Advice Service (MAS) which offers a set of excellent financial planners and calculators. You’ll be using a number of MAS planners and calculators, so why don’t you register for free with MAS [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] now? Once you’ve registered you’ll also be able to save your workings and come back to them later.

The MAS budget planner is presented in two formats – a simple version and a version with more detail. Both are easy to use and self-explanatory. Go to the MAS budget planner in a new window or tab and choose the version with which you feel most comfortable.

Now complete the income part in the budget planner for your household.

If you’re in a one-person household, this means completing it for just yourself.

If you’re in a multi-person household, the normal assumption would be that the income of other household members would be recorded. However, if this is not possible, simply complete using your own income.

When you’ve done this go to your fact find and fill in the income side of your budget – the first five rows. Use the current month’s figures to fill in the column ‘Cash flow £ per month’. In the second column – ‘Average month £ per month’ you may want to adjust these figures if the current month is not a representation of what you get on average in a month. For people receiving salaries, there’s typically no difference but for those who are self-employed there can be wide variations in what is earned from month to month.

Don’t put in expenditure figures in at this stage – you’ll be looking at expenditure next week.

Once you’ve done this, move on to the test for this week.

Figure 9