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Drawing Up A Budget

You and your former spouse, civil partner or partner will need to draw up a budget to help you, your lawyer, mediator or the court (if you were married or in a civil partnership), decide how much you will each reasonably need to live on. This will help you to divide the available income in a fair way. It will also help you manage while the final settlement is being sorted out and also help you see how much you are going to need in the future. Our Cut-back calculator may help you do this.

Once you have reached a final agreement and while you are getting used to your new level of income and spending, drawing up a budget will help you see exactly where your money is going, especially if money is tight. Again, our Budget calculator may help.

If you find your spending is more than your income, you will need to look at ways to increase your income - see Maximising your income and cut your spending if necessary. Otherwise, you will be running down any savings that you have or running up debts. You can use the Moneymadeclear Cut-back calculator to see where you can make savings.

As far as possible, try not to borrow to meet everyday expenses. This is a quick route to debt problems. If you think you may have debt problems, see Financial problems and debt for information and where to get help and advice.

  • Draw up a realistic budget.
  • Use our cut-back calculator to see how much you actually spend on everyday items – then think about where you could cut back and make savings.
  • Pay fuel bills by direct debit rather than pre-payment meter.
  • Shop around for cheaper utilities, phone and other services.
  • Check if you qualify for a single-person council tax reduction.
  • Check whether you can claim state entitlements and benefits and tax credits.
  • Check any savings are giving the best returns and think about reducing savings to pay off debts.
  • Review any maintenance agreement.
  • If you have debts, prioritise them and talk to your creditors to see if you can reschedule repayments.

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