budgeting tips: practical advice for managing your money

Do you have a personal budget? Could you benefit from being more disciplined with how you spend your money? Here, we share lots of practical budgeting advice, as well as the benefits of budgeting, of which there are many!

When you spend all day looking after other people's finances, it can be easier than you might think to overlook your own everyday finances. Even when everyone around you assumes you're the expert in all matters concerning money and debt, life can sometimes present you with exceptional or unavoidable events. 

Understanding your financial position gives you a sense of control and improves your peace of mind. So, effective budgeting isn’t just good for your finances, it’s good for your mental health too.  

what are the benefits of setting a personal budget?     

Budgeting is arguably the easiest and most effective way to manage your own finances and develop the right spending habits. And while it may take some effort, there are many benefits. By setting a budget, you can: 

  • have control over your spending, whatever your income 
  • keep on track of your long-term financial goals 
  • avoid overdraft charges and other late payment fees 
  • clearly see your income and expenditure and where the shortfalls are 
  • identify where you can make cutbacks 
  • see if you need to find an alternative source of income or support 

how to create a budget plan 

Drawing up a personal budget plan helps you review your income and expenses. Start by making a list of all your incomings and outgoings. Here are some pointers to help you get started: 

  • List money coming in - consider your salary, any benefits you may be claiming, contributions from any other members of your family and additional sources of income 
  • Track your outgoings - include your rent or mortgage, utilities, mobile phone, broadband, any financial products and insurances, pensions, travel, childcare, hire purchases, child maintenance as well as food, clothing and household items. Think about regular payment and one off costs 
  • Consider your miscellaneous items - such as your dentist or optician, private health insurance, repairs around the house, subscriptions to professional associations (including trade union subs), hair cuts, and even things like newspapers and magazines. Try to work out an average cost for the amount you spend on as many of these things you can think of each month 
  • Include any debts - if you're paying off debts, list any priority and non-priority debts that you have, including any payments you're already making towards them 

Not sure where to start? Download our budget template to get you started, or access Money Helper’s helpful online budget planner here  

Once you have your budget plan in place, it will take just a few minutes each month to check that you’re on track to meet your financial goals.  

money on your mind? 

If debt is starting to cause problems, or if you’re struggling with budgeting, we’re here to give you a helping hand. Whatever your financial worries, big or small, you’re not alone. We’ll support you so you can access the best options, and manage whatever life sends you with strength and confidence. 

We’ll listen and offer advice and guidance in a safe and supportive environment.  And if we aren’t able to help you ourselves, we’ll point you in the right direction to one of our partner organisations who can. Either way, we simply want you to access the best options quickly and easily so you can carry on. Talk to us today.  

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your questions answered 

Who is eligible for support?

We support past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW)1, ACA students2, ICAEW staff members3, and the family and carers of members and students4

  1. No matter where your career takes you, past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England Wales (ICAEW) are eligible for caba’s services for life, even if you change your career and leave accountancy 
  2. ACA students (ICAEW Provisional Members) who are either an active student or have been an active student within the last three years are eligible for caba's services 
  3. Past and present staff members of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's services for life, even if you leave either organisation. Please note, for former employees, our financial support is only available to those who have had five years continuous employment with either organisation 
  4. Family members and carers of either an eligible past or present ICAEW member, ACA student or past or present employee of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's support. We define a family member as a: 
    1. spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner 
    2. widow, widower or surviving civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    3. divorced spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    4. child aged up to 25. Please note, children aged between 16 and 25 are not eligible for individual financial support 
    5. any other person who is or was dependent on the eligible individual supporting them financially or are reliant on the eligible individual’s care 
    6. any other person on whom the eligible individual is reliant, either financially or for care 

You can find out more about our available support both in the UK and around the world on our support we offer  page. 

Are your services means tested?

If you need financial support, we carry out a means test where we consider income, expenditure, capital and assets.  

*Please note none of our other services are means tested. 

I’m an accountant, but not a member of ICAEW, can you still help?

Unfortunately not. We only support past and present ICAEW members, their carers and their families. If we are unable to support you, where possible we will point you to help elsewhere.

caba has supported me in the past; can I receive support from caba again?

We understand that circumstances change. If we’ve helped you in the past there’s no reason why we can’t help you again. You can contact us at any time. Please call us if you need our help.

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