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Simple sums could add up to a household budget which helps keep debt at bay

Did you know that simply adding up exactly what you spend each month is one of the most powerful ways to manage your money?

And that not doing so means you’re probably wasting hard-earned cash? StepChange Debt Charity reckons more than 21 million adults in Britain don’t have a household budget.

Setting a budget and sticking to it

And new research for its Debt Awareness Week, which starts today, also reveals around six million of us actually set a budget but fail to stick to it.

Building a detailed household budget is one of the seven key steps the charity is highlighting as part of the awareness campaign to help people get control of their finances.

So how do you go about it? Creating a budget might sound like a daunting task but its less complicated than it sounds – remember, a budget is only a list of your household incomings and outgoings.

The Money Advice Service has a budget planner tool that will quickly show you what’s left over after major bills are accounted for.

Our cut-back calculator will show you how small changes to your everyday spending habits can give your budget a boost.

Give these tools a try. They won’t take long to fill in, and once set up you can – and should – keep coming back to check how you’re doing.

It’s all about getting in the habit of managing a budget. 

Talk to someone for advice

If you’re struggling to get a grip on your budget, or debt is truly worrying you, you don’t need to struggle alone. There are organisations you can use that are both free and confidential.  You do not need to ask a debt management company for help.

Find out where to get help with our debt advice locator.

Have you set a household budget? Has it helped you manage your money?

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  • B. MALJ / 19 February 2015

    I find I am not conditioned to stick to the Budget of mine but can manage others and never go overspend but I appear to rob Peter to pay Paul and would lend someone my money who don't pay back putting me in debt. I need help to say no as I put others always before me. Debt crept up due to an accident .

  • Ripon Ray / 28 January 2015

    I completely agree. I have been a debt adviser for over two years.