Managing your household budget on separation

Separating from your ex-partner means you will have to make some big changes to the way you manage your household and other finances. It’s often much more expensive for each of you to live on your own than to live together. But there are ways you can save money and reduce costs.

Why a budget can help

After you separate, drawing up a budget should be your starting point to reviewing your spending. A budget is simply a record of how much money you have coming in and what you spend each month. Once you’ve completed your budget, you should have a clearer idea of what you have to live on.

Use our Budget planner to get a sense of your new situation.

Cutting back on your spending

See if you can make any cut-backs from your day-to-day spending. Even a few pounds saved here and there will add up.

Use our Quick cash finder to find out where you can save.

You can also spend less by getting a better deal on things like your shopping. Find out how in our guide Smarter shopping – tips and tricks to save money.

Saving money on your bills

If you haven’t ever switched your gas or electricity supplier or you haven’t switched for a while, it’s definitely worth doing as it could save you money.

You can also consider switching if, for example, you want a fixed-price tariff. That way you will know the price you pay for your gas and electricity each month or quarter.

If you have broadband at home, and you have a landline or mobile phone, you may be able to switch or get a better deal from your existing provider.

Travelling for less

Travelling costs, such as your train ticket to work or the cost of running your car, can make a big dent in your budget. You may be able to save money on petrol costs, car insurance or train tickets.

Paying less Council Tax or Rates

In England, Wales or Scotland, if your partner moves out and you’re the only adult living in the property, you can claim a 25% discount on your Council Tax bill if you’re the only adult. You can also claim the discount if an adult lives with you who is a full-time student, a live-in carer or someone with a severe mental disability.

If you are on a low income, you may also be able to get a reduction in your Council Tax. You have to apply to your local council.

Find out more about Council Tax reduction on the GOV.UK website.

In Northern Ireland, depending on your income and circumstances, you may be able to claim ‘rates Housing Benefit’ or ‘Rate Relief’. Read more about this on the nidirect website.

Claiming benefits you’re entitled to

Many benefits are means tested, so you will only get them if your income and/or savings are below a certain level.

You may be entitled to extra benefits if your income falls after you and your partner separate, so make sure you’re not missing out.

Your next step