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Budgeting Tips To Cope With Unemployment

Sadly in today’s world of economic collapse and recession many people across the UK (and in fact worldwide!) are being made redundant or jobless in the light of spending cuts in both business and public services.  In some of our recent articles we spoke about ways to make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to in terms of benefits so today we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at budgeting, these tips will be useful for employed people too but budgeting becomes paramount when you’re out of work. With this in mind we’ve put together a budgeting guide to help you keep your head above the water whilst you’re looking for a new job or simply to help you improve your household finances.

Budgeting Your Money

The first thing you’ll need to do when working out your budget is work out your total income – this could be from benefits or part-time work or however you get money – what you need here is your total income per month (or week if you’re paid weekly). This money could include benefits you receive, owed payments from previous work, child maintenance payments or any other money which you have coming in.

Once you have you list of income then you’ll need to make a list of all your outgoings – below we’ve listed some examples of typical outgoings but you’ll need to create your own list based on your lifestyle and requirements and don’t forget to include council tax as this won’t be completely covered by your benefits. Remember – benefits income is extremely small compared to most salaries so you need to make sure you cover every cost you can possibly think of.

Typical Example of Outgoing List

  • Rent or Mortgage
  • Council Tax
  • Utilities such as gas or electricity
  • Telephones/Internet
  • Childcare
  • Food
  • Travel Costs
  • Clothing
  • Debt repayments

If you’re having trouble working out yours costs then use a daily spending diary to keep track of your outgoings. Simply take a small notepad and each day try to make an exact list of how much you spent and what you spent it on – after about two weeks you should have a solid picture of where your money is going and you can use this to put together your list of outgoings for your budget.

Once you have both lists you can start to make your budget – this can easily be done with a paper and pencil but you might find it easier to use a computer. All you have to do is add up all the incomings for a total income, then add up all the outgoings for a total outgoings. Once you have this – take away total outgoings from total incomings and whatever is left is your remaining cash . If you’re not good with numbers then ask a friend to help you, it shouldn’t take more than half-an-hour of their time. If you have access to the internet you can also use this easy to use Online Budget Planner to help you with your budget.

Once you have this it should be a lot easier to figure out where you’re losing money or where you can afford to spend – after all, just because you’re unemployed it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a social life too!

If you’ve only just become unemployed you may want to take a look at this Benefits Calculator which should be able to help you work out exactly which benefits you’re entitled to until you can find a new job. Apart from that our last piece of advice is very simple but also very important – Never Give Up! It can be very difficult but trying to stay positive is key for your mental wellbeing and will also increase your chances of getting a new position.

I am a copywriter and poet with a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Creative Writing. I have worked in various marketing & creative roles since 2001. My aim is to publish at least one novel before I die – so far I have had 2 poems published internationally in print as well as some online. In my professional capacity I currently work for an advertising agency in London. Richard Newman

Tim Esterdahl

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