Expenses calculation

Expenses calculation

The first step to being in control of your finances - rather than them controlling you - is to work out where your money goes.

You may know how much your mortgage or rent is each month and how much you spent last time you went to the supermarket, but the chances are that you do not really know where you are wasting money and where savings can be made.

Go through your last few months' bank statements and credit card bills and any receipts you have from shops to work out where your money goes.

Don't forget to include items that you pay for only once a year and divide annual expenditure for things like clothes and shoes by 12 to get the monthly amount.

Monthly Expenditure

Now compare your expenditure with your income. Don't forget to include any savings income, benefits, part-time earnings, any regular overtime as well as your family's basic take-home pay.

Hopefully your income exceeds your expenditure.

If it does not, you risk getting deeper and deeper into debt unless you find ways to make more of your income.

If it does, you should still make the most of the money-saving tips in this section. Remember, your circumstances can change, mortgage rates can go up and investing for the future can be expensive.