Budgeting your household income

First Published: 11/09/2023

Budgeting your household income

Budgeting can be a challenging task, but we are here to guide you and help make this task easier. The worst thing you can do is to ignore your spending because this can lead to things spiralling out of control. You need to be honest and realistic about your budget and bear in mind that your budget can be altered if you consider changing your spending habits or apply for any benefits you may be entitled to. 

Before starting to work out your budget, decide whether you are going to budget on a weekly or monthly basis. For example, if your highest amount of income is paid monthly then it’s best to budget monthly and vice versa.  

Budgeting in stages

A lot of people find it difficult to manage monthly bills when they are paid weekly and we would suggest setting up a separate bank account for bill payments, which you can pay into on a weekly basis. If this is unsuitable, most companies will be happy to arrange weekly payment options for you if you contact them. You should budget in three stages: 

  • Income
    Look at your household income first and make a list of all your income from employment, pensions and benefits. You will need to check that you are claiming all the benefits that you are entitled to.
  • Outgoings
    Make a list of all your everyday essential outgoings (your expenditure) such as rent, utility bills, council tax, food, petrol etc. Also think about unexpected or occasional costs such as birthdays, car tax, household items etc. If your total outgoings are higher than your actual income, you will need to decide which parts of your expenditure to cut back on, or alternatively seek independent financial advice. It is essential that you cover your on-going household bills such as rent, mortgage, council tax and utility bills prior to making arrangements for any other debts.
  • Debts
    To manage your finances effectively, you will need to prioritise your debts. The following debts are classed as Priority Debts because there would be serious consequences to your way of life if an arrangement to clear them was not made or kept up. rent /mortgage arrears, council tax arrears, utility arrears (gas, electricity, water) and court fines. The following debts are Non-Priority Debts and arrangements should be made to clear these once you are on top of repaying your Priority Debts. Non-Priority Debts include loans, store cards, credit cards and catalogue debt.

Try our budgeting calculator

Johnnie Johnson Housing have provided a budgeting tool available online for customers to use, please visit: 


Free advice and support

Citizens Advice Bureau – www.citizensadvice.org.uk  

A registered charity providing free, confidential, and independent advice from over 3,000 locations. Advice is available face-to-face, by telephone and sometimes via home visits or email. The service helps people to resolve problems with debt, benefits, housing, legal issues, discrimination, employment, immigration and consumer rights and it is available to everyone. 

DirectGov – www.gov.uk 

A website with easy access to government information and services such as motoring, money, employment, education, and relevant information relating to disabled people, the over 50s, young people and parents. Benefits advice and cost of living information. 

StepChange Debt Charity  – www.stepchange.org 

A free national telephone service, offering advice on budgeting, credit cards and repaying debts.
Tel: 0800 138 1111

National Debtlinewww.nationaldebtline.org 

A free national telephone helpline for people with debt problems.
Tel: 0808 808 4000

Jobcentre Pluswww.gov.uk  

A government-run organisation, helping people get into paid employment and giving people of working age the help and support they are entitled to if they are unable to work. 

Money Saving Expertwww.moneysavingexpert.com 

A website dedicated to saving people money on anything and everything by finding the best deals and beating the system. 


If you need some help with making a potential claim for benefits, contact the JJH Money Advice team. Our Money Advice team can provide advice and assistance over the telephone or in person. Find out more here.

Email: money.advice@jjhousing.co.uk