EXPENDITURE GUIDANCE - WEEKLY TRIGGER FIGURES (updated 01/05/2008)
These guidance figures are to help you put in reasonable spending figures on your financial statement at a level that should not trigger an adverse response from creditors. If you are only using it for the purposes of household budgeting and you don't have debt problems, you can safely ignore these figures and try to make it balance out. You don't need to reduce or try to balance the income and expenditure IF you are doing this for the purposes of sending it to creditors. The reason for this is that some of the figures are what you should be spending occasionally, but averaged out from a yearly figure. For example, you probably don't buy cloths or shoes every week if you're on a tight budget. But you should have an allowance for these, as a weekly figure to enable you to buy them as a result of having saved that weekly figure.
get the "weekly" figures to put onto the spreadsheet, use
the calculator at the bottom left column of the Financial Statement†to
recalculate your Yearly, Quarterly, Monthly, 4 weekly, or Fortnightly figures.
(DON'T mistake 4 weekly for monthly - monthly = Calendar monthly)
If you're in arrears with anything in these figures and are making any arrears payments, then list those separately in the "arrears" column. List the weekly payments - not the total amount of the arrears. On the financial statements, you can put the arrears figures for non-priority debts into the section set aside specifically for those - where it will calculate your pro-rata payments for you automatically from your disposable income (minus your priority expenditure).
Additionally, in the income column, if you work, only put in the basic take-home wage / salary (i.e. without overtime and/or bonus payments, unless you can be certain of both getting the bonus and/or doing the overtime every week). The reason being that you only want to have figures as income that are sustainable amounts, because your payments / expenditure will not be able to be maintained if your income drops below what you have budgeted for if you don't get your bonus / overtime some weeks.
The most up-to-date over-all figures, were on the HMR&C website at this page http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/dmbmanual/DMBM801310.htmThis has now been altered by HMR&C to withhold the figures you need to know (under the exemption from the Freedom of Information Act 2000) but it does give a relatively good breakdown of the headings. This is a link to a full income expenditure sheet with a good list of income and expenditure items.
Mortgage - if paid by Income Support, JobSeekers Allowance, or Pension Credit, put in the net amount paid after benefit i.e. the shortfall. Also state that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is paying the balance. List any endowment or Life Insurance payments unless they are already included in the mortgage separately.
Rent - if you receive Housing Benefit only put the actual amount of rent that you are paying after Housing Benefit is taken into account (i.e. take your actual rent figure, then subtract the amount you get for Housing Benefit - what's left over is what you put on the spreadsheet).
Council Tax - if you receive Council Tax Benefit, only put the actual amount of council tax that you are paying after Council Tax Benefit is taken into account (i.e. take your actual weekly figure, then subtract the amount you get weekly in Council Tax Benefit - what's left over is what you put on the spreadsheet)
Gas and Electricity - The Gas and Electricity guidance figures are approximately £17 per week EACH, for an average household (2 adults with 2 kids).
Water - water companies cannot cut you off from the water supply. Therefore, you only need to treat this as a priority debt if you intend to apply for a grant from the Anglian Water Trust Fund to pay off any debt arrears or for other necessary items. £8.30 is often the minimum they prefer to accept, but if you are on Income Support, JobSeekers Allowance or Pension Credit, you can apply to have direct deductions made from your benefits at the rate of £3.05 per week. If these deductions are being made directly, then you will not be barred from applying for a Trust Fund grant
Food and Groceries - the guidance figure is approx £30 - £40 per adult and £20 - £25 per child under the age of 12 or so. This figure doesn't include school meals. List those figures separately. This figure can be a lot higher if you have special dietary needs.
Household Goods - These are anything you cannot eat (tampons, toiletries, cleaning fluids and cloths, soap powder, etc) the guidance figure is £5 per household + £2.50 per person per week. This can be a lot higher you have special needs e.g. incontinence or disability needs.
TV Licence - colour = £145 (this includes a TV-enabled computer and/or video/DVD recorder) black and white = £47.00 and divide by either 52 for weekly or 12 for monthly, although the actual charge may be more if you are on a different payment scheme i.e. cash easy entry or have previously defaulted.
Clothing - the guidance figure is £5 per person per week.
Nappies - the guidelines are between £8 - 15 per week.
Road Tax - dependent on size of engine and emissions - see the DVLA web site HERE for the actual figures
Servicing and Repairs - these may be higher if the car is older, check how much has been spent over the last year and convert that to weekly. Basically, add in how much it will cost you for MOT, Service(s), the cost of a new set of tyres, etc.
Car Insurance - †divide your yearly dividend costs by either 52 for weekly or 12 for monthly.
Petrol / Diesel - the costs for getting to work and maybe to take/collect your child to/from school, plus any other NECESSARY trips. Anything else is a luxury
Other - can include
cigarettes / tobacco, school meals, prescriptions, optical/dental care,
child care, including after school clubs, solicitor's costs, CSA / maintenance,
insurances, pension or union contributions, †and HP payments, etc.
If you need to spend money on something and it's not on the list, then use the empty spaces to add it to the list, and its weekly cost. So long as the figures are reasonable, and you are able to justify having to spend that particular amount if you are challenged on why you are spending that amount, the Courts and most creditors / collection agents will generally accept this.
© Researched, designed and built by Stuart Blackstock 2002 - 2011