Citizens Advice financial capability

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1 Activity: Budgeting case studies This activity is easily adaptable for group or one-to-one sessions. Three case studies are provided, trainers are advised to pick one that suits the client best, based on both their own circumstances and also their level of numeracy. The client will need to complete a budget sheet for their case study, whether or not the trainer assists is up to them and depends on both the client s confidence and the time available for the activity. The trainer should choose a budget sheet that they are most comfortable with, one is attached, but others are available. Online budget planners are available on the Citizens Advice and Money Advice Service websites. After the activity, the trainer can discuss any missing elements of the budget as well as what any potential surplus/deficit might mean for the character in the case study. Points to discuss Things missing from the spending might include: Clothes Hair cuts Children - clubs, pocket money, sweets Saving Bus fares Something set aside for unforeseen bills and expenses A positive balance could mean: The amounts aren t realistic Person could regularly save, for a special occasion or an emergency Could make payments on any debts A negative balance could mean: Person is getting into debt Person should look at where to reduce spending Person could think about how to increase income The final handout is one of basic budget tips.

2 Case study one: Salam Salam is 19, unemployed and lives at home with his mum. He gets: Benefits of per week Money going out every week: 25 a week to his mum 10 for going out with his mates 5 a week for his mobile Complete a budget sheet for Salam Questions: 1. Is there anything missing from Salam s spending list? 2. What else might he want to buy, or try and save for?

3 Case study two: Tanya Tanya is a single mother with two children aged five and three years old. Money she has coming in: Benefits and tax credits totalling 320 per week or 1,386 per month (including housing benefit). Money going out every week: 100 rent 1.60 council tax 7 for renting her TV 3 for her TV licence 6.50 water charges 10 for trips into town on the bus 85 a week on food and general housekeeping 10 electricity 12 gas 5 a week for the phone 10 a week on a catalogue for clothes for her and the kids 10 a week on a loan she took out last Christmas 4 to rent a DVD to watch round at her sister s on a Friday Complete a budget sheet for Tanya Questions: 1. Is there anything missing from Tanya s spending list? 2. What else might she buy or try and save for?

4 Case study three: Phillip Philip is 27 and works in the warehouse for a local factory taking home 875 a month. Use the amounts below to fill in a blank budget for him. Every month he pays: 400 rent on his flat 70 council tax 21 for gas 16 for electricity 19 for water rates 25 for his mobile phone 20 for broadband and TV 12 for his TV licence 40 on travel 15 a month towards his credit bill from last year s holiday He also spends: 120 a month on food 80 a month on going out Most months he puts 20 aside for a holiday and emergencies. Complete a budget sheet for Philip Questions 1. Is there anything missing from Philip s list? 2. What else might he want to buy or save for?

5 Weekly Budget Money In Money Out Wages Mortgage/ rent Council tax Benefits Gas Electricity Water rates Tax Credits Buildings/ contents Insurance Food and housekeeping Maintenance or child support TV Licence Telephone and internet Money from other people Travel Fine repayments Pension/ pension credits Other Loan repayments Clothing and footwear Pets Childcare and nursery groups Prescriptions/ health costs Entertainment / outings Christmas / birthdays Other Total Total Weekly money in Weekly money out Balance

6 Budget tips Use weekly or monthly amounts don t mix them up! Use a calculator. o To convert weekly monthly: x 52, then, 12 o To convert monthly weekly: x 12, then, 52 Make sure amounts are realistic. o To get a realistic picture look at bills or keep a record of prepayment cards Make a rough copy first, so you can make mistakes. Include any final repayments. Don t forget travel costs, especially if you need to get to work. If there are any loan repayments, include these. But these may need to be changed by a money adviser if there are other debts. Include an amount for emergencies and things like Christmas and birthdays. Note: It is worth re-doing a budget when things change such as a new job, finished paying a fine or taking out a loan.

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