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Work out a personal budget sheet / financial statement


Working out your personal budget / financial statement is an essential part of any debt advice process.

This means working out what you have coming in (income), what you have going out (expenditure or outgoings) and what you owe (debts).

There are various self-help tools you can use to work out a personal budget sheet, from basic word or excel spreadsheets to online tools. Basic Budget Form (Word) Basic Budget Form (Excel)

National Debtline Personal Budget

My IncomeMAX online budget planner

Money Advice Service Budget Planner Budget Brain

National Debtline My Money Steps

StepChange Debt Charity Debt Remedy

North East Derbyshire CABmoney tool

Using one of the above tools will give you a head start in the debt advice process.

Common Financial Statement (CFS)

Once you have completed your personal budget sheet / financial statement, you can share this with your debt adviser.

Most money advice services will then go on to complete a Common Financial Statement (CFS) for you. This is a standardised budget sheet which most creditors will accept as a true reflection of a clients’ financial circumstances.

The CFS has limits (trigger figures) for some items of expenditure. The debt adviser may need to challenge and amend some of your expenditure items if they are too high (or too low!) or if priority bills/debts/arrears are not being prioritised. Income should also be looked at to make sure that it has been maximised.

The CFS is an adviser tool, and is part of the overall debt advice process. Once completed, your debt adviser will be able to use the CFS to negotiate with your creditors on your debts, but it is also important that your own personal budget sheet / financial statement is updated so that you know what to pay and how to better control your budget / spending moving forward.

Remember you can find a debt adviser by contacting one of the organisations on

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