In the table below there are some sample budgets. All the figures used are accurate at March 2016.

Izzy is a 19-year-old on Job Seekers’ Allowance.  She gets £57.90 per week, which is £3,010 per year, averaging out at £250.90 per month.  She stays in a council flat.

Callum is an 18-year-old with a well-paid first job.  His annual salary is £13,800, but after tax and other Government deductions, he actually takes home around £10,350, or £860 per month.  He rents a room in a shared house from a private landlord.  This saves him money on bills.

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Callums Budget Izzy’s Budget
Rent £85/£340 per month Assume it’s covered by housing benefit (this is not always the case)
Electricity £50 per month (half the total for the flat) £80 per month if she’s careful
Gas £20 per month (half the total for the flat) No gas in the flat
Council Tax £60 per month (half the total for the flat) Covered by benefits
Water rates £20 per month (half the total for the flat) £20 per month
TV License £6 per month (half the total for the flat) £12 per month
Food £160 per month £100 per month
Cleaning stuff £9 per month £5 per month
Phone £30 per month £20 per month
Toiletries £15 per month £6 per month
Transport £40 per month £15 per month
Total £744 £258
Callum has around £30 left each week for clothes going out and any extra’s. Izzy spends a lot less than Callum and a lot of her purchases are from a basic range, but she is still down by £6 per month before she’d even paid for clothes, going out or any extras.