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Time to Plan

20 October 2022


Fail to Plan = Plan to Fail. Many of us have seen this and realise how true it is.

But most of us probably just think it applies to what we do at work.

Surprisingly, it applies to almost every single thing we do!

And that includes how we look after our money.

Budgeting is simply Planning our Spending.

People who budget have far less stress about their money.

And often have more money to spend!

That said, most people do not budget, mainly because they think:

  • It is going to be too hard
  • They will need a degree in economics or maths to do it ‘properly’

None of which is true!

Our simple 3 step process will tell you everything you need to know to budget effectively. and our simple Budget Planner tool will show you exactly what to do.

To take control of your finances click here

Our Budget Planner takes the hard work out of managing your money and it’s ready to download and use right now.

If you can’t be bothered to spend time using it, you’re instantly putting yourself at a greater financial disadvantage than those who are willing to give it a go. Learning how to take care of your finances is one of the most important steps that you can take to secure your future, but it’s not something that we are taught enough of in school, and this is a really simple way to get started.


This is simply a plan for you to decide how you will allocate your income to meet your expenses. By creating a plan, you will make sure that you understand the money that you have to work with. You can then spend it on the things that you need to and want to, without having to worry about running out of money or going into debt.

To create a Monthly Budget, there are only two things that you need to do:

  • Make lists of all your income, your expenses, and your savings
  • Decide on the amount that you will allocate to each section of your spending

Do this – and it is easy with the Budget Planner – and you will be able to see exactly where your money goes and be able to work towards your own Financial Goals.


The concept is simple and nothing to do with wearing a Green Number 1 jersey and big gloves.

Financial Goals simply help your budget work for you.

If you don’t have Financial Goals, now is the time to start deciding on them. Financial Goals are anything that you choose is important for you to enjoy your life. They can typically be for things like a holiday, home improvements, new car, or paying off the mortgage early. It is up to you!


There are lots of ways to Budget and it doesn’t really matter which you choose. As long as your budget works for you, our Budget Planner will work with all of them. We have outlined 3 key options below:

The Traditional Method

  • Allocate an amount of money to each category of your expenses
  • Calculate your total net income (typically what goes into your bank account each month from your employer or earnings)
  • Add up your expenses to make sure you are on budget
  • Calculate the difference

Whatever money you are left with at the end of the month can go into your savings.

The 50/30/20 Method

The actual numbers in the above split can be whatever you want (as long as they add up to 100😊). Simply break your expenses down into three categories:

  • 50%: Needs (house, food, utilities ….)
  • 30%: Wants (holidays, eating out ….)
  • 20%: Savings (what is important to you)

This can get more difficult when it comes to separating needs from wants. For example, Fruit and veg from the supermarket is a Need, but should an expensive steak or bar of chocolate be Wants?

The Reverse Method

As you might imagine, this method involves setting your goals first and then deciding how much you want to save. So, you put an amount into savings when you get paid and then you can spend the rest.

If you go with this method, you’ll need to set your financial goals first (e.g. saving for a house deposit, starting an emergency fund…), then decide how much you will need to save to reach those goals and decide on what you can afford to put away each month.

The Corinthian Ideal method

Whilst the idea of the Reverse Method is great (setting saving goals and spending the rest), it can be a bit limited because it doesn’t really help you understand where your money goes. Tracking where you are spending your money will be one of the best things you ever do if you really want to reach your goals. So, here are the 3 easy steps:

Our preferred approach, which we shall call the Corinthian Ideal method, uses a mix of the Reverse and Traditional Methods. It has 3 easy steps:

  1. Calculate your net income (typically what wages go into your bank account each month, and any other incomes you might have)
  2. Save first (with your intentions set – our Budget Planner helps here)
  3. Work out where your money goes (work out and fill in all your expenses)

Make sure that you don’t stop there.  Keep monitoring it on an ongoing basis (maybe every 3 to 6 months), especially if your income or Financial Goals change.

Step 2 of the above is the most important part of the Corinthian Ideal method. Make sure that you think about all your Financial Goals (short, medium and long term).

A good starting point is to work out what you need to save to build an emergency fund, if you don’t already have one. Usually, 3 months net income is a good amount. Then, work out what you want to put to one side each month for your other Financial Goals.

Use the Goals and Aspirations worksheet on our Budget Planner to see how much you need to save each month by using the ‘Number of years’ section that will help you set the date for achieving your Financial Goals. The Budget Planner will then calculate how much you need to save annually and monthly to achieve these.

And Finally

Now, it is great doing all of this, but there’s one more small – but very important step to take. It might seem obvious, but it is critical.

Set up a monthly standing order to transfer the amount you are saving into a separate savings account. This should go out the day after your salary goes into your bank account to ensure you still have it.

Preferably set up and account that hasn’t got easy access or a card for the hole-in-the-wall, as this can destroy all your hard work. Try to find one that pays a good rate of interest, as this will help you to reach your goals even sooner. We have outlined types of account in the Financial Wellbeing article this month.


Budgeting is an ongoing process. Your goal is to improve every month, to better understand where your money goes and how you can reduce your spending.

And don’t give up! 

Everyone can improve their finances by learning how to budget, even on the tightest of incomes. There are always ways squirrel money away for your future.

It is ok to ask for help with this Budget Planner. This is what Corinthian are here for. Just check in with your HR Team and ask them to book a meeting with your Corinthian consultant.