Living within a sensible budget will help ensure you enjoy a happy and secure financial future.

Our budget calculator will help you calculate exactly what you can spend and how much you can save. But before you try it out we recommend reading our four steps to budgeting success.

1. Plan for your future

You need to build a complete picture of your financial situation before you can plan for the future. It is important to be realistic and set achievable goals.

2. Take an inventory

List all your sources of income, including your net pay, any interest or dividends on savings and investments and social benefits.

Next, list all your expenses. While rent, mortgage or loans tends to be fixed you do have some control over more flexible expenses such as food, clothes and entertainment.

If you have any loans, look into how much you’re paying, and whether you’re getting the best deal possible. You should also add a sum to cover unexpected expenses such as repairs to your car or your boiler breaking down.

3. Remember to save

Regular saving is one of the keys to financial well being. We all have financial ambitions, such as buying the car or house of our dreams, but we also need to be prepared for life’s emergencies – and have a little extra put aside for holidays.

4. Balance your budget

Subtract your expenses from your income. If there isn’t much money left at the end of the month, then it is time to adjust your spending. And importantly – don’t borrow more than you can afford to repay.

Visa Europe Annual Report 2013

Enabling new commerce and delivering growth

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