The National Debt Helpline is primarily a telephone service that provides free debt help, advice and information to people in the UK. It is part of the Money Advice Trust, which is a registered charity that tries to promote the availability of free debt help for people with financial problems.

The National Debt Helpline also has an extensive website, which offers a host of written advice, guides and fact sheets that can be downloaded free of charge. One of the most useful of these is the guide to producing your own personal budget. This is the key starting point in dealing with any debt problem.

If you work with a debt management company or other professional advisor, they will always start by analysing your current income and expenditure to see what you can afford to put towards your debts. You can do this yourself too if you know how, and the fact sheet on the National Debt Helpline website takes you through the process step by step.

The personal budget guide includes a blank budget for that you can use to fill in all the details of your finances. You start off with your income, adding details of all the income you receive. This obviously includes any wages from work that you do, but you also need to remember things like tax credits, income support, child benefit, any maintenance payments you receive and any other income you get.

Then you complete the expenditure section, detailing all the things you spend money on. It can be surprisingly tricky to remember everything you have to spend money on over the course of a year, so the guide is a great help in setting out most of the possible types of expenditure you could have.

You need to decide whether to do your personal budget on a weekly or monthly basis. How you get paid and deal with your bills will have a bearing on this and be a factor in deciding which option is best for you. In addition to obvious expenses such as mortgage, rent, gas, electricity and water rates, you also need to build in things that you may not spend money on every week or every month. These could include clothing, life insurance, car insurance, road tax, TV licence, holidays, prescriptions, etc.

By using the personal budget plan provided by the National Debt Helpline, you can begin to get a very accurate picture of your financial situation. Understanding exactly where you money is going, and how much you can afford to pay towards any debts you have is an essential starting point for dealing with debt problems. You will need this information to prove to your creditors that you cannot afford to repay your debts in full, and to justify making reduced payments towards them.

Author's Bio: 

For more information on the National Debt Helpline visit the author's Debt UK website, which offers free, unbiased advice on a range of debt related issues, including debt management plans, debt settlement, bankruptcy, loans and budgeting.