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The money you spend (expenditure) should never be more than the money you have earned (income).  

income [ˈɪnkʌm] noun
  1. Money received, especially on a regular basis, for work

Your income is likely to change a lot throughout your career, as your increasing experience increases your value to employers (or to your customers/clients if you’re self-employed). Income is also highly dependent on your particular job, and also on your qualifications.

To get an idea of what you might earn in a particular job, check out your chosen career profile at the National Careers Service website.

Before you can get paid, it is likely that your employer will need you to have a bank account.  If you do not already have a bank account, shop around by visiting your local banks or going to their websites to see what they can offer you as a young person banking with them.

Your GROSS PAY is your wages – before Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions (NIC) have been deducted.

Your NET PAY is what you actually receive as wages – after Tax and NIC.

Most employers will pay your wages directly into your bank account.  You should check the amount received into your bank with the NET PAY detailed on your payslip.

expenditure [ɪkˈspɛndɪtʃə] noun
  1. An amount of money spent.

It is advisable to pay all your bills or regular monthly payments as soon as you get paid.  This way, you know how much money you have left to spend on the things you want to buy or do!
Regular payments may include:

  • Rent
  • Bills – gas, electricity, water, council tax, TV licence, home & contents insurance
  • Phone contract
  • Travel related costs – bus pass, train ticket, car payments e.g. insurance
  • And don’t forget you will need to buy yourself food!

Setting up Direct Debits and/or Standing Orders to make these payments is the easiest way to ensure that they get paid.

disposable [dɪˈspəʊzəb(ə)l] income  [ˈɪnkʌm] noun
  1. Income remaining after deduction of taxes and all other bills and living expenses, available to be spent or saved as one wishes.

After you have paid all your bills and living expenses, you will be left with disposable income.  This is money to spend on your remaining living expenses and life’s little luxuries!

  • Going out
  • Buying new clothes etc.
  • Gym membership
  • Music

Of course, if you’re still living at home – you may not be making some of these payments, but someone is and they may appreciate a contribution from you now that you are earning some money!

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