The key to making the most of your money is planning. It's a good idea to start by working out what you already have, what you'll be getting, your monthly income, outgoings and any large expenses you have coming up the future.

Budget planning

By putting together a budget plan you'll have a clearer picture on what your retirement income is going to look like, what you need to plan for and the funds you have available to invest.

We've provided some of the main things to consider in our budget planning calculator, but feel free to tailor this to suit you by adding or taking items away - it needs to work for you after all.

Future expenses

To help you to plan your finances over the long-term it can be a good idea to work out what money you expect to need and when.

Whilst there will always be expenses you can't plan for, there are some that you can - for example, do you have children who might be going to university, a special wedding anniversary or family celebration on the horizon, will your house be ready for some new windows in a few years or do you plan on changing your car soon? These are all things that you can make plans for now.

Try writing a list of all the expenses you are expecting over the next 15 years. This will show you what money you already have plans for, when you'll need it and how long you could invest it for in the meantime.