Dear Alyson.

As promised here is response to your query as promised:

1)I think that the first thing that you need to do is to do a comprehensive budget planner. Don’t forget to include ad hoc spending, holidays, Christmas, birthdays etc. You can download a template from the

2)Once you have worked out your absolute minimum that you need to live the life you want, you can then gross this up by playing around with the to work out what this would be gross.

3)Here is a link that will talk you through benefits and help you to calculate what you may be entitled to at different income rates The one that springs to mind is that you currently don’t qualify for child benefit but if you earn less than £50,000 you are able to claim full child benefit. Between £50K & £60K you are entitled to child benefit but on a sliding scale