Certain types of expenditure are likely to be taken “as they are”. This includes bills that there is little or nothing that you can do to change.
Examples of this type of bill might include your mortgage or rent, utility bills and council tax. They are collectively known as “essential expenditure”. Only where a certain bill of this type is deemed to be clearly excessive will this type of expenditure be challenged. In practice this type of challenge is a rare event.
Most other types of expenditure are subject to guidelines. These expenditure guidelines assign varying maximum and minimum amounts which are deemed “reasonable” according to your family circumstances. For example, the food allowance will be higher for a couple than it is for an individual. Extra expenditure allowances are also built in to cover the costs of looking after dependent children.
These guideline figures aren’t published. The standard process is for you to inform your adviser of how much you (and your family) need to cover certain areas of expenditure. If the adviser believes that a figure you have provided is too high (or too low) they’ll discuss it with you further.
The guideline figures are regularly updated. They’re based on the Living Costs and Food Survey produced by the Office for National Statistics for the UK government. Your expenditure during a trust deed may well be limited to some extent, but you and your family should be able to manage financially on the expenditure allowances provided.