Whether you need support with budgeting, finding out what you are entitled to or simply getting the best deal, we can help.
Coping with a change in your finances can be a stressful time, but there’s help available.
For personalised guidance on benefits and debt options from one of our Money Advisors, please visit our Money Advice page.
Here are some other tips that you might find useful:
Speak to someone
- If you’re in a crisis, contact your local council who can help you find local support, such as a hardship grant or a Foodbank.
- Let your landlord, creditors and bank know that you’re facing financial difficulty and if you may have trouble meeting payments on time.
- Contact your water and energy suppliers, as they may be able to temporarily freeze your payments or offer you a better tariff.
Take back control
- If you haven’t done so already, do a budgeting plan to reassess where your money goes. The national Money Advice Service have a free, online financial health-checker tool that you can access here: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/health-check
- After budgeting, you’ll know what you have left to pay off any debts. There are several ways to go about this. You can read about your options here: https://debtcamel.co.uk/debt-options/
- Start an emergency fund – you may not be able to do this right away, but if you can eventually start saving a small amount each month, you’ll have some money to fall back on if something unexpected happens, without having to borrow further.
- Make sure you are getting everything you are entitled to, whether you’re currently working or not – the government website has several free, online benefits calculators to use: https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators
There are free courses that can help you – Academoney by MoneySavingExpert is provided jointly with the Open University. They offer six free courses on key aspects of personal finance to help you in the long term: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/money-business/mses-academy-money/content-section-overview?active-tab=description-tab
Boost your finances by being online. Mastercard’s Nobody in the Dark campaign has useful information about taking control of your money, with help and advice from Quids in! and our partners at The Good Things Foundation: https://www.mastercard.co.uk/en-gb/consumers/features-benefits/digital-inclusion.html
Getting an accurate and realistic budget takes time – try these out:
- Gather all the information you think will help – bank statements, bills, receipts and keep them all in one place such as a large folder or envelope
- Don’t forget about smaller items – these can quickly add up. A spending diary is a great way to check these
- Remember occasional costs, e.g. birthdays, repairs, new shoes – it’s these costs that tend to cause problems if you’ve not budgeted for them
- Do your budget with a friend or support worker– use someone else to help you think through everything and to give you encouragement
- Ask for help if you need it– there are lots of organisations who can offer free and independent advice to help you work out your budget.
The Making Money Count website also has free, impartial advice on becoming a savvy shopper, planning ahead, finding the best current or savings account and making your money go further.
Do you want to make sense of your money, get online or find routes into employment?
Our New Horizons project offers coaching to help you make sense of your money, as well as get online and find routes into employment.
Our trained coaches will work with you to provide one-to-one support sessions over an average of 20 hours. They’ll work with you to set realistic goals and take the necessary steps to help you meet them. We’ll provide end-to-end coaching covering money, work and help to get online. If needed, additional debt remedy services will be offered to participants as part of the project by one of our partners.