Taking control of your money can seem like a difficult thing to do. There are some simple things that you can do to make the most of your money.
Set a weekly or monthly budget
Keep a record of the money you have coming in (like salary, benefits or pension) and what payments you have to make each week or month (for example; rent, gas and electricity bills, council tax, food). Check with your utility providers that you are on the best tariff and switch deals if necessary.
Keep a spending diary
You might spend more money than you think on things that haven’t been included in your budget. By writing these down you will be able to see when and where your money is going.
Pay off loans and credit cards
Pay off debts with the highest interest rates first. Avoid payday loan companies, as you will have to pay back a lot more than you borrowed.
Don’t ignore problems
If you are really struggling to pay your bills, rent and provide enough food for your family, get some help as soon as possible. The earlier you do this, the more likely it is that you can get the help and support you need.
What help is available?
There are agencies which can give you advice if you are struggling with money:
- Visit: Citizens Advice website
- Call (free phone number): 0808 278 7970.(Monday to Friday: 9am to 4.30pm)
Community Advice and Law Service (CALS)
- Visit: CALS website
- Call 0116 242 1120 (Monday to Thursday: 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm, Friday: 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4.30pm)
The Money Advice Service
- Visit The Money Advice Service website
- Call 0800 138 7777 (Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm, Saturdays: 9am - 1pm)
If you rent your property from a private landlord, a housing association or you are a council tenant, it is your responsibility to pay your rent when it is due. If you don’t pay your rent on time you risk losing your home.
If you do fall behind with your rent payments, it is important that you contact your landlord immediately to discuss this. You may be able to come to an agreement to pay what you owe and take steps to stop your rent arrears increasing. This is particularly important if you have recently had a change in circumstance which has left you short of money.
If you are a council tenant, the income management team can advise and support you to manage your rent payments. You can get in touch by ringing 0116 454 1007 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you are in a financially difficult position, it can be tempting to take out a pay-day loan or borrow money from doorstep lenders. You can report a loan shark on the GOV.UK link below: