Step One: Increasing your income
You may be able to increase your income in the following ways:
- Check that you are claiming all the benefits that you are entitled to; see our website here or Turn to Us here.
- Find out if you able to claim disability or ill health benefits at www.citizensadvice.org.uk
- Check whether you are able to apply for a grant from a charity at www.turn2us.org.uk
- You can check whether you can get a tax refund on our website here or claim any allowances here (includes marriage allowance)
- You can find out how to go about claiming child support on our website here
- Can members of your household who are staying with you help you with the bills?
- Can you access any help with school costs? See our website here and [insert information about any local schemes]
- Are you able to claim any help with health costs including optical, dentist and travel to hospital; see here.
- Can you sell items of value via places such as Ebay, Gumtree or Cex?
- Can you find a job or increase your hours? Find out how your salary could change here
- Are you able to access your pension pot if you are over the age of 55? There is more information about this here with contact details for Pensionwise
- Could you rent out a spare room to a lodger? There is information about what you should think about first on our website here
- Are you able to claim compensation for a personal injury, mis-sold payment protection insurance or other claims? Are you about to receive payments from a redundancy or backdated benefit?
Step Two: Cutting down on your bills and spending
- Can you cut down your mortgage costs? There is information here on our website
- Can you reduce your rent costs? This includes help from your local authority’s Discretionary Housing Payment scheme. There is more information about this here and [insert local information here]
- Are you able to reduce your council tax bill and are you entitled to any discounts? There is more information about this here.
- You can ask your local authority to spread the cost of your council tax over 12 months instead of 10 (you can find your local authority here)
Gas, electricity and water:
- Are you paying the best rate? Could you claim any grants or discounts? Can you use less energy by cutting your use or making your home more energy efficient? There is information on our website here, money saving expert and the Energy Saving Trust
- Can you get extra support from your energy supplier because of a health issue?
There is more information about the priority services register here.
- Check the Consumer Council Water website to see if you’d save money by changing from a water meter to a fixed rate and see our website here for other ways of reducing your water costs [insert details of your local scheme here]
- Shop around to get the best insurance deals for all of your insurance including your house (building and contents), life, car, travel and health.
Landline, TV, internet and mobiles:
- Can you switch your telephone, TV, internet or mobile provider for a better deal? See information here on what to think about before changing your provider. Also see guides on the money saving expert website here to help you save money.
- If you travel by train, can you get a refund for a cancelled or late train? Can you get cheaper train tickets by splitting tickets or can you cut your travel costs in other ways?
- You can reduce the cost of travel if you are disabled
- There are other ways you can reduce your travel costs, such as searching for the cheapest petrol or diesel prices, changing your driving style to use less fuel, car sharing, car clubs and travelling by bicycle or walking.
Step Three: Budgeting:
- Do you know where your money goes? There are lots of tools and calculators that can help you keep track of your money.
- You can use our budgeting tool, on our website here
- The money saving expert website has a budget planner here
- The Money Advice Service website has a budget planner, budgeting guides and lots of calculators to help you manage your money. Calculators include, a savings calculator, having a baby, or planning for Christmas.
- You can use apps such as Spendee & Splitify and apps created by local Citizens Advice. Check how the app will store and use your data before you download.
- Our budgeting pages here have lots of other resources to help you, like spending diaries and top tips
- Search the internet for life hacks that can save you money, such as these on the money saving expert website here
- You might also find it useful to think about how you spend money. There is more information on the Money Advice Service website here
Step Four: Impartial and free sources of information:
There are other tips on saving money such as; buying own brands in the supermarket, entertain at home, cook rather than takeaway plus more, on the websites below. There is also lots of information available to help you keep track of your money, shop around and pay less.