Managing Your Money

Managing your money can help you in a number of ways, but it takes careful consideration. This page will help you get a grip on your money so that you have cash to spend when you need it.

Effectively managing your money can help you:

  • Plan for the future
  • Cope with unexpected changes such as unemployment, sickness and family changes
  • Spot areas where you can make savings
  • Save for special occasions, like birthdays, Christmas, and plan for school summer holidays

Claim all the benefits you’re entitled to

It’s very possible that you could be entitled to more benefits than you think.

If you have a health condition that means you have difficulty with daily living or getting around, you could be missing out on Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, or Disability Living Allowance for any children in your household. If you look after someone who receives these benefits, you could be entitled to Carer’s Allowance.

If you’re working, you could be missing out on additional income from Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, or Universal Credit. You could get Personal Independence Payment while you work, too.

We can help you find out what benefits you may be entitled to, and help you make a claim. Call us on 0300 300 1505 or email benefitsandmoney@isoshousing.co.uk

Dealing with debt

Dealing with debt If you have problem debt, please get in touch so one of our benefits and money advisors can help you with specialist debt advice.

How to work out a budget

Working out your budget will take a little effort, but if you get the whole family involved, it will be a lot easier to work out and stick to.

The first thing you’ll want to do is work out how much you spend on:

  • Household bills (rent, gas, electricity, council tax, internet, TV…)
  • Living costs (groceries, household supplies…)
  • Family and friends (presents, school supplies/uniform…)
  • Financial products (insurance…)
  • Travel (public transport, car costs…)
  • Leisure (trips away, subscriptions, sport, restaurants…)

 

Next, you should work out how much money you have coming in from work, your benefits, and other sources.

Look for ways to cut costs

Is can be difficult to increase your household income when you regularly have more money going out than you have coming in.

Here are a few quick tips to cutting your costs:

  • Price comparison websites are your friend – Websites like Cheap Energy Club and USwitch can help you find better deals on your gas, electricity, or home phone/broadband bill

  • Find a contract that matches your lifestyle – Are you getting charged for going over your mobile phone’s data allowance? Call your supplier to find a better contract for you. You can also request a cap so you don’t automatically get charged

  • Cut the cost of your gas and electricity – Call your supplier and negotiate a better price, use a price comparison website to find alternative offers, switch to monthly Direct Debit Payments to cut your costs, turn the thermostat down by just 1°C – it could cut as much as 10% off your bill

  • Check your council tax band – Approximately 400,000 homes are overpaying council tax. You can check and challenge your council tax banding in 10 minutes and at no cost – you might even get a rebate! Call us on 0300 300 1505 for advice on how to do this

  • Find cheaper travel alternatives – Be on the lookout for petrol stations which offer cheaper fuel, shop around for cheaper car insurance, buy a cheaper monthly or weekly ticket if you regularly use public transport

  • Pay your bills on time – Late payment charges can eat in to your hard-earned savings, so try to pay all your bills on time. Set up a Direct Debits for regular bills so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to pay them.

Start saving

Saving a little each week, or setting aside some money for a rainy day, can help you plan for the future and cope better with any unexpected bills and expenses.

Using a budget planner can help you make small changes to your spending that will allow you to save. Even if it’s less than a pound a week, every little helps.

Ways to save:

  • Credit Unions are community based organisations and offer savings accounts to anyone who lives in their area. All savings are protected by free insurance, and used to provide loans to other people in your community. Northern Money can help you find details of your local credit union
  • Interest Savings Accounts (ISAs) offer tax free savings, so you get the best interest rate possible
  • Banks and Building Societies offer lots of savings accounts tailored to what you need Because banks, building societies and credit unions pay interest, this will add even more to your savings.

If you don’t have a bank account, or you’ve had difficulty getting a bank account in the past, you may benefit from one of the new fee free basic back accounts.


The nine banks offering basic bank accounts are:

  • Barclays
  • Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank
  • Co-operative Bank
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds Banking Group (including Halifax and Bank of Scotland brands)
  • Nationwide
  • Royal Bank of Scotland (including NatWest and Ulster Bank brands)
  • Santander

 

For more information, just get in touch.

Emergency borrowing

It always costs to borrow, but sometimes borrowing money is the only option. If you do find that you need to borrow, treat it like any other purchase and shop around for the best deal.

There are three important things to consider:

  1. How high is the interest rate?
  2. How long will you be paying it back?
  3. Can you afford the minimum repayments?

 

Interest rates are very important and can vary dramatically. A bank might charge 10% interest, while a payday lender might charge as much as 5853% interest.

If you borrowed £100 for 12 months at these interest rates you would have to pay £5 interest to the bank, or £5,753 to the pay day lender.

In certain circumstances, you might be able to get an interest-free government loan to help you makes ends meet. Find out more about Budgeting Loans and get an application form on the GOV.UK website.

 

Avoid Loan Sharks

Avoid borrowing from loan sharks at all costs. These unlicensed money lenders are not regulated by the Office for Fair Trading and you could end up being harassed if you get behind with your repayments. They also charge an extortionate rate of interest.

Helpful budgeting websites

This site uses cookies to help make it more useful and reliable. Our cookies page explains what they are, which ones we use, and how you can manage or remove them. read more