Money Tips

Reduce Your Expenditure

When you're struggling with debt and trying to meet your repayments you need to take a look at where you are spending money and identify areas where you could save money.

Gas and electricity payments are priority debts so you need to make sure you pay these as you can face disconnection if you don't. You can save money on your utility bills just by switching to a different provider. Make sure that you are getting the best deal and cheaper prices on your utilities. Why not ask us about our Bills Saver and see if you can lower your gas and electricity bills each month.

In the same way that you can cut down on your utility bills by switching provider you could also get cheaper insurance by searching around and getting a better deal on your insurance policies and premiums. Be careful though because it's not all about price and you have to take account of the level of cover being provided by your insurance policy as well as other benefits included in the plan. Ask us about our Protect Tool to check out whether you could reduce the costs of your buildings insurance, contents insurance and life insurance.

When you review your expenditure think about how much you are spending on your household items. It's easy to fall into the trap of popping out for items as and when you need them. However, this can add significantly to your monthly costs. Try to plan a weekly or monthly shop or even better, buy in bulk.

Increase and Maximise Your Income

If you can find ways to earn more money you will have more coming into the household which will increase your disposable income.

Common ways of increasing your earnings are working overtime/extra shifts and taking on a part-time or additional job.

There are lots of companies that provide schemes to help you earn money from home, but check these out properly to make sure everything is clear and above board.

Consider whether you could take on a lodger by renting out a room in your house. The Government's Rent A Room Scheme lets you earn up to £4,250 a year, (that's just over £354 a month) tax-free by renting out furnished rooms. Don’t forgot to carry out some checks on your potential lodger first!

Check that you are receiving all of the benefits that you are entitled to. There are a wide range of state benefits and it can be quite complicated to work out which benefits you may be eligible to claim. Visit EntitledTo and complete their on-line tool.

Get Help To Tackle Your Debt

Don't ignore your debt! It you're struggling with debt you need to get help and advice for dealing with your debt problems. If you ignore them, they will get worse and creditors may step up the action they take because you're not talking to them. Facing up to your debt problems and asking for help is that first step on the journey to financial freedom.

One of the first exercises that a debt or money adviser will go through with you is to identify what income you have and look at where you are spending it. This is commonly known as a "Financial Statement" or a "Statement of Affairs" and will be used to identify what your disposable income is and work out how much you can realistically afford to pay towards your debts. This, along with your other financial details, is a key step in identifying the most appropriate solution for your debt problems.

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