Money advice header

Managing your money

Learning to budget and manage your money can help you save money and stay on top of your bills. Below are some general tips to help you manage your money better.

Financial MOT

Just like a car needs to be checked annually to confirm everything is in working order, it is also necessary to check your finances to make sure you’re not missing out on any additional income. If you are worried about money we’re here to help. Speak to a member of our Financial Resilience Team for advice budgeting, claiming welfare benefits, energy support, and generally getting your finances in order. To book your Financial MOT please contact the team by email: FinancialResilience@greatplaces.org.uk.

Budgeting

Budgeting involves keeping track of how much money you receive and how much you are spending.

It can help you prioritise important things and cut back on others. It also helps you plan for the future. A good budget plan can stop you from getting into debt.

Please visit MoneyHelper for more information on budgeting.

Get a bank account

Access to a bank account is important, especially if you are on benefits. A bank account makes it much easier to manage your money. You'll be able to spend money using a debit card instead of carrying cash around.

You can also set up Direct Debits so bills are paid automatically.

Understanding debt ​

Dealing with money issues can be a stressful time. You are not alone in feeling this way. It is reported that over eight million people in the UK have experienced financial difficulties. We know that this can be tough to deal with and can leave you feeling overwhelmed. There are organisations that could help and support you.

As a starting point, please visit MoneyHelper for more information on how to deal with debt.

Stepchange Visit their website for online advice at www.stepchange.org/start, or call them on 0113 138 1111 Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-4pm.

National Debt Line Visit www.nationaldebtline.org or phone 0800 808 4000. The National Debtline contact centre is open Monday - Friday from 9am until 8pm, and Saturday 9.30am - 1pm.

Citizen’s Advice Citizens Advice, through their network of independent charities, offers confidential advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free. To find your local Citizens Advice please go their website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Welfare benefits

There are different types of benefits available to families and carers as well as disability benefits, tax credits, job seekers and low income benefits to name just a few.

Credit Unions

Need a loan? Credit Unions can be a good source of affordable and local lending. They also offer current accounts. You can usually apply for these, even if you have had money problems in the past. Find a local Credit Union in your area. Alternatively, if you would like to know more their services, contact our dedicated team by email: FinancialResilience@greatplaces.org.uk.

Household Support Fund

On 30 September 2021, the government announced that vulnerable households across the country will be able to access a new £500 million support fund to help them with essentials over the winter. The scheme will run from 6th October 2021 to 31st March 2022 and should primarily be given to household who need help with food and energy bill costs - although it is at the Local Authorities discretion. It can be used to for help with housing costs if it is an emergency situation and other help (e.g. DHPs) cannot cover it. The support that's available varies between councils, so you'll need to check with your local authority what help is available in the region you live in.

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

DHP is designed to provide tenants with additional financial help towards their housing costs. This means it can be paid in addition to any benefits, including any Housing Benefit/Universal Credit that the tenant receives.

DHP is given to cover rent liability and could include someone in a shared ownership property. It can also be given to cover other types of housing costs such as removals. contact your local council for information on how to apply

Foodbank Access

Are you or your family having to go without food? Are you cutting back on the essentials because you’re struggling to afford them? No one should have to go without the basics and we want to make sure our customers aren’t going hungry in these challenging times. Help is available.

Our Financial Resilience Team work with a range of partner organisations (across all our regions) that operate food banks or food pantries. These food banks or food pantries stock everyday essentials and your Neighbourhood Services Manager can refer you to a service if you need support. Please contact your Neighbourhood Services Manager to discuss what options may be available to you.

Council Tax Support/Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Support is help for people who have little or no income and need financial assistance in order to meet their Council Tax liability. Those classed as pension age may be awarded a maximum of 100% discount from their Council Tax, dependent upon their circumstances. contact your local council for information on how to apply

Making your money go further

BT Home Essentials provides low cost broadband and phone plans for customers on certain welfare benefits

More information: BT Home Essentials 

Home Insurance

Great Places insure the structure of your home, but our cover doesn’t include what’s inside it.

As a Great Places customer, you can apply for home contents insurance from as little as £2.99 a fortnight.

Find out more about insurance

Energy support

Great Places can support customers who are struggling to afford their energy bills. Not only can we help customers with emergency fuel payments, but additional guidance and advice can be provided to ensure that all aspects of heating your home are evaluated. We can assist you with a referral to National Energy Action if you are struggling to afford gas and electric. For more information please contact the team by email: FinancialResilience@greatplaces.org.uk

You can apply for a grant to cover current charges and any arrears — visit United Utilities Trust Fund

United Utilities also run a scheme called WaterSure that gives help to customers who use large amounts of water for essential purposes.

Yorkshire Water Community Trust helps customers who are in genuine need and/or arrears. Visit Yorkshirewater.com to see if you might be eligible for this support.

Severn Trent could help you save money on your water bills. Find out more and check if you might be eligible for support.