30 May 2022
Managing your money in uncertain times
It is a very difficult time in the UK at the moment. The impact of COVID and the rising costs of living relating to energy, food and petrol has been huge on many families, leading to a desperate situation where choices are having to be made of eating or being warm.
There are lots of organisations who are working hard to provide help to those affected families but you can do a lot to try and understand your financial situation in order to see where you might need to reduce spending.
It is a great idea to look at your bank statements to list what you spend each week or month and think about setting a budget that you can stick to. This usually means separating wants and needs; essential bills like mortgage or rent, utility bills and council tax, food and travel costs have to come first. Non-essential items like eating out, buying new clothes or expensive TV and gym subscriptions could be cancelled to reduce your monthly spending.
If you are on a low income it is worth looking at a benefits calculator to see if you are entitled to any benefits you were not aware about. The government estimate that around £10 million a year is unclaimed by people who are entitled.
It is unlikely you can save on energy prices at the moment due to the price cap that has been set but why not contact the Council to see if you qualify for the Household Support Fund? If you are struggling with everyday bills you can apply for financial support.
If you have a loan with us and are struggling to make the repayments, please get in touch with us as soon as possible as we have lots of ways we can help. When times are tough we will always aim to find a solution for our members who find themselves in financial difficulties.
As previously mentioned there are lots of organisations who can also offer help. We partner with MoneyHelper which is part of the Money & Pensions Service, a government backed website which offers advice and support if you are struggling with your finances. They have lots of tools on their website including a budget planner, a bill prioritiser and self-referral link as well as guidance on what to do if you have missed a payment. They offer free and impartial debt advice to help you get back in control so please have a look at the website for more information.
The most important point we want to make in this article, is to encourage you to ask for help. Please don’t ignore your financial concerns as matters will escalate to a point where they become unmanageable so please do contact the organisations mentioned for support and advice.