There are lots of ways to manage your money and make savings, here are some examples:
It’s important to pay your TV licence as you can be fined for not having a licence. There are lots different ways to pay, and you can pay weekly, monthly, every 3 months, or yearly. For more information visit the TV licensing website or call 0300 555 0286.
Gas and electricity
It is important to budget for gas and electricity. Your supplier should provide suitable payment options for you and give you the option of monthly or weekly payments.
If your gas/electricity usage is high you can get advice from The Energy Saving Advice Service.
if you have a pre-payment meter and you are putting a lot of money in your meter every week this might because you are paying off a debt as well as paying for what you are using. Ask your supplier if you can reduce the amount you are paying for the debt. Some fuel suppliers have trust funds who can help if you are struggling financially. Ask your supplier if they have a trust fund or alternatively you can download a guide from Auriga Services which you can use to find trust funds for help with both energy and water bills. Some of the trust funds will also help with grants for essential household items too.
To find the best deal you can use the Citizens Advice comparison tool or alternatively call the Citizens Advice helpline on 0345 404 0506.
You can also find a list of authorised comparison sites on the Ofgem website.
If you are struggling with your water bill, find out from your supplier if you qualify for a social tariff and also if your water company has a trust fund you can apply to. If you qualify for a social tariff you can get a discount on your bill, and trust funds can help if you owe a water debt you are struggling to pay.
There is lots of useful information on the consumer council for water website.
Landline, Mobile and Broadband
If you look at your budget you may notice that your landline and mobile costs add up to a lot per month, especially if there are a few of you in the household with mobiles. You may qualify for BT Basic which is a low cost line rental and call package available to people in receipt of certain benefits. You can find out more on the BT website. Otherwise it’s worth calling your supplier to see if you can getter a cheaper package and ask them which parts of your package are costing the most.
There’s lots of useful information on the Money Advice Service website.
If you use public transport you might be able to save money by buying a travel pass.
If you have a disability you might qualify for a disabled persons bus pass. Find out who runs the scheme in your area.
If you are disabled you can also apply for a disabled person’s railcard.
If you have a car, don’t forget to include things like your MOT, insurance, petrol and tax on your budget sheet. There are many comparison sites you can use to try and find the best deal on car insurance. There might also be some issues in relation to car insurance if you have a mental illness.
Another option for travel is a bicycle. It’s a healthy way to get around and studies show that if you’re active it can improve your mental health. If you’re working, you can check whether your employer has a Cycle to Work scheme.