Managing your money

Help is at hand to give you the tools to manage your money better. Managing your money could include help with living within your means, information on how to budget, help on saving for the short and long term and help managing your debts.

Money Advice Service (MAS)

The Money Advice Service offers free and independent advice on managing your money. The website contains information on a range of topics including budgeting, saving, surviving on a low income, credit and debit cards and managing bank accounts. There are also interactive tools for budgeting.  The Money Advice Service also provides free and confidential advice via its helpline. For further information, contact the helpline on 03005 005000, or see the MAS website.

Turn2us 

Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services.

Turn2us benefits calculator

Turn2us have an on-line benefits calculator that can help people to find out what benefits they may be entitled to, the calculator is free, anonymous and easy to use. For further details about the benefits calculator including a check-list of the information needed to use it, see the Turn2us website.

Turn2us grants search engine

Turn2us also have a grants search tool. This is easy to use and all that is needed is a postcode, age and gender. The search engine will then bring up a full list of grants that you might be able to apply for. The search can be refined by selecting key words, such as occupation and medical conditions. For further information, see the Turn2us website.

Creating a Turn2us account   

Individuals seeking help do not have to register with Turn2us in order to access information or use the on-line tools on their website. However, people who would like to make on-line enquiries to charitable funds using the Turn2us grants search will need to register for a Turn2us account. There is no charge for this service. For further information, see the Turn2us website.

Emergency borrowing

In some circumstances, people facing unexpected financial hardship may have to take out a loan. Options include:-

  • budgeting loans from the government
  • low cost loans from a credit union
  • buying essential items from a not for profit Community Interest Company (CIC).

Budgeting loans

In some circumstances, people may be able to get an interest-free budgeting loan from the government social fund. This can help to meet costs such as:

  • furniture or household equipment
  • advance rent or removal expenses for a new home
  • money to help people to start work.

For further information, including eligibility and how to apply, see the government website.

Credit unions

Credit unions offer a range of savings accounts that allow people to save as little or as much as they can afford. A credit union aims to pay a dividend on savings once a year to all its members. Credit union loans can have interest rates that are as low as 1% per month. Additional benefits include:-

  • loans with no hidden charges and no penalties for repaying the loan early
  • life insurance built in at no extra cost to the borrower, so if you were to die before you repaid the loan, insurance would repay the loan for you
  • you can carry on saving whilst paying off a loan if you wish.

The Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL) has a loan calculator that can help people to decide how much money they would like to borrow and how much it is likely to cost.

To find your local credit union, see the Mutual Financial Services website.

Community Interest Companies

A Community Interest Company (CIC) is a limited company created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or other activity for community benefit, and not purely for private advantage. For further information about CIC, see the Office of the regulator of community interest companies website.

Fair for You

Fair for you is a social enterprise company offering low cost credit to the public. People can buy household appliances directly from the manufacturer by taking a loan from Fair for You that they can then pay back in weekly, fortnightly or monthly instalments. For further information see the Fair for You website.

Furniture Re-use Network (FRN)

The Furniture Re-use Network supports over 300 re-use charities helping them to save low income households money on essential goods. For further information, including how to find your local organisation, see the FRN website.

Money management advice from Pharmacist Support

Pharmacist Support can also refer you for free and confidential money management advice provided by trained Citizens Advice advisers. If you would like to be referred, contact us on our enquiry line on: 0808 168 2233, or via our online enquiry service.

Other useful information

Debt Advice Foundation

Debt Advice Foundation is a registered debt advice charity offering free, confidential support and advice to anyone worried about debt. For further information, call the Debt Advice Foundation helpline on 0800 779 7013, or see the Debt Advice Foundation website.

StepChange Debt Charity

StepChange are a registered debt advice charity. Services include debt management plans, money advice and budgeting. For further information call the StepChange helpline on 0800 138 1111, or see the StepChange website.

Other useful information from our website 

Help with debt fact sheet

Energy efficiency fact sheet

Finding funding fact sheet

Help with home improvements fact sheet

Other useful fact sheets 

The National Debtline Budgeting and saving fact sheet.