Being clear about the money you have coming in, and going out, is the first step towards taking control. Use an easy online budgeting tool to work out where your money goes. We know that even with a clear budget many people simply don’t have enough money to live on.
Go to an Advice Centre. Take paperwork like bills, pay slips, letters chasing payments and bank statements. An Adviser can look at your paperwork and help you to put a plan in place.
You might be able to get a loan as part of your Universal Credit if you need to cover a specific expense - this is called a 'budgeting advance'. Find more information on the Citizens Advice website.
Use A Budgeting Tool
See the section below for free budgeting tool links to put you in control of your household spending.
Create a budget plan of all your income and all your outgoings. Remember to include occasional and one off expenses. You can do this on paper or using an online budget planner, that will do the adding up for you.
Free budgeting tools for everyone:
Free budgeting tools for people claiming Universal Credit:
You may be eligible for a Budgeting Loan if you’ve been on certain benefits for six months. You only have to pay back the amount you borrow, and repayments are taken automatically from your benefits.
If you’re struggling to pay your bills, you need to make sure you pay the most important ones first. There are more serious consequences of not paying certain bills than there are for others. You can look at your bills and split them into three categories:
- priority debts
- non-priority debts
- debt emergencies
If you’re dealing with a debt emergency, you should speak to a debt adviser if you’re at risk of court action, bailiff action, disconnection or eviction for mortgage or rent arrears.
Money Helper - How To Prioritise Debts
For more information on which debts to prioritise, you can visit the Money Helper website, run by the Money and Pensions Service:
Money Helper Bill Prioritiser
They also have a bill prioritiser, which lets you click on all the bills you need to pay and gives you a personalised list of the order in which you should pay them: