Energy prices are currently at an all-time high and costs are being passed onto us all. The increase in the cost of living may leave you feeling overwhelmed as you struggle to meet the extra costs.
We understand the distress this can cause. The key piece of advice we give to anyone who’s struggling is that you’re not alone. If you’re worried about your finances or struggling to pay your rent or bills, please get in touch with us and we will help. Our expert team of Welfare Benefit Advisors specialise in providing guidance on money, benefits and debt.
The Welfare Benefits Team support hundreds of residents every year. To speak to someone, give us a call on 0800 0282028 and select option 2 then option 5 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you know other residents who may be struggling to manage their money, encourage them to get in touch too. We know that some people aren’t online and may not be aware of the services we can offer. Helping them get in touch could make all the difference.
Here are our top tips to help you reduce your spending:
- Check if you’re leaking money via unused subscriptions & payments. Many of us have subscriptions for gyms, magazines and more, yet rarely or never use them. First, check for regular payments going out of your bank account for services you no longer use – then CANCEL them. Even if you DO occasionally use that pricey gym/Spotify subscription, if you’re overspending right now, it may be a luxury you can’t afford.
- Block notifications and emails from shops and takeaway services. Ever been tempted to get a takeaway after an offer pops up on your phone? The best way to avoid temptation is to block notifications from delivery services and retailers.
- Reduce spending on food – plan, plan, plan. Set a budget, write a food plan and take a calculator with you when you go food shopping. And never go when hungry – it’s too tempting to overbuy.
- Leave debit/credit cards at home. Only take the cash you absolutely need with you and don’t have a cash card with you to take extra out of the hole in the wall. That way, however tempted you are, you have to walk away in the end.
- Sleep on it. If you really want something, sleep on it for a night. You may find it doesn’t seem as attractive the next day
- Make your own from home. Whatever your passion is, whether it’s pizza or frothy cappuccinos, try making it at home for a fraction of the cost.
- Take the ‘No-Spend Day’ challenge. Once or twice a week have a day where you spend nothing other than budgeted-for things.
Paying your rent is a priority, and your home could be at risk if you fall behind with your payments. If you’re having difficulties paying your rent or receive any letters from Lewisham Homes about missed payments, you should contact us straight away so that we can try to help you to get back on track.
This page provides money saving tips and explains what your priority and non-priority debts are.
What are your priority debts?
Below is a list of priority debts and what could happen if they’re not paid.
|Priority||What if you don’t pay?|
|Rent||Lose your home|
|Council Tax||Imprisonment, bailiff, money taken from benefits|
|Child Maintenance||Imprisonment, bailiff, money taken from benefits|
|Magistrates Court Fine||Imprisonment, bailiff, money taken from benefits|
|Tax and VAT arrears||Imprisonment, bailiff, money taken from benefits|
|Gas, electricity and water payments||County court judgement|
What are your non-priority debts?
The consequences of not paying these debts are less serious. Deal with priority debts first, then deal with these.
|Non-priority||What if I don’t pay?|
|Catalogues||Court action, poor credit rating|
|Overdrafts||Court action, poor credit rating|
|Credit and store card debit||Court action, poor credit rating|
|Unsecured Loans||Court action, poor credit rating|
|Store Finance||Court action, poor credit rating|
|Payday and short term loans||Court action, poor credit rating|
If you’re struggling with debt or worried about paying your bills, our Welfare Benefits team may be able to offer support with prioritising your debt and planning a budget you can stick to. They can also refer you to specialist Debt Advice services to resolve serious debt issues.
Book an appointment to see a Welfare Benefits Advisor.
Money saving tips
Save money on your water bill
Thames Water offers a scheme called WaterSure Plus which could reduce your bill by half! To find out more and check out if you’re eligible, visit WaterSure Plus.
They also offer free gadgets to help you save water and bring down your bills. Visit Thames Water to see what freebies are available in your area.
Get help with budgeting
Join our engaging and interactive Budgeting Training course for practical advice on weekly, fortnightly and monthly budgeting, as well as useful tips on how to save money on your basic spending and how to prioritise debts.
Check out our events page for the next dates or call 0800 028 2 028 to find out more.