Our welfare advice team has helped many residents with their money matters and they are here to support you too. Their expertise spans personal finance, debt and the complexities of the benefit system.
Jamie Ellis, the newest addition to the team, explains why he is passionate about helping to put people in control of their money:
“I have seen many people over the years who are out of control with their finances which puts pressure on health, relationships, and work life, and can lead to more serious problems. It doesn’t have to be that way and it’s my job to ensure that you get the help you need and avoid the pitfalls of fraught finances.”
If you’d like to freshen up your finances in the New Year, read Jamie’s Top-5 Tips for better money management.
- Make a list of where your money is going: Taking control of your budget is key to “fraught-less” finances. It’s important to know where your money goes so you can make adjustments to reflect your priorities and your income. You can monitor your income and outgoings on our budget calculator.
- Automate your savings: Prioritise setting up a standing order in January and you’ll have savings if you need them throughout the year. Put aside as much as you can afford. Pay it directly from your income into your account each week or month, treating it like any other bill, that way you’ll always have something to fall back on.
- Check you’re getting the best deal: Shop around on your household bills. Price comparison websites make it a doddle to find huge savings on insurances, energy, broadband, TV and mobile. Try comparethemarket.com, Uswitch.com or moneysupermarket.com. For savings on your water bill, check out the water metre calculator from the Consumer Council for Water, ccwater.co.uk.
- Check your credit report: If you dream of homeownership and want to get a mortgage or you want to open a bank account then you’ll need a decent credit score. The best ways to improve your score is to register on the electoral roll and to pay your bills on time. You can check your score for free on Equifax.co.uk and Transunion.com or get their apps in your mobile phone’s app store.
- Check your income entitlement: It’s important you’re receiving all income you’re entitled to. You may not realise that you should be getting more than you currently are and so it’s a good idea to check, especially if your circumstances have recently changed. You can check your entitlement to benefits, welfare and grants on websites like turn2us.org.uk or entitledto.co.uk.
If you need extra help with your finances, you can also try your local Citizens Advice, or please get in touch with Jamie or one of our team via our Customer Service Hub.
You can also find more help and guidance on welfare and benefits, paying bills and how to save money on this website.