Budgeting involves keeping track of how much money you receive and how much you are spending.
It can help you prioritise important things and cut back on others. It also helps you plan for the future. A good budget plan can stop you getting into debt.
The Money Advice Service Budget Planner can help you plan your budget.
Access to a bank account is important, especially if you are on benefits. The new Universal Credit benefit can only be paid into a bank account.
Besides this, a bank account makes it much easier to manage your money. You'll be able to spend money using a debit card instead of carrying cash around.
You can also set up Direct Debits so bills are paid automatically.
Are you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to?
Use the useful better off calculator to check that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to.
Do you receive tax credits? Use the government's Tax credits calculator to make sure you're receiving the right amount.
You could reduce your energy bills by switching your gas and electric supply. You may qualify for various discounts from your supplier such as:
Many of our properties have prepayment meters, sometimes called key meters or card meters. These are electricity and gas meters that let you pay for your energy on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Ofgem offers energy switching advice that can make a big difference to your gas and electricity bills.
A monthly payment for working-age people on a low income or out of work.