“I’ve just had my hours cut at work. I’d like to take on a second job, but there’s nothing around. How can I make less go further, without going into debt?”
One way to stretch household finances is to shop around for the best deals on your mobile phone and broadband (depending on the details of your price plan), and on utilities, such as electricity. Installing a water meter can also sometimes bring savings.
It’s worth checking your insurances and subscriptions – cancel any you don’t need and shop around for the others.
Make a list of the cost of your priority outgoings – such as bills, food and essential travel – against your new income. You could use Citizens Advice’s budget tool to help you – see www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/budgeting/budgeting/work-out-your-budget/.
A fall in income may mean you’re eligible for benefits, especially if you’re a parent or carer. The Turn 2 Us benefits checker is very useful – see www.benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/AboutYou.
If you have school age children there may be help available with uniforms, technology and free school meals.
It’s easy to slip into overdraft, or miss a payment, and it can then become more and more expensive – and stressful – to get on the right track and out of debt. Likewise, think carefully about any ‘buy now pay later’ deals – they’re not always the best option long term.
You can contact Citizens Advice Sherwood and Newark for information and advice:
- General advice on 0800 144 88 48 or Textphone 18001 0800 144 8 444, Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm.
- The local office number on 01623 861769, where you may be offered a call back.
- Chat online to an advisor at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/contact-us.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Consumer issues on 0808 223 1133 or Textphone 18001 0808 223 1133.
- Universal Credit Help to Claim line on 0800 144 8444 or Textphone 18001 0800 144 8 444.
- Citizens Advice Scams Action advisers on 0808 250 5050.