Coping on less money inevitably means that you will have to seriously review your lifestyle. Even small savings in your expenditure will contribute to an overall reduction in outgoings.
CABA can offer advice and support and possibly financial help too, telephone 0800 107 6163 in complete confidence.
Ensure that you claim all the state benefits to which you are entitled. If in doubt, visit entitledto.co.uk to carry out a benefit check or call us for advice.
Discuss your circumstances with creditors and try to negotiate a payment holiday or reduced payments that you can afford.
Deal promptly with any communications from lenders, particularly threats of legal action. Even if your creditors are uncooperative, it will be to your advantage to be seen to have acted responsibly. CABA’s debt advisors may be able to help you or you could contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau. They can often negotiate with lenders on your behalf. You could also contact National Debtline on 0808 808 4000, which offers telephone debt advice, an information booklet and numerous fact sheets.
Try to avoid taking on new credit, particularly to pay existing debts, as this may only worsen your position in the long run.
If you receive a significant lump sum redundancy payment, think carefully about how to use it - perhaps settle high interest debts or reduce your mortgage. If necessary seek independent financial advice. You should also be aware that saving lump sums may affect your entitlement to means tested benefits.
Submit claims on any policies for income protection, mortgage or loan protection.
Try to maintain payments on priority debts such as your mortgage, secured loans, council tax and utility accounts. Try to arrange monthly repayments on utilities and insurances to help with budgeting.
Draw up a realistic monthly/weekly budget, listing your regular income and expenditures. Review your budget and try to eliminate non-essential expenditure.
Look for a better deal from your gas, electricity or telephone provider.
Use public transport, share lifts and walk or cycle whenever possible.
If you have a personal pension plan, you are contractually required to inform your provider within 30 days if you change your employment status. You may be able to take a ‘payment holiday’.
Think carefully before cancelling life and health insurance policies as you may not be able to get such favourable terms if you re-insure when your circumstances improve.
Tips on living on less money can be found at lowbudgetliving.co.uk .