With energy and fuel prices rising and the general cost of living increasing, getting your money to cover essential items such as bills, food, work and school necessities can start to feel tricky.

If you’ve already looked at your outgoings and reduced them as much as possible, there are other ways to boost your incomings and make your money go further.

Take the downshift challenge
Words such as ‘premium’, ‘own brand’ and ‘luxury’ can make us believe a product is better and should cost more. So, the next time you shop, try swapping a few products to just one brand level lower – saving you money – and you likely won’t even be able to tell the difference!

Grab coupons and online codes
Using coupons and online codes can help you cut money off your shopping and save you £100s a year. Visit MoneySavingExpert to find a list of all the latest savings on selected products at the big supermarkets.

Are you entitled to cheap or free prescriptions?
If you’re over 60, in full-time education, pregnant or you receive income support, jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance, or pension credit – you’re entitled to free prescriptions.

Alternatively, if you’re not eligible for free prescriptions but you use them regularly, you can get a prepayment certificate to help you save.

Check what help you can get from your local council
Your local council might be able to help you pay for day-to-day essentials such as a hot meal, second-hand furniture or household appliances. Visit gov.uk/find-local-council to find out who your local council is and what they offer.

Get an interest free loan to pay for essentials
You might be able to get what’s called a budgeting loan for essentials like clothing or a washing machine if you claim certain benefits.

Additional support

Your energy provider may be able to help you if you’re struggling to pay your bills. Many offer debt repayment plans, payment breaks, emergency credit for prepayment metered customers, priority support and schemes like the Winter Fuel Payment or Warm Home Discount rebate.

Find out more about how to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment or Warm Home Discount.

Breathing Space Scheme This government scheme is to help give you time to receive debt advice and find a solution to debt problems. Once you’ve accessed a breathing space, creditors must stop all action concerning the debt until the breathing space has ended.

Citizens Advice offer free advice such as ways to access grants to help pay off any debts, and other ways you can get help if you’re struggling with living costs.

Financial support calculators can help you find out what benefits you may be entitled to or help you to start thinking about how you manage your money better.

We’re here to help you

Our Advice and Wellbeing team offer a range of one-to-one support, services and support sessions and are ready to talk to you about your situation.

They’ll work with you to find the best solution – using our partnerships with local specialist services to access a range of practical and emotional support.

Get in touch to make an appointment with a member of the team.