Money advice

Tips to keep costs down

 

Make a budget

If you’ve got money worries, the first thing we’d recommend doing is create a budget to stick to. It sounds obvious and simple, but it can be useful to get things down on paper and make a plan of action.

Make a list of all your incomings and outgoings, see what your priorities are and then cut out anything that isn’t essential.

Try this budget planner to help you get started.

 

Keeping your utility bills down

Don’t underestimate how reducing your water and energy costs can make a huge difference to your monthly budget. Here are some tips to slash your bills:

  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room
  • Use energy-saving light bulbs
  • Close the windows when the radiator is on
  • Turn the central heating down (turning it down by 1°C cuts your bill by about 10%)
  • Turn electrical appliances off at the switch (don’t use standby modes)
  • Buy energy-saving kitchen appliances
  • Wash your clothes at 30°C (instead of 40°C)
  • Only boil as much water as you need
  • Use a clothes line instead of a tumble dryer
  • Use a low-flow shower head (they use approximately 40% less water)
  • Don’t keep the tap running when brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Put a full load in the washing machine and dishwasher
Paying your rent

Paying your rent

Your rent is a priority debt. Your rent is used to pay for all the services we provide. If you’re having trouble paying your rent, don’t ignore the issue – contact us as soon as possible.

There’s no shame in it. We’re here to help and we’d much rather fix any problem than evict you for being in arrears.

We might also be able to move you to a smaller property, either swapping your home with another tenant or by downsizing into one of our available smaller homes.

Financial help and support

There are many charities and organisations that can help you deal with money concerns. Here is a summary of the help you can get.

 

Claiming benefits

If you need financial help, you may be able to claim benefits. There are multiple benefit schemes in the UK, all with different eligibility criteria. Go to our guide to claiming benefits.

 

Legal advice about your debts

The Citizens Advice Bureau is the best place to get help understanding your rights and get advice on dealing with debt.

 

Debt advice

StepChange Debt Charity is the UK’s leading debt advice organisation. They provide free, confidential and expert debt advice and money guidance. They will recommend the best solution or service for your circumstances and will support you while you deal with your money worries.

The National Debtline is a free, independent and confidential advice service that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They give free and independent debt advice over the phone and online.

 

Getting a bank account

The Citizens Advice Bureau gives information and advice on the different types of bank accounts and how to open a bank account.

 

Savings and loans

All MTVH residents are eligible to open a savings account and get a loan with the London Plus Credit Union.

The London Plus Credit Union offers:

  • Savings – Savings accounts, young savers accounts, an ethical charity bond, pre-paid debit card, and more.
  • Loans – Responsible lenders who charge fair rates of interest and ensure you can afford your loan.
  • Day-to-day money management – Services to help you manage your money, advice if you are experiencing financial problems, sign-posting to others that can help you.

Talk to us

If you have any money worries, contact us and we can help you explore your options. We can help you with maximising your income, reducing expenses, getting grants, and accessing specialist support including help to get a job. Email us on communitysupport@mtvh.co.uk