Free online tools for managing your money
Sometimes, we all need a helping hand when it comes to our finances. Whether we’re trying to get a handle on our expenses, work out ways to save money or simply make the most of the money we’ve got coming in, it can be tricky trying to do it on our own.
While some things require guidance from an expert, there are a few things we can do without the need for a financial planner! We’ve put together a list of free online tools and resources to help you get a grip on your money.
Try a budget planner
MoneyHelper is a free service provided by the Money and Pensions Service, who in turn are sponsored by the Department for Work & Pensions. Their budget planner will give you:
- a place to record all your spending, so you won’t forget anything
- a breakdown of your finances by category
- personalised tips when you’re all finished
It’d be good to get as much of your spending info to hand before you start – bills, receipts, bank statements etc. It’ll make the process easier and give you the most accurate results.
Pay your rent online
You can pay your rent, set up or amend a Direct Debit, check your balance and order a rent statement here on our website. Head over to Your Rent to get started!
Check out comparison sites
No doubt you’ve seen the adverts, maybe you’ve even got a free meerkat toy! All jokes aside, using a comparison website can be one way to make sure you’re getting a good deal on your outgoings. It’s a good idea to compare how much you spend on things like energy, your mobile phone, internet or insurance a month or so before your current contract is due to run out. This is because if you find a good price on the comparison website, you can usually save it for a month before you sign on the dotted line. Another way to help you keep an eye on your outgoings!
Make a plan for your debt
MoneyHelper have put together an excellent step-by-step guide for what to do If you’re struggling to keep up with bills and debt payments. The first step is to work out exactly how much you owe, after which you can start to put a plan together.
If you are in a situation with debt that’s causing you real distress, you can apply for Breathing Space. You’ll need to speak to an accredited adviser to get started, and once you’ve done that you can find out if you qualify and apply for ‘standard’ or ‘mental health’ breathing space, giving you the time, you need to get a repayment plan in motion.
Money management support
Our Money Management page has lots of ideas for how you can make the most of your money, plus links to other websites where you can find trustworthy, accurate and reliable resources.
Learn about benefits
Gov.uk has a wealth of information about benefits. You can find out if you’re eligible for benefits, learn about the benefits cap, and let them know if your circumstances have changed.
Setup a Direct Debit for your rent
Once you’ve had your annual rent letter from us, you know exactly how much you’ll be charged each week or each month.
Having your rent payment set up via Direct Debit can really help you maintain control of your finances. There’s no doubt how much will come out of your account, no surprises, and it means you won’t have to remember to make a payment each time it’s due – that means you’re less likely to fall into debt.
Head over to Your Rent now to set one up today!
Understand your pension
We might not like to think about it, but saving for our future is something we should do all as soon as we’re able. It’s very unlikely that the state pension will provide you with enough money to have a similar lifestyle as you do now, so putting some away each month ready for when you retire is a really wise decision. And, don’t forget, with any luck, the money you invest into a pension will have grown by the time you need it (although that is not a guarantee). If you’re in work, you’ll likely be contributing to a pension already, and your employer is likely to be putting some money into your pot too, so you can always ask them for details on how to find out how much you’ve already saved.
Whether you’re about to finish work or have only just begun, your pension could be your only source of income for around 20 – 30 years, so head over to Citizen’s Advice to find out more about how you can prepare for it today.
Speak to us
If you’re worried about paying your rent, falling into rent debt or concerned about an existing debt, please don’t hesitate to speak with us. We won’t judge you or your circumstances – we’re here to help you in any way we can.