Budgetary and debt advice
We know that money worries can cause stress and anxiety, and sometimes it's hard knowing who to turn to for advice. If you are struggling with debt this section of the website will give you some help and advice about how to get your finances back in order.
In this section:
In this section of the website we can help you:
Don't bury your head in the sand
The thing about debt, compared to other things that can get us down, is that it is related to money and money is related to everything. You need to ring your phone company to tell them why the Direct Debit didn’t go through but you can’t afford the phone call. You want to go out with friends but can’t afford to buy them a drink - it’s embarrassing. But if you are in debt the most important thing is not to bury your head in the sand and hope the problem goes away.
Face up to the situation
Although it can sometimes seem as if you’ll never be clear of your debts, it is possible to tackle the problems and make big strides towards getting your finances back on track. If you are in debt the sooner you take action the better.
How to ditch your debt
Whatever the size of your debt, if you are serious about sorting your finances and becoming debt-free your first step should be to draw up a budget. This will help to give you an indication of the scale of your problem and help you to start sorting your finances.
Start by listing your priority debts. These are things you need to pay each month to keep a roof over your head such as your mortgage or rent, council tax and utility bills.
Then list your other debts, such as credit cards or loans. You should now have a total figure of how much you need to spend each month towards paying off your debts.
Total up all of your income, such as your salary, benefits, tax credits or pension. Subtract the total of your priority debts and you will now be left with your disposable income - this is how much you can afford to spend each month.
Once you have your disposable income, make a list of all your other outgoings, such as your weekly food bill, or how much you spend on petrol or mobile phone. These are the areas that you can afford to make savings. You'll now be in a much better position to draw up a budget.
When pulling together your budget, it makes sense to see where you can cut back. Online price comparison websites let you to shop around for the best deals on everything from your gas and electricity bills to your mobile phone contract. Also consider cancelling anything you might not need, such as your satellite subscription or gym membership.
If you are unable to cut back, make sure you have checked that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to. You can check out if you’re missing out at entitledto.co.uk, or speak to a debt charity. Most of them have a benefits section that can check whether you’re claiming everything you should be.
Alternatively, if the problem is too much to handle by yourself there is lots of help available. We have put together a detailed list of helpful organisations that can help put your finances back on track.
If things are getting on top of you and you are finding it hard to cope with your home and finances, would a little bit of outside support help you through this difficult time? If the answer is yes, then you might want to think about applying for Housing-Related Support. If you live in the Suffolk area, you can find more information from the CARA website and if you live in the Norfolk area, you can visit Stonham HomeStay for advice.
Where can I find cheap furniture or household goods?
If you are looking for cheap furniture or household goods you should get in touch with a furniture re-use organisation. These organisations are not-for-profit agencies who collect unwanted, but good quality items from households who no longer need them and pass these items to families on low incomes at a very small charge.
Despite the name, the furniture re-use sector encompasses a wide range of re-use activities. Some organisations re-use household appliances such as cookers, washing machines, fridges and fridge/freezers, as well as electrical items such as televisions and vacuum cleaners. A number are set up as appliance re-use centres. In addition, the re-use of books, bicycles, paint and smaller household items is common. Some organisations also make their own furniture by re-using discarded items.
Many re-use projects are gaining recognition as social enterprises in their own right, producing a range of social benefits for the communities in which they work. So, if you are interested in buying or donating furniture and household goods, the furniture re-use network website will help you find your nearest furniture re-use agency.
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Last updated: 20 January 2012