This page includes links to external information that could help if you are struggling financially.
Last updated: 15 December 2022
Contents (jump to section)
- Help for parents
- Government cost of living payments
- Money and benefits advice
- Help with borrowing money
- If you’re worried about paying money back
- If you’re trying to spend less on energy
- If you’re trying to cut down food costs
- Reducing costs in the home
- Reducing travel costs and having fun
- Money and wellbeing
- View a list of payments available from the government for the rising cost of living. There are different amounts of money depending on your circumstances.
- You can report a missing Cost of Living payment
- Do beware – scammers are targeting people. You won’t be asked to apply by text, so don’t follow up a message to claim. No one calling about money given out by your council will ask you to share your bank details either.
- Money Saving Expert covers a range of general advice on making your money go further.
- Turn2us gives free advice on benefits and grants you may be able to claim.
- Use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator to check if you are entitled to any benefits that you aren’t claiming
- Money Helper gives good impartial advice on money topics and has a useful guide to credit - start with the article ‘Do you need to borrow money?’
- Find your local credit union. If you need to borrow but have a poor credit history, credit unions are financial co-operatives that provide savings, loans and other services to members, and often lend to customers who struggle to borrow elsewhere.
- If you are receiving benefits, you may be able to get a DWP interest-free loan, instead of borrowing commercially
- Don’t pay for debt advice, try National Debtline or call them for free on: 0808 808 4000
- Stepchange also gives free expert debt advice
- If you have borrowed money informally and are being pressured to pay it back, the England Illegal Money Lending Team tackle loan sharks and can help you. Their 24 hour helpline is free and anonymous on 0300 555 2222. A call won’t commit you or anyone else to doing anything. Borrowing money from loan sharks isn’t illegal, only lending it, so you won’t get into trouble.
- National Energy Action is a great source of advice. Call them on 0800 304 7159 and ask about the Warm Home Discount
- Use Sust-it to check how much it costs to run your electrical appliances and learn about energy efficient products
- Learn how much each of your appliances costs to run with this online activity
- Compare prices across supermarkets with Trolley
- Use Trussell Trust or Food Aid Network to find a foodbank
- The Too Good to Go app gives you a chance to get low cost surplus food from cafes and restaurants
- Olio helps you share food and resources in your community
- For budget recipes, try Jack Monroe’s Cooking On A Bootstrap
- Bags of Taste is a fun project that gets you trying new healthy recipes on a budget
- If you’re on a low income you might be able to switch to a social tariff for broadband, which could save you a lot of money - almost all providers offer them
- Use Freegle to see if anyone is giving away household items in your area
- If you’re receiving certain benefits, you may be able to get help with water bills if you have three or more children or need to use a lot of water for medical reasons. Find out more from Citizens Advice Water Bills
- Citymapper is a well-known transport app, but it’s also a budgeting tool as it helps you compare the costs of your journey options
- Students over 16 can use discounts with MyUniDays
- Apps like Petrolprices help drivers compare prices at different petrol stations near to them
Here are some suggestions for free days out for families that are good fun for people without kids too
This is a sensitive area and you'll know what feels right for your family. If you decide to talk to your children about money problems, here are some ideas that could help, developed by QSA staff with extensive experience in supporting parents to have conversations about money.
Help with uniform costs
- Many local authorities give grants to help pay for uniform. Use this checker to see if your council offers help.
- Many schools also have a second hand uniform shop that you may need to ask about, or a parents’ group on Facebook where parents cheaply sell on uniform they no longer need.
Free school meals
- All state-funded schools offer free lunches to all children in reception, year 1 and year 2, no matter what your income, so you might want to hold off making packed lunches.
- Older children can get free school meals up to year 11 if you are on a low income. Use this checker to see if you qualify.
- If your children can get free meals, they can also get free activities and food in the holidays – apply for that from your local authority before the holiday starts.
Travelling to school and childcare
- Some local authorities offer help with costs of getting to and from school, check your local council website to find out.
- You may be able to get help paying for childcare use this checker to find out.
Support for single parents
- For single parents Gingerbread is an excellent source of support and advice targeted for single parents.
Talking to children about money
- When there just isn’t enough money, it’s hard to know how to talk to our kids about that. Here are some tips to support you to have those conversations in ways that feel OK.
- Money worries can sometimes impact on our ability to look after ourselves and our loved ones. Two apps that might help your mental wellbeing are Headspace and Feeling Good
- Relate has some good information on protecting your relationship when you’re coping with the pressure of money worries
If you have other resources that we could add, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Whilst we make every effort to signpost to helpful resources, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or suitability of third party websites.