Financial pressures have knock-on effects on all aspects of your life. Don’t be ashamed of asking for help. There are services and supports who can help you through these difficult times.
Here are some quick tips. Visit CommunityWellbeing.info for more information to help you cope with the rising cost of living..
Balancing financial worries and mental health
Be honest about your financial situation. Do you feel like you’re in charge of your finances or are things getting out of control?
Pay attention when you’re spending money. It may help to use cash, instead of contactless, to pay for things as this is a visual reminder of what you’re spending.
Open letters and emails from your bank, building society and any companies you owe money to. This can be difficult but ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away.
Get advice. It can be difficult to deal with money issues by yourself. Money advisers can help you take the steps you need to regain control of your finances.
Help with rising energy costs
The rising cost of energy is one of the biggest drivers of the cost of living increase.
There are small things you can do to reduce your energy usage. But even if we do all of these many of us will struggle to manage our bills this winter. Community Wellbeing explains what government help is available to help you pay your energy bills and handle the rising costs.
Watch out for scam text and emails about cost of living and energy support payments. You don’t have to apply for your £400 energy support payment. The government will never email or text you and ask you to follow a link to get your payment.
Help with housing, food and living expenses
Rents are rising and so too will mortgages now that interest rates are increasing. Get advice from somewhere like Housing Rights if you’re struggling with your housing costs.
Almost every town will have a place that can help with food, bills and other expenses in an emergency. This could be a community fridge that’s there for everyone to use or a foodbank that a local charity, church or service can help you to access. Staff and volunteers will listen without judging and will try to find the best way to help you.
Budgeting and money advice
Getting a handle on your finances is an important first step in improving your financial wellbeing.
Creating a household budget is a great way to understand exactly what money comes into your household and where it goes each month. There are online tools you can use to help you set up your household budget
- Consumer Council budgeting tool
- Consumer Council’s Christmas budget planner
- MoneyHelper’s budget planner
A spending diary can help you identify patterns in your unplanned spending. Ask the Consumer Council NI to send you a diary.
A money and debt adviser can help you if you’re struggling to pay debts. There are lots of charities providing free debt advice in Northern Ireland.
Benefits and grants
Make sure you’re getting all the benefits you are entitled to. Contact Make the Call to find out if there is any other financial help you can get.
You can get grants and loans to help with certain emergency expenses, including furniture and rent in advance if you have to move.
Your local advice agency will know about funds that can help you if you’re in financial difficulties.
Help to manage the rising cost of living
CommunityWellbeing.info has more information on managing the rising cost of living