Managing your Money

Managing our money is a vital skill for all of us, whether it’s saving for your children’s Christmas presents, putting money aside for your first mortgage deposit or budgeting for your first term at University.

This section includes a range of links to specialist websites which can help you manage your money better.

Remember if you should also check our TAX section if you are looking at information on savings, investments or pensions.

There is more information on saving money on energy bills in our ENERGY section

 

1. GENERAL

This section provides general information on managing your money. Please click on the links below to be taken to your desired section.

BUDGETING AND MANAGING MONEY

This section provides handy tips and guidance on how to look after your money and budget on a low income 

Beginners guide to managing money

Good money management can mean many things – from living within your means to saving for short and long-term goals, to having a realistic plan to pay off your debts.

If you want to learn how to set up a budget, make the most of your money, pay off debts or start saving, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Budgeting and Managing Money

See how you can make your money go further and use this budget planner to discover how much cash you have coming in and what you're spending it on. There is also information on how to survive on a low income.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

How to get help with bills

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, there are specific things you can do to sort out your finances.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

How to save money on household bills

With the cost of household bills continuing to rise across the UK, here is a list of dedicated guides to help you save money. Cutting costs is easier than you think and the average household can save hundreds of pounds each year by following these tips

Find out more information here
Source:the Money Advice Service

Money saving tips and discounts for disabled people

Some companies and organisations offer discounts for disabled people and their carers.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

BORROWING OR RAISING MONEY

This section provides guidance on different ways of borrowing, how lenders make their decisions and what to do if you have been refused credit. There is also information on Pay Day Loans

Types of loans

Learn about how personal loans work, discover better alternatives to payday loans, and help when borrowing from a credit union.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice service

Top tips for Borrowing

To find out handy tips to help you when you borrow money, take out a loan or use credit cards, click here
Source: Citizens Advice

Working out a repayment plan for your borrowing

It's crucial to work out the total cost of the credit you’re taking out, including interest payments, and not just the amount you’re borrowing or how much you can afford to pay every month. Taking the time to work out the full cost of any borrowing lets you plan your finances and ensure that you really can afford it.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice service

Credit Cards and Credit Rating

To find out how to manage a credit card, how to check your credit report, and tips on how you can improve your credit rating, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Borrowing from Tees Credit Union

Credit unions are a cross between a co-operative and a bank. They are set up by people with a common interest, such as where they live or work, and offer low-interest loans.

To find out information on the credit union which covers Stockton Borough, click here
Source: Tees Credit Union

Pay Day Loans and what you need to know

Payday loans are an expensive way to borrow. Never take out a payday loan unless you’re 100% certain you can repay it on time and in full – otherwise the costs can soon spiral out of control.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Hire Purchase and conditional sales

Read information about how hire purchase and conditional sale agreements work, the right to end a hire purchase agreement and what happens if the buyer is unable to pay.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

How Lenders decide whether to lend you money

When you apply for a loan or other type of credit, such as a credit card, the lender has to decide whether or not to lend to you. Creditors use different things to help them decide whether or not you are a good risk.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

What to do if you have been refused credit

If you’ve been turned down for a credit card or loan there are steps you can take to understand why. There are also things you should avoid doing which could make it even harder for you to get credit in the future.

To find out more and to learn about alternative borrowing options to consider or avoid, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Getting a loan if you are ill or disabled

If you’re ill or disabled and living on a low income, there will probably be times when you need to borrow money.

Find out information on how to avoid expensive credit or risky loans in these situations here
Source: Money Advice Service

Equity Release

If you own your own home and are 55 or over, equity release could provide you with a lump sum, additional income or maybe both. The link below shows how the different types of equity release scheme work and what you should expect from firms that sell them.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

BANKING

This section provides guidance on managing accounts - including overdrafts.

Banking generally

Most people need an account with a bank or building society. It's important to have the right information about opening and running an account to help you manage your money properly and deal with any problems which crop up.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

How to choose the right account

This guide to choosing the right bank account is for you if you’re trying to decide what type of account best fits your needs or you want to know which features of an account you should compare. It can also help if you’re thinking of switching your bank account.

Read the guide here
Source: Money Advice Service

Choosing a current account

Current accounts come in all shapes and sizes so it pays to shop around for the features you want. Switching your account could save you money. This current accounts comparison table is unbiased, covers all major providers and shows results based on how you use them.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Overdrafts

This information tells you what a bank overdraft is and gives some tips about how to avoid getting overdrawn without permission.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

FINANCIAL CRIME

This section provides important tips on how you can protect yourself, along with some helpful information on what to do if you have recently become a victim of financial crime. There is more information on protecting yourself from identity fraud under Privacy and Access to Information in our LEGAL AND CRIME section.

Financial Crime

Read important tips on how you can help by protecting yourself, along with some helpful information on what to do if you have recently become a victim of financial crime.

Find out more information here
Source: British Bankers Association

SAVINGS AND INVESTMENT

This section provides information and guidance on different ways to save or invest.

How to Save

Work out how much you can afford to save and find out how to set and reach your savings goal here
Source: Money Advice Service

How to save with Tees Credit Union

For information on the credit union which covers Stockton Borough, click here
Source: Tees Credit Union

Should you save or invest?

If you’re not sure whether you should save or invest, the answer is probably both. It all depends on your goals and your financial situation.

Read information about the basics to help you plan out your finances for short term savings and long term investment here
Source: Money Advice Service

Should you save, or pay off loans and cards?

You will rarely be able to earn more on your savings, than you will pay on your borrowings. So, as a rule of thumb plan to pay off your debts before you start to save.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Investing in the stockmarket

Read information on investing in the stock market including: what stocks and shares are; ways to invest; costs; tax; things to think about before deciding to invest here
Source: Citizens Advice

INSURANCE

This section provides information on how to use comparison sites, choosing insurance and advice on making a claim

How to buy insurance using comparison websites

You could make big savings on insurance by using price comparison websites, so it’s worth putting in a bit of time to get the best out of them. Remember they’re just showing you prices, not choosing the best product – you don’t have to pick the top result.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Car Insurance

For information on choosing the right level of cover, getting the best deal, and tips for young drivers, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Illness insurance

For information on illness insurance including types of illness insurance and factors to consider before taking out an insurance policy, click here
Source: Citizens Advice

Life and protection insurance

To learn about the differences between life, critical illness and income protection insurance, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Payment protection insurance

To read information on payment protection insurance (PPI) to cover loan or mortgage repayments including factors to consider before taking out a PPI policy and making a complaint about PPI, click here
Source: Citizens Advice

Pet insurance

For help with choosing the right pet insurance policy and cover, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Travel Insurance

To learn how to choose the right level of cover, get the best deal, and how to make a travel insurance claim, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Home insurance

To find out if you need buildings and contents insurance and to get help with choosing the right policy and cover, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Making a claim on your insurance

For information on the process of making an effective claim on insurance like home, car and travel, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Buying insurance if you are sick or disabled

Buying the right insurance policy at an affordable price can be tricky if you have a disability or health condition. For information that summarises what you need to know to get the best policy for your needs at a decent price, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

PENSIONS

This section provides information on different types of pensions

Types of Pension

From defined contribution and benefit schemes, to personal pensions and pensions for the self-employed.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Pension Basics

Find out why and when to save into a pension and how to work out what your pension pot might be.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Personal Pensions

A personal pension is a type of defined-contribution pension. You choose the provider and make arrangements for your contributions to be paid. If you haven't got a workplace pension, getting a personal pension could be a good way of saving for retirement.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Workplace Pensions

The link below will explain the different types of workplace pensions available through the workplace, the benefits of joining a scheme and what happens when you opt out of the State Pension.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

State Pension

Please see our BENEFITS section

Tracing a lost Pension

The Pension Tracing Service is a free service that enables people to search a database of more than 320,000 pension scheme administrators.

Find out more information here
Source: Gov.uk

MORTGAGES

This section provides beginner guides and information on different types of mortgage

If you are having difficulties paying your mortgage or are in arrears please see our DEBT section. If you are wanting more information on the process of buying a house, please see our HOUSING section.

A beginner’s guide to mortgages

Before you arrange your mortgage, make sure you know what you can afford to borrow.

To find out where to get a mortgage, the different types and how the process works, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

How to choose the right mortgage

Choosing a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions you're likely to make.

For steps that will ensure you choose the right mortgage for you, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Problems getting a mortgage

In some cases it may be difficult to get a mortgage, for example, if you are self-employed or have had debt problems in the past. You might also be turned down if there are problems with the property.

To find out information on what to do, click here
Source: Shelter

Schemes for first time buyers

If you’ve decided you’d like to own your own home, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier. From saving for a deposit to the mortgage application process, here’s everything you need to know.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Government schemes for first-time home buyers and existing homeowners

There are a number of government schemes to help you buy a home.

Find out more about these schemes and how to apply here
Source: Money Advice Service

Getting a mortgage if you are ill or disabled

Being ill or disabled shouldn't stop you from getting a mortgage, even if you rely on benefits for all or part of your income.

To find out information on what you need to do when applying, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Cutting down your mortgage costs

To find out information about some of the things you could do to stop yourself from falling behind with your mortgage payments and getting into debt, click here
Source: Citizens Advice

COMPLAINTS

This section provides information on what to do if you are unhappy with a financial service

The Financial Ombudsman Service

Information about the Financial Ombudsman Service, including what kind of complaints they can help you with, how to complain, and what information the ombudsman will need.

Find out more information here
Source: Financial Ombudsman Service

2. LIFE EVENTS

This section contains useful advice and information about financial planning at certain points in your life. Within each section you will also find useful tools which will help you manage your money better. Please click on the links below to be taken to your desired section.

HAVING A BABY

Preparing financially for a baby

For help with managing your money before, during and after the birth of your baby, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Baby cost calculator

For a calculator to check how much the essentials could cost you, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Protecting your State Pension when you have a baby

Did you know that claiming Child Benefit means you may get more State Pension? So, even if retirement is the last thing on your mind while you’re looking after your new baby, it’s important to be prepared.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

CHILDCARE

For more information on child maintenance and child care options see FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS section

Information on childcare options

There are lots of childcare options out there to suit you, your child and your budget. Better still, there’s more financial help available than you might imagine.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

GOING TO SCHOOL

Please remember to check out our EDUCATION section for more information

Back to School Planner

Use the planner to help you set a budget for school essentials, from uniforms and electronics to books and stationery. Find out how your spending compares to the UK average too.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Help with school costs

As a parent, you may be entitled to certain types of financial help, depending on your financial circumstances. In some circumstances, financial help will be dependent on whether your child is of compulsory school age. In other cases, it will depend on what type of school your child is attending, or where your child goes to school.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Support for young people

Children need to be safe and confident that the adult world understands their needs and recognises their vulnerabilities. For children and young people who need some support, a multi-agency approach is usually best based on a Early Help Assessment.

For more information click here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

 

 

GOING TO COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY

For more information on grants and finance see our EDUCATION section

Returning to study after having a baby, information on budgeting

Whether at school, college or university, you could qualify for financial help to cover everything from living expenses and learning costs, to travel and childcare.

For more information on budgeting, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Preparing your son or daughter for university

For handy tips on budgeting and borrowing, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Budgeting for college or university

For information on the average costs of going to university or college, and how you can begin to budget for these, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

A guide to student and graduate bank accounts

If you’re planning to go to university or a higher education college, you’ll be entitled to a student bank account. Once you finish studying, this will normally change into a graduate bank account. Read our guide to help you make the most of this budgeting tool during and after your student life.

Read the guide here
Source: Money Advice Service

GETTING A CAR

Calculate the cost of a car

Find out how much it costs to run a used car over a year here
Source: Money Advice Service

YOUR FIRST SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP: SHARING ACCOUNTS

Check out our FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS section for further information.

Should you manage money jointly or separately?

Managing your money together when you’re in a serious relationship can be tricky - find out how to plan your joint finances and avoid headaches and arguments over money.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Taking out a joint loan

Many couples take out some form of joint debt or loan. But although it may mean you can borrow more between you than if one of you took out the loan on your own, it’s a serious step because each of you could be asked to repay the full debt if the other person couldn’t.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

WORK OR STARTING A BUSINESS

You will get more information on your legal rights and responsibilities in employment under our WORK section

Help to find work if you are disabled

If you’re looking for work you may find it helpful to get some careers advice or training, or help with your CV or interviews. The page below outlines the support available, including government initiatives to remove some of the barriers disabled job seekers face.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Finance and support for your business

Find government-backed support and finance for business here
Source: Gov.uk

Budgeting for your first job

There are a range of things you may need to budget for when you first start work. We look at some of the costs you might come across as you start your working life, and ways you can reduce them.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

GETTING YOUR FIRST HOME

Remember that there are more useful advice, information and tools in our HOUSING section

Information on deciding to rent or buy

Buying a property is probably the biggest financial decision you’ll ever have to make. How do you know whether it’s the right decision for you right now – or whether you’d be better off renting instead?

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Home Buying Process

Buying a home is a huge financial commitment. Use the timeline to find out more about the process, key stages and what fees to expect.

Find the timeline here
Source: Money Advice Service

GETTING MARRIED

Check out our FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS section for further information

Saving money for a wedding

For information on saving up for your wedding and how to cut the cost and the stress, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Weddings: how to cut the cost of getting married

Tips on how to cut the costs can be found here
Source: Money Advice Service

SEPARATION AND DIVORCE

This section gives you information and guidance about money issues when you separate. Check out our FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS section for further information on the process and consequences of separation.

Protect your financial position during divorce or separation

There are important steps you should take to protect your financial position as soon as it is clear that you are going to separate from your partner.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

What to do about a mortgage during separation

When divorcing, dissolving your civil partnership or separating and you have a mortgage on a property, you need to decide what to do in the long term while keeping up the mortgage payments in the short term.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Divorce and separation calculator

For a tool that will help you draw up a budget and work out what you have and what you owe and create scenarios for splitting what you have, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Sorting out a business during divorce

How you deal with a business interest when you divorce or dissolve your civil partnership can differ depending on whether one or both of you are involved and whether you’re a sole trader or you’ve set up a business partnership or a limited company.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Splitting pensions in a divorce

What can happen to pensions in divorce? The pension can be the biggest asset in divorce or civil partnership dissolution after the family home, so it is important that it’s not overlooked. It can be split in several ways and it’s worth understanding the different options.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Paying divorce costs

If you’re about to file for divorce or dissolution, you’re probably wondering how much the whole thing is going to cost you. The link below provides a summary of the different costs you can expect – from court fees to legal fees – plus who pays and what to do if you can’t pay.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

YOUR MONEY IF YOU BECOME SICK OR DISABLED

If you need more specific information about the money you may be entitled to, visit our BENEFITS section

How to sort out your money if you become sick or disabled

If you’ve recently developed a long-term health condition or become disabled, it makes sense to try and sort out your money situation as soon as you can.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

RETIREMENT

Early retirement because of illness or disablility

If you’re thinking of retiring because of ill health or a disability, take time to consider your options. Work out what each one will mean for you financially and get expert, independent financial advice.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Retirement income basics

Setting a clear retirement income goal and managing your money once you’ve stopped working.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Ways to boost your pension in the run-up to retirement

Even if retirement isn’t far away, there are steps you can take to increase the retirement income you’ll receive when you retire. This applies both to your State Pension entitlement as well as to any personal or workplace pension pots that you have.

Find out information on what you can do here
Source: Money Advice Service

Work out your likely pension income

Follow simple steps to work out what your pension is likely to pay out. This will help you decide when you can afford to retire from work.

Find the simple steps here
Source: Money Advice Service

Managing your money on retirement

Your financial situation will almost certainly change when you retire.

For useful tips on managing the financial changes retirement can bring, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Your pension lump sum options

To read about your options and why it's important to consider how taking a lump sum will affect your retirement income, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

DEATH AND BEREAVEMENT

There is more about wills and practical arrangements after a death under FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS section. There is also information on assistance with funerals under BENEFITS. If you feel you need support with a bereavement, you can find a list of services in our HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE section (under Health Care). 

How much does a funeral cost?

If you're arranging a funeral, it’s important to understand that there are certain elements which you either have to pay for (or most people opt to pay for), and others which are optional. When making decisions about the optional costs, it’s essential you think about what you can afford.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Funeral Plans

A funeral plan is a way of paying for a future funeral today.

To read about things that you have to bear in mind if you're thinking of taking one out, click here
Source: Money Advice Service

Paying for a funeral

When you’re arranging a funeral, it’s important to know who’s responsible for paying for it, how much it might cost and where you can look for financial help.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

Coping with a drop in income after your partner dies

If your partner has recently died, you might not feel very confident when it comes to handling the money side of things. You might also have to manage on less, especially if you depended on income that your partner was receiving.

Find out how to get to grips with your reduced household budget here
Source: Money Advice Service

Making the most out of your inheritance

If you inherit some money, shares, property or anything else, you need to decide how to make the most of your inheritance.

Some of the options you might want to consider can be found here
Source: Money Advice Service

3. HELPFUL TOOLS

We have provided a variety of tools below to help you with your problem but if you still need help, you can click on FIND LOCAL AGENCIES WHO CAN HELP YOU for information about local agencies who may be able to assist you further.

Please click on the links below to be taken to your desired section.

CALCULATORS AND INTERACTIVE TOOLS

Budgeting and Managing Money

Budgeting Tool
The budgeting tool is an online calculator which helps you list all your household income and expenditure.You can use the budgeting tool to work out how much you've got to pay off your non-priority debts. At the end you will be able to print off a financial statement which you can use to come to an agreement with your creditors.

Find the budgeting tool here
Source: Citizens Advice

Money Health Check
Use the money health check to give you a picture of your finances and an action plan.

Find the money health check tool here
Source: Money Advice Service

Money stretcher calculator 
Use the money stretcher calculator to work out how long your money could last over a particular period. Our figures are completely confidential. You can email your results to yourself or someone else or you can share the tool with friends.

Find the calculator here
Source: Money Advice Service

Cut-back calculator
Use this calculator to work out where you can make savings on things that you buy regularly. The tool will only take 5 minutes to complete. The figures are completely confidential, but you can email them to yourself or someone else.

Find the calculator here
Source: Money Advice Service

Borrowing

Loan Calculator
Use this calculator to see how much a loan will cost you or how quickly you can pay off your existing loans. Simply add a loan below to get started.

Find the calculator here
Source: Money Advice Service

Mortgages

Mortgage affordability calculator
This tool will help you estimate how much you can afford to borrow to buy a home. We’ll work it out by looking at your income and your outgoings. Mortgage lenders will look at these figures very closely to work out how much they’ll offer you.

Find the calculator here 
Source: Money Advice Service

Pensions

Workplace pension contribution calculator
Starting from October 2012, many workers who don't already have pension arrangements are being automatically enrolled into a workplace pension to help them save for their retirement. If this applies to you, you can use this calculator to work out how much you and your employer will each put into your pension pot.

Find the calculator here
Source: Money Advice Service

SAMPLE LETTERS

Money Advice Service sample letters
The Money Advice Service provide sample letters to use whether you are complaining about your insurance, mis-sol PPI or complaining to your bank

View the sample letters here
Source: Money Advice Service

PODCASTS AND VIDEOS

Money Advice Service videos
The Money Advice Service provide videos, covering subjects such as insurance, retirement savings and inflation

View the videos here
Source: Money Advice Service

Debt Advice in BSL

This film will give you basic information about debt. 

View the video here
Source: Citizens Advice

FACTSHEETS AND LEAFLETS

Borrowing
Printable fact sheets which tell you about borrowing money and taking out credit can be found here
Source: Citizens Advice

Banking: joint accounts
This leaflet will help if you currently hold – or are considering opening – a joint account.
It answers a number of frequently asked questions about joint accounts. Joint accounts are useful if you share a lot of financial arrangements with someone else. But with the added convenience come extra responsibilities. Some of these are important and may not be obvious.

For a leaflet that explains some of the things to look out for, click here
Source: British Banking Association

Mortgages
The money Advice service has free printed guides that give you clear, unbiased information and advice. They are a good starting point and can help you make informed choices.

Find the guides here
Source: Money Advice Service

Pensions and retirement
The money Advice service has free printed guides give you clear, unbiased information and advice. They are a good starting point and can help you make informed choices.

Find the guides here
Source: Money Advice Service

FAQS

The Financial Ombudsman

For answers to common queries about complaints about financial services, click here
Source: The Financial Ombudsman Service

NATIONAL HELPLINES

Citizens Advice
Advice by phone is available from Citizens Advice Bureaux 
Tel: 0344 2451295

Financial Conduct Authority
Our Consumer Helpline offers impartial information and general guidance
Tel: 0800 111 6768

Money Advice Service
Adviceline giving unbiased advice on how you can manage your money better
Tel: 0300 500 5000

The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS)
TPAS is an independent organisation that provides free information, advice and guidance about all types of pensions including state retirement pension, workplace, personal and stakeholder schemes.
TPAS doesn’t provide financial or investment advice or recommend products.
Tel: 0300 123 1047

WEBSITES USED IN THIS SECTION

Citizens Advice 
The Adviceguide website is the main public information service of Citizens Advice, providing people with round-the-clock access to CAB information on their rights - including benefits, housing and employment, and on debt, consumer and legal issues.
http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england.htm

Gov.uk
The websites of all government departments and many other agencies and public bodies 
https://www.gov.uk/#

Money Advice Service
The Money Advice Service helps people manage their money. We do this directly through our own free and impartial advice service. We also work in partnership with other organisations to help people make the most of their money. We are an independent service, set up by government.
https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en

Shelter
Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness – and we campaign to prevent it in the first place.
http://england.shelter.org.uk/home

Disability Rights UK
We are disabled people leading change, working to create a society where everyone with lived experience of disability or health conditions can participate equally as full citizens.
http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/about-us