Check your money skills
Read these statements and ask yourself
- Do I know all about this?
- Do I do this well already?
- And, if you live with someone – can they do this?
To manage your Universal Credit successfully you will need to feel confident about doing all of these:
1. I know which of my bills have to be paid first
⇒ The most important bills are called priority bills. These include rent, heating and lighting, TV licence, court fines, maintenance and council tax. If you get behind with any of these your home and possessions could be at risk. You can even face imprisonment for non payment of some priority bills.
FOR MORE ABOUT PRIORITY BILLS CLICK HERE
2. I know how to keep on top of my bills every month
⇒ With Universal Credit you will be receiving money monthly. This means you need to plan ahead so that your money lasts the whole month. Not just to pay the priority bills but to make sure you can cover all your costs of living – food, clothes, school costs, pet food, repayments.
If you don’t budget and plan already this takes time to get used to but is a great way to feel more in control and save money.
FOR MORE ABOUT BUDGETING MONTHLY CLICK HERE
3. I keep track of how much money I have
⇒ Keeping track of your money is essential. If you keep track you can avoid going overdrawn and/or unpaid bills.
Under Universal Credit you will be receiving a lot more money in one lump sum but making it last for the whole month will take careful planning. Plus you need to be sure you have the money in your account to pay important bills like rent as soon as it is due.
Keeping track of your balance and knowing what is coming up is vital. Start getting used to this by finding a way of tracking your balance that suits you – online, at an ATM, over the counter, by text.
FOR MORE ABOUT KEEPING TRACK CLICK HERE
4. I have money set aside for unexpected and one off costs
⇒ Spending ‘shocks’ cause the biggest problems. If you are managing on a low income it is very hard when something unexpected happens – car repairs, vet bills, illness or loss of work. Setting money aside, even a small amount can really help and saves having to borrow in an emergency which can be very costly and really disrupt your monthly budgeting.
FOR MORE ABOUT SAVING CLICK HERE
5. I know how to make the most of my money
⇒ If you are managing on a low income you are likely to be very used to stretching your money but make sure you know all the tips and tricks.
If you are not online this can be an excellent way to save money – recent research found that people living on a low income could save over £500 a year buying and comparing prices online.
FOR MORE ABOUT GETTING THE BEST DEALS CLICK HERE
6. I ask for help when I need it
⇒ Talking about money problems can be difficult. You may feel ashamed that you have got stuck or feel that others will criticise your way of living. This is not the case. There is plenty of free and practical help and the sooner you tackle money problems the better. You can get back on track and avoid taking out expensive borrowing. You can also find out about emergency help with food, bills, household items
FOR MORE ABOUT MONEY HELP CLICK HERE