Money worries can be incredibly hard to deal with, especially if you’re on your own, but there are a huge number of organisations and charities that may be able to help.
If you’re struggling, but aren’t sure where to turn, below is a list of some of the services that might be able to provide you with support and impartial advice to get you back in control of your finances:
General money advice and information
If you’ve got some general money worries or you need some help working out a budget and sticking to it, the following charities and organisations have a whole host of online information, with links to further advice that might be able to help.
Citizens Advice can help with all manner of financial questions and problems. They offer free and independent advice for a range of issues that at first glance might seem complicated or intimidating. They have a range of advice and guides on their website, but also offer help over the phone (0800 144 8848) or you can seek in person advice.
MoneyHelper is a free, government-backed service that provides impartial help on money and pensions, offering a number of money tools to help you take control of your finances. MoneyHelper brings together the services of three government-supported services that you might have heard of: Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.
Don’t forget that on the money section of our website, there’s a wide range of helpful tips and guidance to help you make the most of your money.
On Rest Less, you can access articles on everyday finance, pensions and retirement planning, wills and inheritance tax, care funding and much more, including budgeting and managing your debts. Use our search tool to browse through articles and find the information you need.
Pensions can be confusing, but they are also really important, so if you are finding it difficult to get to grips with your pension, or are approaching retirement and wondering how best to take an income from it, these are the organisations that could help:
Pension Wise is part of the government’s financial advice and support service, MoneyHelper, and provides people aged 50 and above who have a defined contribution pension with free guidance on their pension choices at retirement. Unlike the rest of the MoneyHelper website, Pension Wise gives you the opportunity to talk about your pension with someone, either face-to-face or over the phone. They will talk about your options and any factors you might consider before helping you make a decision that’s right for you.
You can make an appointment with Pension Wise either online or over the phone (0800 138 3944).
It’s always worth taking advantage of a free appointment with Pension Wise, however if you want advice that’s tailored to you specifically, you’ll also need to speak to a financial advisor, as Pension Wise can only provide general guidance and not individual recommendations. In this case, our guides How to find the right financial advisor for you and How to get advice on your pension might be helpful.
If you’re considering getting financial advice and are looking for somewhere to start, Rest Less Pensions are offering a free Pension Health Check with one of their experts. They can offer you information and guidance on the call and at the end will discuss whether you would benefit from paying for professional financial advice. Capital at risk.
Debt advice and support
Owing money can be extremely stressful if you’re starting to slip behind with your repayments, so it’s really important to seek help as soon as you can. You don’t have to be in debt to contact the following specialist debt advice charities. All of them will be able to provide advice and support, no matter your financial position:
StepChange is the UK’s leading specialist debt charity who help hundreds of thousands of people each year. They offer free and impartial advice, helping people with anything from budgeting and creating financial resilience to detailed debt solutions to help people take control of their debts.
You can access their services either online or over the phone (0800 138 1111)
National Debtline is a debt advice charity that provides free and confidential debt advice for people in England, Wales and Scotland. They offer an advice tool which can help you take control of your finances, or if you’re facing a debt emergency they have a group of advisors that you can talk to. To get help from National Debtline, you can visit their website for information, contact them through a webchat or phone them (0808 808 4000)
Business Debtline is the sister charity of National Debtline and is designed to help self-employed people who are concerned about their finances. They have a number of tools and fact sheets around running the finances of your business and has advisors that you can talk to.
Debt Advice Foundation is a debt advice and education charity which helps people with their problem debt, but also promotes financial literacy. They offer a range of tools, such as a budget planner and a personal debt analyser, as well as a debt advice helpline.
To use the services of the Debt Advice Foundation, you can either visit their website or phone them (0800 043 4050).
Pay Plan is a company which offers free debt advice and debt solutions. If you think you need help, you can fill out a short form on their website or call them (0800 280 2816) and they’ll run through some questions and then explore your options and whether one of their debt solutions are right for you.
Housing is often one of the biggest costs most people will pay each month, so if you are worried about your rent or mortgage payments, or aren’t sure what your rights are, the following might be able to help:
Shelter is a charity that helps people to understand their rights when it comes to housing, whether you rent privately, have a mortgage or live in council housing. They have a range of housing advice guides and a webchat service if you need help and it’s not an emergency. They also have an emergency helpline (0808 800 4444) for urgent housing issues, including being homeless, having nowhere to stay, being worried about losing your home or if you’re at risk of abuse in your home.
Support with Government benefits
Government benefits can be extremely complicated, but it’s important that you get what you’re entitled to, which the following charities and organisations might be able to help with:
Turn2us is a national charity that provides free help to people struggling financially, helping people to understand what benefits they’re entitled to through their Benefits Calculator and any additional support they might be eligible for through their Grants Search. They also have a range of guides that explain benefits for a variety of scenarios as well as a local advice search tool if you need to speak to someone. If you aren’t sure how to move forward, they also have an online form you can fill out to contact one of their teams for help.
Entitledto provides a benefits calculator that is free to use and can help you understand what benefits you might be able to claim. To use the calculator, you’ll need to provide a number of pieces of information, but you can create an account and save your progress so you don’t need to fill out the form multiple times.
Citizens Advice have a range of guides on different government benefits and have a Help to Claim advice service for people appyling for Universal Credit which you can call on:
- England: 0800 144 8 444
- Scotland: 0800 023 2581
- Wales: 08000 241 220.
Help with food costs
If you’re struggling to cover food bills, regardless of the reasons, you might want to consider contacting one of the following for help. You may also want to have a look at our article Everything you need to know about food banks :
The Trussell Trust is one of the biggest networks of food banks in the UK and they offer not just emergency food parcels for those who need them, but they also provide additional support to help people tackle their issues and hopefully won’t need to use a food bank again.
You can find your nearest food bank here, but it’s important to know that to use a Trussell Trust food bank you’ll need to be issued with a food voucher, which you can get from a number of local community organisations, such as schools, GPs and advice agencies. If you aren’t sure where to turn to get a voucher, it’s worth calling the Citizens Advice Help Through Hardship helpline (0808 208 2138). An advisor can talk through your issues and offer you a food voucher if they think you need it.
It’s not just the Trussell Trust that offers food bank services. The Independent Food Aid Network has a map of all the independent food banks across the UK, which you can see here.
Gambling problems can have a real impact on your personal finances and your mental health, so if you feel your gambling habit is getting out of control, it’s worth reaching out to the following:
GamCare provides information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling. They host the National Gambling Helpline, provide treatment for people who have been harmed by gambling and provide education about safer gambling. If you think you need help or support, you can call them for free on 0808 8020 133.
Mental health support
Mental health and money management have a strong connection. If you are feeling unwell, mentally, thinking about money may be extremely difficult and if you are worried about money, it’s likely your mental health will take a hit.
It’s incredibly important to speak to someone if you feel like you’re struggling. Mental health charities understand the impact depression can have on your finances and vice versa, so it’s worth reaching out to one of the following:
Mind is a mental health charity that offers information and advice to people experiencing mental health problems. Mind has a guide that talks about the link between money and mental health, which outlines where to go for support. You can call Mind’s infoline (0300 123 3393 – charged at local rates) for information, or you can email them on [email protected]
Mental Health & Money Advice is an online service that aims to help people understand, manage and improve their financial and mental health. It has a number of guides on applying for government benefits while experiencing mental health problems, tips on managing your money, guides on mental health care and more.
Whatever your financial situation is, remember that you don’t have to face any problems you might be having alone and it’s likely that there’s a charity or organisation that can help you.
If you aren’t sure where to start, or the issue you’re experiencing isn’t covered above, it’s worth contacting your local citizens advice, who can help point you in the right direction.
Have you ever used the services of these charities or organisations? Do you have any suggestions of who to talk to for others facing financial struggles? Leave a comment below, or join the conversation on the community forum.