Budgeting or increasing your income

Advice to manage your income

There are things that you can do to save money and budget your money better. There may be benefits you are eligible for that could help increase your income. The following table gives an overview of the possible benefits that you might be able to claim depending on your circumstances.

Use Gov.uk benefits calculator

 Circumstance
Potential Benefit

 Housing Problems
 (Mortgage)

Help with mortgage interest payments (SMI) which is now a loan  if you receive a qualifying benefit such as Job Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance  Pension Credit, Income Support or Universal Credit

 Housing Problems
 (Renting)

Housing Benefit, Universal Credit or a Discretionary Housing Payment

 Sick and unable to work (Tenant)

Employment and Support Allowance, Statutory Sick Pay, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Universal Credit

 Sick and unable to work (Have a mortgage)

Employment and Support Allowance, Statutory Sick Pay, Council Tax  Reduction, Help with mortgage interest (normally after 13 weeks of claim and now a loan)

 Unemployed (looking for work)

Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Council Reduction, Help with mortgage interest after 13 weeks of claim if you own your property, now a loan

 Unemployed but not seeking work, i.e.
 lone parents who look after children under 5

Income Support, housing benefit if a tenant, help with mortgage interest if you have a mortgage, now a loan, Council Tax Reduction

 Working but don’t have enough to live on

Working Tax Credit, (including help with child care) Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction

 Responsible for children

Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Guardians Allowance, Statutory Adoption Pay, Health Benefits i.e. free prescriptions, dentist and opticians for the children

 Caring for someone for 35 hours per week, and they receive DLA or AA

Carers Allowance, Income Support (if no other income)

 Retired

State Retirement Pension, Pension Credit, Winter Fuel Payment

 Disabled

Disability Living Allowance for under 16’s, Attendance Allowance (over 65), Industrial Injuries Benefit, Personal Independence Payment over 16’s

 Pregnant

Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance, Sure Start Maternity Grant, Health Benefits

 Bereaved

Bereavement Payment, Widowed Parents Allowance, Bereavement Allowance, Funeral Expenses Payment

 Emergency or one off need

Community Care Grant, Budgeting Loan Local Emergency Support

Other ways that you may be able to increase your income

  • Make sure that grown up children or relatives that live with you contribute towards household bills
  • Check that you have the right tax code or that you have not overpaid tax on a previous job, contact HMRC
  • If you have children from a former relationship, you may want to claim child support or have an existing award changed. Contact the Child Enforcment Agency
  • If you have been made redundant or are sick, check to see if your loans or credit card are covered by insurance.

Charities

There are thousands of charities that can help individuals or families. Some only help specific groups such as people with certain disabilities or ex-service personnel. Most of the utility companies such as British Gas and Thames Water have a charitable trust fund as well. There are also local charities that will provide grants to Aylesbury residents.

The Housing Debt Advice Team has helped hundreds of people to successfully apply for all sorts of grants. If you would like further information you can call a Housing Debt Advice Team or you can visit Turn2us

Rent a Room Scheme

If you have a spare room in your house you might want to consider the possibility of renting out a room to provide some spare income. You can earn up to £7500 or £3750 if letting jointly per annum before you have to pay tax.

Saving money on bills and switching Suppliers

You can reduce your utility bills by making sure that your home is properly insulated or by not leaving electrical equipment on standby. All the utility companies should be able to give you advice on how to save energy. You can also visit Home Heat Helpline for further information about this. Energy Made Clear is another useful website. You can also save money by shopping around for a better deal with other utility suppliers. For help you can visit Uswitch or telephone The Energy Saving Trust on 0300 123 1234 or visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk           .

If you live alone you may be better off having a water meter fitted as you will only have to pay for the water that you use. For more advice on this contact your water company and request an application form. If you are on a low income you may qualify for the Watersure scheme which coul;d reduce your water bill by upto 50%. Contact your supplier for information about this.

You can also apply to one of the water trusts for help to clear your water arrears in full. Contact your supplier or visit turn to us for help.

Protecting yourself

If you lose your job or your income goes down, you may need to budget your money carefully until you get a new job. Make sure that you claim on all the insurance and mortgage protection policies that you have taken out.

  • Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance This usually starts 1 month after your earnings stop and is usually paid for 12 months. Check with your lender to see if you have a policy.
  • Payment Protection Insurance You may have taken this out to pay a personal loan or credit card. It works by paying out a set monthly amount for 12 to 24 months. To make a claim check with your creditor to see if you have a policy.

Other help

Bucks County Council may also be able to help with the following;

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