You will be receiving all your benefits in one lump sum each month with Universal Credit. This means that you will have to manage your money in a different way to make sure all your important bills are paid on time (including rent, council tax, gas and electricity etc) and to make sure you have enough money to last you for the rest of the month.
The first step to taking control of your finances is doing a budget. It will take a little effort, but it’s a great way to get a quick snapshot of the money you have coming in and going out.
Setting up a budget means you’re:
- Less likely to end up in debt
- Less likely to get caught out by unexpected costs
- More likely to have a good credit rating
- More likely to be accepted for a mortgage or loan
- Able to spot areas where you can make savings
- In a great position to save up for a holiday, a new car, or another treat
What you need
Over half of UK households keep a regular budget. Most say it gives them peace of mind about how much they are spending, and makes them feel better about life in general. Manage your money better with our Budget planner tool.
- To get started on your budget, you’ll need to work out how much you spend on:
- Household bills
- Living costs
- Financial products (insurance…)
- Family and friends (presents…)
- Travel (car costs, public transport…)
- Leisure (holidays, sport, restaurants…)
Check out our Budget Calculator here
The Money Advice Service has lots of useful budgeting hints and tips
How to pay bills on time
It can be difficult to manage bills, especially if they are starting to pile up. That’s why we’ve pulled together a few tips to help you stay on top of your finances:
Get organised. Get a folder and keep your bills in it. If your bills are digital, put them in a file on your computer. Keep track of when they need to be paid.
Choose a payment method that suits you. Direct debit is usually the cheapest and easiest way to pay bills, but there are other options.
Check your bills regularly. This means you’ll spot any mistakes and will notice if your bills rise and fall. Pick a day each month and use a calendar or an app to make sure you don’t forget. You can check payments on your bank statements.
Don’t let your bills get on top of you. If you’re struggling to pay your bills, don’t ignore the problem, because it will only get worse.
Make sure you’re not paying too much. Read the Money Advice Service guide on How to save money on household bills, to cut hundreds of pounds off your bills.
Worried about Universal Credit? Want some advice? Our Money Support Team is out and about near you to support you through Universal Credit. Find out more
Last modified on February 18th, 2020 at 2:53 pm