Cost of Living (Financial Inclusion)

Overall, nearly two-thirds (63%) of UK adults have been concerned about a friend, family member or colleague’s mental wellbeing, linked to money worries.

Of those who have been worried, the most common signs include changes in mood and temperament, trouble sleeping, and being anxious, stressed or lacking in confidence to contact the bank.

You can use the MECC approach to look out for these signs and enable people to access help, guidance and advice on mental health, debt and money management. There is a wide range of guidance available from the Money Helper website which has been incorporated below.

This section also provides local support and contact details for organisations that can help with the cost of living.

Very Brief Intervention

Ask

Always try to empathise, acknowledging that it is normal to worry about money issues but also reassure that there is lots of free help available.  See ACT section for details of organisations that provide free debt advice. 

Do you have any worries relating to money, budgeting, borrowing or debt?

For Budgeting

How confident are you about budget setting, sticking to it and how to save?

Did you know that Money Helper provides a range of management tips, including how to set up a budget, sticking to it and how to save?  Would you like some further information on this?

For Debt

Did you know that Money Helper offers a range of free advice on anything that you might be struggling to pay for?  Would you like some information on this?

Did you know that there are lots of free debt advice services available across the UK?  Would you like further information on these?

For Borrowing

Before borrowing money have you considered whether

  • you need to spend the money
  • you have other ways of financing the purchase, and
  • you can afford to pay back the money you‚Äôre planning to borrow

If you need to borrow money, have you considered the cost of borrowing and where you would source this from?

The Money Helper service has advice on different sources of borrowing as well as advice on good debt and bad debt.  Would you like some further information on this?

For Rising Cost of Energy

Would you like some further information on what support is available to you?

Did you know that the energy price cap only applies to the units you use, it doesn't mean that energy bills are capped at 2.5k?

  • To avoid any confusion confirm that the price cap only applies to the unit cost of energy, Not your total bill.¬† The 2.5K is what an average household will pay, so if you use more than this, your will pay more than this.

Assist

For Budgeting

Taking the time to manage your money better can really pay off.  It can help you stay on top of your bills and save £1,000s each year.

Would you like some helpful information on managing your money?

Beginner's guide to managing your money | MoneyHelper

For Debt and Borrowing

Would you like some information on that could assist you with paying for household bills?

Money Helper - Help if you’re struggling with debt

Would you like some further information on the many different free and recommended debt advice service that are available either nationally or locally?

  • Re-assure them that the debt adviser will never judge them or make them feel bad about¬†their situation and that they will work with¬†the person¬†to find way find ways to manage¬†their debts even if¬†they think¬†they have no spare money.
  • Re-assure them that most people who get debt advice feel less stressed or anxious and more in control of their life again.

Act

National Support Services

The Money Helper Service was set up by the Government and offers free impartial advice including

  • Advice and guides to help improve your finances
  • Tools and calculators to help keep track and plan ahead
  • Support over the phone and online

https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en

0800 1387777 (free phone)

Got a question?  You can start a Webchat online.

Webchat opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
  • Saturday, 8am to 3pm
  • Sunday and Bank Holidays, closed.

WhatsApp: Need help sorting out your debts, have credit questions or want pensions guidance? You can talk to the team live on WhatsApp.

Citizens Advice Service

The Citizens Advice Service can help you to make the right choices, including help to deal with your debt problems, how to avoid losing your home and how to get your finances back into shape.  Citizens Advice also offer advice on Benefits and Tax credits as it's important to make sure that you get all the help that you're entitled to.

03444 111 444

National Debtline

National Debtline has helped millions of people with their debts. They'll talk you through options and give clear advice on how to take back control.

0808 808 4000

StepChange Debt Charity

StepChange helps change the lives of thousands of people every week. Their expert advice is impartial and personalised to each individual situation.

0800 138 1111

PayPlan

PayPlan's supportive, non-judgemental team of advisers help thousands of people beat their debts every year, and treat all of their calls with the strictest confidence.

0800 280 2816

Debt Advice Foundation

The Debt Advice Foundation is a national debt advice and education charity offering free, confidential support and advice to anyone worried about debt.

0800 622 61 51

Credit Unions

Credit unions can help those who can't get access to ordinary bank products.

Rising cost of Energy

If you are struggling to pay for energy or think you may get into difficulty, contact your supplier.

The energy regulator rules mean suppliers must offer payment plans you can afford and you can ask for ‚Äėemergency credit‚Äô if you use a prepay meter and can‚Äôt top up.

Save money off your Gas Bill

Turning down a single setting will make your boiler work more efficiently, saving around £129 a year for the average household.  It only takes a few minutes to lower your flow temperature, and it can be changed back instantly. There’s nothing to lose by trying it.  Advice from Nesta, the UK's innovation agency for social good.

Walkthrough - Money Saving Boiler Challenge

Local Support and Contact Details