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Finance tips that will help you with the Cost of Living

Citizen Advice has provided the following articles to help you as the cost of living rises.

Article 1

You may be able to claim benefits, even if you are not on a low income or unemployed

Theme: Maximising your income

There is often a misconception that you can only claim benefits if you are unemployed or on a low income. Lots of benefits do not take into account your income at all such as if you or someone in your household has a disability. Do not delay, if you or someone in your household is on a low income, is looking for work, sick or disabled, a carer, a parent or guardian, or is pregnant check what your are entitled to using the Turn2Us benefits calculator https://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/

Please note if you or someone in your household currently get Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit or Housing Benefit, do not move to Universal Credit until you get advice as you may be worse off. Call Citizens Advice Universal Credit Help to Claim helpline between 8am and 6pm on 0800 144 8 444


Article 2

Get help with your energy bills

Theme: Minimising outgoings

If you’re worried about your energy bills, we’re here.

Read our self-help advice


You can contact Energy Projects Plus 0800 043 0151 for energy advice and tips. If you have fuel debts please contact Citizens Advice Wirral www.citizensadvicewirral.org.uk and ask for support to help write off your fuel debts


Article 3

Check if you can earn some of your salary ‘tax free’

Theme: Maximising income

You don’t have to pay tax on everything you earn. You can earn an amount tax-free that’s your ‘personal allowance’. You might pay less tax if you’re married or in a civil partnership or you’re registered blind or you spend money on things that are essential for your job.

You might be able to save on the amount of tax you pay if you’re married or in a civil partnership.

If you were born on or after 6 April 1935

You can claim Marriage Allowance if:

  • you’re earning less than £11,850 a year
  • your husband, wife or civil partner earns between £11,851 and £46,350 a year

The allowance lets you transfer some of your Personal Allowance to your partner – this means they can save on the tax they pay.

You can apply for Marriage Allowance on GOV.UK.

If you or your partner were born before 6 April 1935

You can claim Married Couple’s Allowance. This could save you between £336 and £869.50 a year.

Use the Married Couple’s Allowance calculator on GOV.UK to find out what you could get.

You can claim Blind Person’s Allowance if you’re registered with your local council as blind or severely sight impaired. You’ll be able to earn an extra amount tax-free – this is on top of your Personal Allowance.

You have to claim Blind Person’s Allowance – you won’t get it automatically. Check how to claim on GOV.UK.

If you spend your own money on things that are essential for your job

You can sometimes pay less tax if you have to spend your own money on things that are essential for your job – this is called ‘tax relief’.

You can’t claim tax relief on things you also use outside of work, or if your employer pays you back for what you’ve spent.

Things you could claim tax relief for include:

  • special clothing for work, such as a uniform or protective clothing
  • membership of professional bodies
  • tools for your job

Check if you can get tax relief and how to claim on GOV.UK.


Article 4

Save for a rainy day, holidays or Christmas

Theme: Making wise financial choices

It’s important to save for unexpected costs such as your washing machine or cooker breaking and to save for more expensive times of the year such as Christmas or holidays. A great way to save is through a Credit Union. To find your nearest Credit Union go to www.findyourcreditunion.co.uk/ Once you start saving you can also get low cost loans from your Credit Union


Article 5

Don’t lend money from Loan Sharks and get help if you have

Theme: Keeping your money safe

Loan sharks are ruthless predators, preying on people who need access to money quickly

If you’re struggling with loan sharks or worried about a loved one, speak to Stop Loan Sharks today on 0300 555 2222. For tips and advice see their website www.stoploansharks.co.uk


Article 6

Get money off your Council tax bill

Theme: Minimising outgoings

You may be entitled to Council Tax Support if you are a single person, a care leaver or if someone in your household has a disability. Do you know some people are not counted, when working out the number of adults in your household including full time students, student nurses, apprentices earning £195? If you live in Wirral go to Council Tax Support.

If you live in another area Google your council name and council tax discount

Article 7

Deal with your debts

Theme: Minimising outgoings

If you have debts and are struggling to pay, there are things you can do to help you get out of debt.

There are different options depending on whether you have enough money to pay off the debts or if you have little or no money to pay off your debts. You might also be able to get breathing space from your creditors if you are getting mental health crisis treatment.

Don’t lose sleep over your debts, find out more about your options here..



Article 8

Help is out there if you are struggling

Theme: Getting help when you need it

If you are struggling with your bills or paying debts, or do not have enough money coming in and need extra help contact your local Citizens Advice and get help.

Wirral: www.citizensadvicewirral.org.uk/email-advice-form/


Visit Citizens Advice online: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/get-help-with-the-cost-of-living/