Improving your financial situation: our practical guide

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Find out how you can improve your financial situation with our practical guide. 

Improving your financial situation has never been so important. With food costs spiralling upwards and energy bills soaring, it’s a really worrying time. Taking control of your money can help you feel more at ease in the months ahead and lessen the stress of the cost of living crisis. 

There are a few practical tips and techniques you can try to improve your financial situation.

Create a budget

It sounds simple, but creating a realistic and effective budget can hugely improve your financial situation. Knowing what money you have coming in and going out every month will help you work out how much you have left over and help you feel in control.

Learn how to build a budget. 

Start saving

Saving money each month might seem overwhelming when you’ve already tightened the purse strings, but you’ll be so glad you did when an unexpected cost arises. Start small and manageable. You can set your account up to transfer the money to a savings account automatically so you don’t get chance to spend it.

Learn how to budget and get to grips with your finances with CAP’s money coaching resources.

Know what you’re entitled to

Depending on your circumstances, you might be entitled to new or increased benefits, such as Universal Credit or Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Use a benefits calculator to find out if you can access financial support.

Get advice about your debt

If you’re in debt, taking control of your financial situation can feel impossible. Getting help from a free, reputable debt advice organisation like CAP, StepChange or Citizens Advice can give you the opportunity to find a solution that works for you, whether that’s repaying what you owe or pursuing an insolvency option.

You can see if CAP has a Debt Centre local to you, or use MoneyHelper to find other debt advice.

If you are struggling with debt and have concerns about your gas and electricity bills rising, we can offer you advice as part of our free debt help service. We will also help you access any support you are entitled to and assist with budgeting.

We recommend contacting Trussell Trust who may be able to help you find a local food bank or other support. There may also be a local independent foodbank in your area you could contact. If you are working with us as a CAP client there may be other support we can help you access depending on your situation.

Your local council may be able to help you get a fuel voucher. You could visit Fuel Bank Foundation if you’re located in England, Wales or Scotland. If you’re located in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you could also visit National Energy Action for advice. If you are working with us as a CAP client there may be other support we can help you access depending on your situation. 

If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, find out what support is available here.

Get the debt help you need

Find out more