Together with Citizens Advice, Robert Buckland MP is inviting Swindon resident to try out five tips to help them keep on top of their bills and save money:
● Build your budget – List your regular income and spending to help stay on top of your money and save for unexpected costs or the future. You can use the Citizens Advice online Budgeting Tool.
● Drill those bills – Check with your energy provider that you are on the best deal. Ask your local Citizens Advice if they are running Energy Best Deal group advice sessions or use Citizens Advice’s price comparison tool for help cutting your energy bills.
● Control your credit – If you have debts, keep a list of them and compare it with your monthly budget. If you think you will struggle to pay some of them, ask your local Citizens Advice for help negotiating with your creditors.
● Plan your pension – If you are able to, you should top up your State Pension with your own pension to make sure you’ll have enough money to see you through retirement. Pension Wise offers free, impartial guidance if you are over 50 and on a defined contribution scheme.
● Seek advice – Citizens Advice offers free, impartial advice on money management and other issues. However, for more complex issues like buying a house or considering investments, you may wish to consider paying to speak to an Independent Financial Adviser. Organisations like the Personal Finance Society can help you get in touch with Independent Financial Advisers.
Robert met people from across the charity’s network at an event in Parliament on Tuesday 2 February. He heard about how local Citizens Advice are working with people across England and Wales to help them work out a budget, save money on bills and build confidence using online and mobile banking. Citizens Advice can also help people understand the benefits of seeing an Independent Financial Adviser.
Citizens Advice helped 3626 people in the South West improve their financial skills between April 2014 and March 2015.
Robert said: “We can all benefit from being one step ahead with our finances. Developing money management skills can give a real sense of security and helps put you in charge of your money, keep on top of bills and avoid unaffordable debt.
“As South Swindon’s MP, I work closely with the CAB on many issues. I would encourage anyone who wants to improve their money management skills to contact their local Citizens Advice.”
Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said: “Managing your money better can help keep your family and home secure. Getting help with planning a budget can put people in a better position to pay for daily costs and cope with sudden expenses, such as emergency car repairs. Shopping around and negotiating with energy and broadband suppliers can also help to reduce your bills.
“Anyone looking to save money on their day-to-day costs can get help from their local Citizens Advice or by checking our website www.citizensadvice.org.uk