Cost of living checklist with four steps you can take to manage costs

Government slammed by host for delaying cost of living measures

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People who are struggling with their financial situation could take steps to help manage their costs and tackle their worries in the current climate. With the energy price cap set to rise to £3,549 for an average annual bill from next month, more Britons will be looking for ways to reduce their costs – and they may be able to do so by following key tips. 

Maximising your income

Britons can check they are not being underpaid, by using the national minimum wage calculator and finding out when their employer can make deductions.

A person can also check they are paying the right amount of tax and if tax relief is available on things they need for their job.

Individuals can also check if they can get state benefits using the free benefits calculator and checking the list of benefits on the Government website.

Several groups offer help with applying for support, including Citizens Advice, Age UK and A4U, for people with disabilities.

People over state pension age may be eligible for Pension Credit, to top up their income, with the benefit also providing access to help with council tax and heating bills.

Parents can get help with childcare and school costs, while single parents can get child maintenance support.

Those who rent their property may be eligible for the housing element of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit.

Discretionary housing payments are available to help with a shortfall in rent for a short term period.

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Britons with disabilities can get Personal Independence Payments, with the benefit available to help with daily living and mobility needs.

Carers can also get Carer’s Allowance, or the carer element of Universal Credit, to help towards their daily costs.

Cost-cutting tips

Creating a budget for daily outgoings is a great way to find out precisely how much money is going in and out.

Grants are on offer to help with energy bills, including from the British Gas Energy Trust, which is available to all Britons.

Those struggling to afford food can get supplies from food banks and other local food projects.

Parents can also apply for Healthy Start vouchers, Free school vouchers and the Holiday Activities and Food Programme.

Many water suppliers offer discounts for people on low incomes while social tariffs are available for broadband and phone bills.

Free prescriptions are available for many Britons, or a prepayment certificate can reduce the costs of regular prescriptions.

Borrowing money safely and debt support

Local credit unions can provide help with savings and short-term loans, avoiding expensive payday loans.

Many groups offer help with handling debt, including Citizens Advice, StepChange and the National Debtline.

Reach out for help with mental health issues

Britons can call the Samaritans free of charge to talk confidentially about their problems, on 116 123.

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