If you need financial support or advice, the following organisations or services might be able to help you.
The Money Helper website joins up money and pensions advice, making it quicker and easier to find the right help. It brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers: the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. There are links to online tools and advice about a huge range of topics, including banking, credit, pensions and savings.
Citizens Advice Plymouth and Improving Lives Plymouth also work together with Plymouth City Council to provide a joined-up information and advice service across the city, known as Advice Plymouth. This includes a drop-in service and telephone service from Monday to Friday.
If you’re struggling financially, make sure you’re claiming all the benefits you’re entitled to. Citizens Advices had a useful benefits calculator so you can check what you’re entitled to. It’s free to use and the details you provide are anonymous.
Budgeting and saving money
Citizens Advice has an online budgeting tool to help you understand what you’re spending money on and where you might be able to cut costs.
Money Helper has guidance on how to get started with saving.
Money Saving Expert also has lots of advice and tips related to income and budgeting.
The Government’s Help for Households website has details of businesses providing discounts and offers to help with the cost of living.
If you are struggling with debt, please don’t struggle alone. There are a number of support services available that can help you speak to a trained and experienced debt advisor.
You can search for the closest face-to-face service to you on Money Helper.
The following national organisations also offer online services, some of which are available 24 hours a day:
- StepChange Debt Charity
- Citizens Advice
- Financial Wellness Group
- Money Adviser Network
- National Debtline
Support in a crisis
We work with partners across the city to provide support in a financial crisis, for example if you’ve started a new job and won’t be paid for a while or if you have received an unexpected bill that affects your ability to make day-to-day payments.
We may be able to refer you to the Foodbank for support with food, clothes for job interviews and budgeting advice. Find out more about how to apply for a crisis referral.
Grants for the Armed Forces community
In response to the increasing cost of living, the Royal British Legion has launched Everyday Needs Grants, providing up to £2,400 over 12 months for members of the Armed Forces community.
The grants programme aims to help with everyday essentials, such as kitchen appliances, clothes and energy costs. It’s open to anyone who is eligible for Royal British Legion support, which includes serving personnel or those who have previously served.
Find out more and apply on the Royal British Legion website.
Be scam aware
Scammers are likely to try and take advantage of the cost of living crisis. Be alert for any scams, for example if you’re approached by someone unexpectedly or if an offer seems too good to be true.
Take Five To Stop Fraud has lots of advice about scams, including the different types of scam and what to do if you think you have been scammed. Take Five advise you to:
- Stop: take a moment to stop and thing before parting with your money or information
- Challenge: could it be fake? It’s ok to reject or ignore requests for money or information, especially if you feel pressured
- Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve been scammed and report it to Action Fraud.
Citizens Advice has a useful tool to help you check if something may be a scam and you can also report scams to them.
Be aware of loan sharks – illegal money lenders who are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will often charge very high levels of interest and may use intimidation or threats of violence to frighten people into paying back a loan. If you’ve already borrowed from a loan shark, the important thing to remember is that you haven't broken the law and there is help available.
Find more advice, including alternatives to loan sharks, on Money Helper.