Skip to main content

CHS's guide on where to get money help and advice in Cambridgeshire

Posted on 09 March 2022

HCP member CHS Group have put together a guide on where to get money help and advice in Cambridgeshire.

If you are worried about money, please use this guide to help you. The sooner you take action the better and we can help you to work through all these suggested actions.

Step 1 - Check your entitlements

A benefits check will tell you if there is more money help with your everyday living and housing costs. This could include:

  • Universal Credit
  • Disability and Carers benefits
  • Pension credit
  • Help with childcare costs

Always seek help from a specialist adviser if you are applying for a carer or disability/health related benefit.

Other help you can quickly apply for:

Help in an emergency

Step 2 – Make a budget

Using a budget planner, go through everything you spend – not just regular bills but all expenses, e.g., haircut, pet food, clothes. Keeping a daily record of spending is very helpful.

Step 3 – Save money on everyday costs 

Energy (Gas and Electric)

  • Check with your supplier if you’re getting the best deal – at the moment with high energy prices a fixed deal may not suit you but ask your energy supplier for advice

  • Take meter readings regularly to see how much you are using and consider a smart meter

  • If you are on prepayment meter, try and top up regularly all year

  • If you are older, have young children and /or a health condition or disability ask to go onto the priority services register with your supplier

  • Energy saving tips here: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/hub/quick-tips-to-save-energy/

  • http://makingmoneycount.org.uk/bills-and-debt/energy/

Water

Phone/Internet/TV packages

  • BT, Talk Talk, Hyperoptic, VirginMedia and KCOM offer discounted rates for households on relevant benefits. More information here Cheaper broadband and phone packages - Ofcom

  • Use a comparison site to check that you are on the best deal available. Review your subscriptions and ensure that you are only paying for what you need

  • TV Licence: If you watch or record live TV or use BBC iPlayer without a licence, you may be prosecuted and fined up to £1000.

Step 4 – Take action on debt

  • Contact a debt advice agency - if you have bills or borrowing that you cannot afford, get free, independent debt advice from a regulated service. A debt advisor can help you get some breathing space to manage your situation better and work out the best way forward.

  • Citizens Advice Rural Cambs - call 0808 278 7807 or chat with an online debt service

  • Cambridge & District Citizens Advice - call 0808 278 7808 or visit Home - Citizens Advice Cambridge & District (cambridgecab.org.uk)

  • StepChange - call 0800 138 1111 or visit StepChange Debt Charity - Free Expert Debt Advice.

  • Avoid loan sharks - Loan sharks take advantage of people struggling who feel they have nowhere else to turn. If you are offered money with little paperwork but high charges avoid and contact the free helpline on 0300 555 2222.

Step 5 – Useful websites