Help with your finances

Trying to keep on top of your finances can at first be difficult and stressful. We are here to help you. Sage has partnered with different charities and organisations who can offer more specialist support to assist you to get control of your finances.

We know that managing your finances can be hard at times and we do appreciate that it can be a difficult thing to navigate. At Sage, we are always here to help you receive the best support, whether it’s through us or with external agencies.   

You can be sure, you are not alone. Further information and advice and a list of helpful resources and tools on the subjects of finance, managing debt and available benefits can be found below.

Help with your finances

It is estimated that up to £20 billion of welfare benefits go unclaimed every year in the UK. This means that you and your family may not be getting the support that you are entitled to. Use our benefits calculator to find out what benefits and other sources of financial help you may be entitled to. It takes around 10 minutes to complete and is a starting point to understanding what additional support you may be missing out on.

The best way to manage your finances is to first know your income and outgoings to understand what you can and cannot afford. Use our budgeting tool see how you can effectively manage your finances. This can also assist us when it comes to helping you set up any payment arrangement if you were to find yourself in arrears of your rent account.

Turn2Us

Turn2US is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially. From dealing with rising energy prices to navigating taxes, they can support you through financial difficulty.

They have a Grants Search tool to check for grants and goods that you might be eligible for and also get help from utilities providers. The grants do not have to be paid back, check the link - https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk . 

Step Change

StepChange Debt Charity is the UK’s leading debt advice charity. They help over 630,000 people each year deal with their money worries and take back control of their lives.

Their service is free, impartial and they never judge.  Every client receives expert personalised advice to help them deal with their debts.

Whether you need debt advice, a way to get back on track after the financial effects of coronavirus, or support with budgeting or managing persistent debt, StepChange can help. They’ll look at your individual circumstances and recommend a course of action.

Visit their website at http://www.stepchange.org  to get advice online or call them on  0800 138 1111  Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-4pm to take the first step towards taking back control of your finances.

Universal Credit is a monthly payment for working-age people who are on a low income or out of work.

It replaces the following benefits:

  • Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit

Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears, so you'll have to wait 1 month and 7 days before your first payment. Therefore it's a good idea to make extra payments on your rent accounts to build up a credit. Once your Universal Credit is in payment, you will be responsible for budgeting for your rent. Please contact us if you feel you are at risk of falling behind or cannot make your rent payments.

If you're eligible, claiming Universal Credit is usually done online Contact us about applying for Universal Credit - Citizens Advice, but if you need support, you can call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

Money issues can lead to mental health issues but when you already suffer from mental health and have money issues on top, it can be very detrimental. Do not suffer in silence. People with mental health problems are three and a half times as likely to be in problem debt. Mind has a wealth of experience in helping people to manage their mental health, but specific  advice on money worries  too.

It’s important to prioritise paying gas and electricity bills because if you don’t pay them there is a risk of being cut off by your gas or electricity supplier. If you use a prepayment meter you should contact your energy supplier if you are struggling - they may be able to provide short-term emergency top-ups. Find out more on the Fuel Bank advice page.

Connect for Help – Connect for help is a free service that is helping people reduce their energy bills, stay warm and access the local help available to them. 

They can:

  • Help you with issues related to your energy supplier, your bill or your meter
  • Check if you’re on the best energy tariff
  • Direct you to other local support in your area from charities and public bodies

Government heating discounts:

  • Warm Home Discount - You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2021 to 2022 if you get a pension credit or have a low income under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
  • Winter fuel payments - If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a 'Winter Fuel Payment’.
  • Cold weather payments - If you’re getting certain benefits and the temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, 0oC or below for 7 consecutive days then you may qualify for Cold weather payments.

One of the biggest household costs are food bills. There will be information about support on your local council’s website, but there are also other places you can seek help:

Local food banks are community organisations that can help if you can't afford the food you need. Food banks work with frontline professionals (like doctors, social workers and Citizens Advice) to make referrals and provide food bank vouchers. You can contact your local food bank and ask for additional advice using the searchable map on the Trussel Trust website.

Healthy Start vouchers - If you’re pregnant or have a child under 4, the Healthy Start scheme can help you buy basic foods like milk or fruit. Find out more on the NHS website

Apply for free school meals - Check if your child can get free school meals in England and find out how to apply on your local authority’s website. Find out how to apply for free school meals