Budgeting or increasing your income

Advice to manage your income

There are things that you can do to save money and budget your money better. There may be benefits you are eligible for that could help increase your income. The following table gives an overview of the possible benefits that you might be able to claim depending on your circumstances.

Use GOV.UK benefits calculator

Benefits your may be eligible for:

Other ways that you may be able to increase your income

  • make sure that grown up children or relatives that live with you contribute towards household bills
  • check that you have the right tax code or that you have not overpaid tax on a previous job, contact HMRC
  • if you have children from a former relationship, you may want to claim child support or have an existing award changed. Contact the Child Enforcement Agency
  • if you have been made redundant or are sick, check to see if your loans or credit card are covered by insurance.


There are thousands of charities that can help individuals or families. Some only help specific groups such as people with certain disabilities or ex-service personnel. Most of the utility companies such as British Gas and Thames Water have a charitable trust fund as well. There are also local charities that will provide grants.

The Housing Debt Advice Team has helped hundreds of people to successfully apply for all sorts of grants. If you would like further information you can visit Turn2us.

Rent a room scheme

If you have a spare room in your house you might want to consider the possibility of renting out a room to provide some spare income. You can earn up to £7500 or £3750 if letting jointly per annum before you have to pay tax.

Saving money on bills and switching Suppliers

You can reduce your utility bills by making sure that your home is properly insulated or by not leaving electrical equipment on standby. All the utility companies should be able to give you advice on how to save energy. You can also save money by shopping around for a better deal with other utility suppliers. For help you can visit Uswitch or telephone The Energy Saving Trust on 0300 123 1234 or visit Energy saving trust

If you live alone you may be better off having a water meter fitted as you will only have to pay for the water that you use. For more advice on this contact your water company and request an application form. If you are on a low income you may qualify for the WaterSure scheme which could reduce your water bill by up to 50%. Contact your supplier for information about this.

You can also apply to one of the water trusts for help to clear your water arrears in full. Contact your supplier or visit turn to us for help.

Protecting yourself

If you lose your job or your income goes down, you may need to budget your money carefully until you get a new job. Make sure that you claim on all the insurance and mortgage protection policies that you have taken out.

  • Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance This usually starts 1 month after your earnings stop and is usually paid for 12 months. Check with your lender to see if you have a policy.
  • Payment Protection Insurance You may have taken this out to pay a personal loan or credit card. It works by paying out a set monthly amount for 12 to 24 months. To make a claim check with your creditor to see if you have a policy.

Further advice