cost of living

Is the cost of living affecting your finances?



We know that many members are feeling the effect of the rise in cost of living, particularly when it comes to energy bills and utilities. The squeeze on finances can be hard for many people, having to make harder choices about how far their income will go to meeting household expenses.


Explore below for information and ideas aimed at helping members understand and manage the impact of the cost of living increases.


The information we provide is not financial advice, as we are not regulated to give specific advice; this information is provided to help members seek out options and ideas for improving their financial situation.


Read more by selecting your topic and clicking the + symbol.

Energy Costs

British Gas Energy Trust Financial Support

If you’re struggling with money and energy debt, you are not alone. The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charitable trust set up to support families and individuals who are struggling to pay their bills across England, Wales and Scotland, no matter which energy company you are with.


The Trust offers funds to write off energy debt of up to £2,500




Other Financial Help with Energy Costs

Here is a  list of energy suppliers that may offer grants to customers.


Government Financial Assistance Towards Energy Costs

The government has announced various packages of support, some of which relate
specifically to energy use and others more broadly to help with the rising cost of living



Prepayment and Smart Meters

Being on a prepayment meter is more expensive than a standard credit meter (2% on
average) and there are fewer tariffs to choose from; although at the moment, the standard
price capped tariff is the cheapest. It can be a helpful way of budgeting for some people, but
it comes at a cost.



Household Costs

Ideas for Food Budgetting

As times are getting hard for some of our members, below are some links to help with food budgeting and how to make quick cheap meals:


BBC Food Collections


Asda budget meals under a pound


Goodto: cheap family meals


Savings4savvymums: 5-days-5-meals 50 budget meals


Mobile, Internet, TV

If you are behind with mobile and internet costs, you should be able to get help from most providers.

Contact your provider and ask what they can do to help. For example, they might agree to help you by:

  • giving you a payment plan
  • reducing your bill
  • giving you more time to pay
  • increasing your data or download limit
  • moving you to a contract that suits your needs better



Money Saving Expert

Explore Money Saving Expert for ideas and information on how to save money on a wide range of household expenses



Online Budget Planner

Our free Budget Planner puts you in control of your household spending and analyses your results to help you take control of your money. It’s already helped hundreds of thousands of people.



Ideas for further help

Dealing with debt

Dealing with debt

Are you struggling to keep up with multiple debt repayments.


Try this useful debt advice locator.

Finding Money Guidance

Finding Money Guidance

Looking for Money Guidance but don’t know where to begin?


The Money Helper Navigator Tool can help you find the help you need.

Claiming Universal Credit?

Claiming Universal Credit?

Get information and guidance if you are on Universal Credit or will soon be claiming it.

More useful links

Ideas, events and information on a wide variety of help


Bolton Council Cost of Living Help