We’re committed to ensuring you make the most of your money and, with the coming changes to welfare reform and benefits, we want to help you make your money go further.

To make the most of your money, you need to ensure you have the right and affordable options available to you. Our Money Wise team can help you by highlighting the options readily available for essential products, such as a basic bank account or how to access low cost credit.

 

The team are here to help you with a range of queries, from budgeting and reviewing your spending to benefits, debts, fuel poverty, and sourcing furniture. If you need to speak to someone about money matters, please contact MoneyWise@calico.org.uk or call 01282 686300.

TOP TIPS!

Don't be left out

Financial Inclusion is a nationwide problem and, due to the changes in how benefits are paid, you will need a bank account in order to receive all of your benefits, including housing benefit, child benefit, tax credits, etc. Our Money Wise team is here to help you access goods and services which are affordable and suitable for your individual needs and abilities.

Don't pay a 'poverty premium'

By switching to direct debit for bills such as gas and electricity, you can save over £100 each year in some cases.

Open a Bank Account

If you don’t already have a basic bank account, our Money Wise Team can assist you in opening an account to have your benefits paid into and to use services such as direct debits and standing orders, so you can benefit from discounts on your monthly bills.

Avoid Loan Sharks

Loan Sharks, weekly payment stores, payday loans and door step lenders can have very high interest rates, which means you can pay back more than double what you borrowed. Our Money Wise Team can help you access low cost credit from Pennine Community Credit Union. To report a loan shark, contact the team on stoploansharks@lancashire.gov.uk or text: loan (space) shark (space) + your message to 60003.

Avoid Fuel Poverty

If you are spending more than 10% of your household income on gas, electricity and water bills, you are in fuel poverty. Our Money Wise team can help you review your bills and spending, become more energy efficient, switch providers, or even apply for a grant to help reduce your arrears.

Maximise your income

If you find you regularly run out of money before payday, or before your benefits are paid, you may need help putting together a realistic budget to live on. We can help you review your spending and suggest ways to reduce your non-essential spending whilst keeping on-top of your important bills, such as your rent, council tax, gas, electric and water.

Are you getting everything you're entitled to?

There are thousands of people in the UK who are entitled to a number of benefits but don’t claim them as they are not aware of what they are entitled to. Speak to our Money Wise Team for a benefit check to ensure you are receiving everything you qualify for.

Be a Savvy Shopper

Use vouchers and discount codes, and shop around for the best deals on your weekly shopping. You could save on your weekly shop by switching to the supermarkets’ own brands or by taking advantage of ‘buy one get one free’ deals. The Money Wise Team can give you practical advice on how to shop and cook on a budget, and how to make your money go further.

Smarterbuys

Smarterbuys is a website designed for social housing tenants. It offers essential household items at a significant discount, with access to responsible credit.

One of the main advantages of using Smarterbuys is the choice of payment options – if you don’t have a bank account, you can print a barcode and make a cash payment at a Paypoint or Post Office. Smarterbuys also helps to direct you through to your local credit union.

There is no fee for customers to register with or use Smarterbuys.

For more information, visit the Smarterbuys website.