How will I pay my bills?

If you’ve lost your job or you’re working less hours, you may be worried about paying your bills. You’re not alone – many others are in the same situation.

Thankfully there’s lots of useful advice out there for managing your financial situation. Here’s some tips we thought might be helpful:

  1. Don’t ignore your bills.  It may seem like the easiest thing to do if everything is getting on top of you, but in the long run it won’t help. Speak to the company that sent the bill to you and tell them your situation.  They may let you pay smaller amounts or they may have support available. Most companies and lenders are acting with understanding during this difficult period – ask them what they can do to help.
  2. If you have debts, get advice about how to handle them. Getting on top of your debts can help you feel more in control of your life and there may be ways of dealing with your debts that you’ve never heard of. There are lots of organisations that can give you expert advice, including: the National Debt Line and Step Change. The Money Advice Service also has a useful debt advice locator so you can find a service near to you.
  3. Make sure you have heating and hot water. If you can’t afford your gas or electricity bill, contact your provider and ask them what they are offering to help customers during this outbreak. If you have a prepayment meter, you can receive credit automatically, through the post, or the company may send someone out to top up on your behalf.  There will be no meter disconnections during this period.
  4. Make sure you can still get food for yourself and your family. You can find your nearest foodbank here. Contact the foodback to find out if you need a referral or a voucher, and ask if they can deliver food if your household is self-isolating. Also check your local council website, as they may have details of local charities who can provide free food.

If you’re worried about your finances, talk to someone and get advice sooner rather than later. And remember, you’re not alone.  For further advice about managing your money, debt, or paying your bills during this difficult time, see Citizens Advice.