With the cost of living at an all time high for the past 30 years with inflation going through the roof, it can feel overwhelming knowing how to cope financially.
Navigating through financial information can feel like a minefield, and it's very difficult to know what tools are out there to help.
According to The Money & Pensions Service, in the UK...
- 11.5m people currently have less than £100 in savings.
- 9m often borrow to pay for food/bills.
- 22m say they don’t know enough to plan for their retirement.
- 5.3m children don’t get a meaningful financial education.
If you're in need of some extra support on the financial front, here are three tools and services from the Money & Pension Service that could help you manage your money, build your savings pot, and even access a trust fund you didn't know you had...
The 'Money Navigator' tool is aimed at those who have been impacted financially by Covid-19.
This helpful tool provides you with expert guidance and helps you become aware of all of the options out there.
How to use it:
- Answer a set of simple questions to assess if you are struggling with finances following the pandemic (see preview below).
- It takes no more than 5 minutes, and by the end you are provided with expert advice about what steps you can take moving forward in your financial journey.
Help to Save is a type of savings account for people on low incomes who claim certain benefits. It gives you a bonus payment from the government of up to 50% on savings paid into the account.
Help to Save accounts are available to those who:
- Are receiving Working Tax Credit
- Have a nil award for Working Tax Credit but are receiving Child Tax Credits
- Are claiming Universal Credit and have earned a minimum of £604.56 in their last assessment period.
Once opened, you cannot close and then reopen another Help to Save account.
Child Trust Funds
- Funds set up by parents/guardians - long-term tax-free fund. They have now been replaced by Junior ISAs.
- Children can take control of the account from age 16, and have access at 18.
Interestingly, lots of young people don't realise that they can often have money stored in trust funds that they are able to access. The Share Foundation estimates that two million Child Trust Fund accounts are lost to young people they were set up for. This can be due to them merely being forgotten about, or if parents have not updated their address. Lost accounts can be easily found again via the HMRC website here.
Child Trust Funds and Young People with Disabilities
- Many young people might not have the mental capacity to manage money in a Trust Fund. In this case, a Deputy will be appointed (usually a family member) to make decisions about the fund. There can often be fees involved in the appointing of a Deputy. For more info click here.
For more information and advice regarding financial issues and what tools and services are out there to help you, please visit the Money and Pensions Service.
For general tips on how to save money on an everyday basis, and our top 5 money-saving apps, click here.