Customer news Money Advice Support VIVID Plus

Managing debt

Controlling bills and managing debt, help is to hand.

When times are hard, it is important to understand that financial support is available to keep you in control of your bills and manage any debt. While budgeting and managing money can be a source of stress and anxiety, at VIVID we are on hand to make it as pain free as possible.

Our tenancy support team are dedicated to providing a range of assistance for any circumstance, be it money and benefits advice or finding employment, and have outlined some of the steps you can take to keep on top of your financial responsibilities.

The importance of budgeting

Creating a household budget is a useful place to start when it comes to helping you manage your costs. For example, taking note of when essential payments are due and potentially rescheduling them to ensure they are spread out can be a useful way to avoid being hit by several bills at once.

The government has a useful online tool for budget planning, which you can find here, to help you to understand where your money is being spent, and how much you have coming in. Getting this insight is a useful tool to identifying where potential savings can be made, putting you on the path to managing, and perhaps reducing, your financial outgoings.

Money Saving Expert provides useful budgeting tips as well as a printable budget tool, which you can view and download here.

While these online tools are useful, sometimes you just need someone at the end of the phone guiding you through it. You can reach out to us directly for help here.

Managing your energy bills

For many households, rising energy bills are the greatest source of financial concern. If you find yourself struggling to pay your energy bills, it is worth speaking directly with your energy suppliers as they are able to assist with the following:

  1. checking if you are on the cheapest available tariff.
  2. setting up a payment plan to help manage costs.
  3. extending repayment deadlines.
  4. letting you know if you are eligible for a social tariff if you are on certain benefits.

It is important to be aware that utility companies cannot cut off your supply unless they have proactively taken steps to offer you a range of payment methods to help you pay your bills. Cutting of your supply is a last resort which you must be given notice of.

If you’d like to have a common-sense chat with someone about your energy bills, the starting point could be to contact our Tenancy Support team. They are on hand for friendly advice, and you can schedule a call through the form here.  

Making use of available benefits

During these challenging times, it is important to understand what support is available from local authorities or the national government. Even if you are working, there are schemes and benefits available to you that are worth enquiring about.

As a reminder, you will likely be able to claim benefits if you are:

  1. struggling to afford essential items,
  2. sick and/or disabled,
  3. currently not working or working on a low income,
  4. a pensioner on a low income, or
  5. a carer or a person responsible for children.

The benefits system, however, can be confusing – especially if this is your first time enquiring. It’s worth taking the time to complete benefits calculator where you can see what you could be entitled to.

Additionally, each local council will have its own version of ‘welfare assistance’ or ‘household support fund’ to help households struggling with essential bills. You can find out how to contact your local council on GOV.UK.