Tag Archives: benefits

Planning a baby on a budget

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sleeping babyHaving a baby is one of the biggest changes that can happen in your life and with the costs of raising a child going up, it’s important to plan ahead.

Hormonal ups and downs bring feelings of excitement, anxiety, nervousness, elation and fear; but along with managing all these emotions your finances play a massive part in preparation for a baby.

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Top 5 debt news stories for January 2017

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It’s been busy start to the year, with news that HSBC is to redress around £4m to customers after the regulator found unfair charges were added to some of its customer’s debts. Latest figures released by the Bank of England also show soaring levels of consumer debt.

HMRC have released a list of the worst excuses for not paying the minimum wage, as part of a new campaign; and the BBC reported that thousands are missing out on a little-known benefit that could see grandparents £230 a year better off when they retire.

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April’s debt and money news

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April’s debt and money news has an ongoing theme of change. With changes to benefits, the way you apply for bankruptcy and the National Living Wage being introduced for those over 25, it’s all happening.

We’ve also got highlights from two of our recently released reports that give us an insight into problem debt in the UK.

That’s not all, it also turns out that we’re still confused by our energy bills and find out why 50 Cent is in trouble yet again with the judge dealing with his bankruptcy…

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1m people are missing out on tax credits – are you?

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It’s estimated that one million people in the UK are missing out on an average of £50 a week by not claiming the tax credits they’re entitled to. This is by no means small change. This is especially true if they’re struggling with debt problems.

Due to recent government changes, once Universal Credit gets rolled out to your local Jobcentre Plus, you’ll no longer be able to start claiming tax credits.

As of April 2016, the amount that you can claim in Universal Credit is less than the equivalent claim in tax credits. Therefore, it’s important for you to start claiming tax credits before your Jobcentre Plus moves to Universal Credit.

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How to renew your Tax credits

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People across the UK will soon receive forms to apply for or renew their tax credits. If you already claim Tax credits but your renewal form hasn’t arrived, don’t panic! You should get the form by the end of June.

If you do need to talk anything over with the Tax credit office once you do get your paperwork, keep in mind that the lines are very busy at the moment so you might need to wait a little while to get through. This is likely to be the case right up to the deadline on 31 July.

Renewing Tax credits might seem a bit tricky, but it can be pretty straightforward if you know what information you need to provide.

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Child benefit – what are you entitled to? [infographic]

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If you’re an expectant parent, it’s important to know what benefits are available during maternity and paternity leave, and beyond. After all, maximising your income really helps even when you feel you’re OK.

There’s lots of help and support available from the Government that’s specifically designed to help parents and families during this important time in your life.

To help make it clear what benefits are available to you, the Money Advice Service has created this really helpful infographic designed to show each benefit the Government provides, if you’re eligible, and how you can apply.

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What help can I get towards my childcare costs?

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They're totally worth it!

They’re totally worth it!

The big events in life keep getting more and more expensive. Owning a house, getting married, travelling the world, having kids, even learning to drive and owning a car is becoming too expensive.

Most people would consider a house to be the biggest expense you’ll ever have, but recent figures have shown that childcare costs are similar to the average annual UK mortgage payment (which was estimated at £7,207 in 2012).

This, along with the statistic that it costs an average of £227,000 to raise a child could be enough to put anyone off having kids…but as we all know, it doesn’t! Continue reading »

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