Over one million people in the UK don’t have a bank account. This could be a problem if you’re in receipt of benefits, as soon your money will have to be paid into your bank. But how do you pick the best account for you from the hundreds on offer?
Martin Lewis’ moneysavingexpert.com has some great advice on what type of account will suit you best, as does the Money Advice Service.
If you’ve had credit trouble in the past you may think that you’re not able to open a bank account, but you’d be wrong. If you’ve been turned down for a current account you may be able to open a basic bank account or be accepted for an account by a credit union.
Once you’ve got your account up and running, it’s a good idea to set yourself a budget. This is just a record of the money you have coming in, like benefits and salary, and money that needs to go out to pay your bills and rent. There are lots of ways you can budget, including:
The hardest part is sticking to your budget once it’s done. Why not keep a spending diary for a month to see where your money goes? You’ll be amazed how the little things add up – that latte every morning on the way to work could be costing you over £500 a year!
If you do find yourself struggling don't be tempted by fast cash, Money Advice Service has information on cheaper, lower risk alternatives to payday loans.
If you’re overwhelmed with financial difficulties, Citizens Advice can help.