Money Advice Service

Ok, so you’ve been browsing our My Money tips, and hopefully you’re going to find you have some extra money to play with. So what should you be doing with it? No, not cocktails and trips to Vegas, we’re talking about a rainy day fund that can get you out of trouble if things go wrong.

We’ve some tools that can help you out.

Worried about your money?

Any outstanding debts could be costing you extra ££ in interest and eat into any savings you’ve made by following our super easy tips.

So, make getting debt free your priority. If you’re finding that you are struggling with debt or only making low repayments on credit cards and loans, we can point you in the right direction to get FREE debt advice all over the UK. You can do it face-to-face, online or over the phone – whatever you are most comfortable with.

You won’t be judged, and no matter how big or small your problem is a debt adviser will help you figure out ways to manage your debts (often in ways you might not know about) even if you think you have no spare cash.

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Take control of debt

Put a little away for a rainy day

Help to Save

If you’re working and on Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit, you can get a bonus of up to 50% from the government on your savings with a Help to Save account.

Seven in ten people face an unexpected bill each year and the typical amount is between £200 and £400. Putting money away now means you’re covered for an expense you didn’t see coming and you won’t be tempted by short-term lending or need to borrow from family or friends.

Our Savings Calculator is a nifty little tool that can help you understand how long it will take to squirrel away that rainy day fund, or how much you need to save to have what you need by a particular date.

If you want more ideas on different ways to save, take a look at our Savings pages.

Budget planner

We think that budgets get a bad rep, but in reality, they aren’t boring – they are your passport to financial freedom.

Feel guilty when you get that takeaway on a Friday night? If you’ve budgeted for it, and you have the cash, you can eat your Korma guilt free. Worried you’re not going to be able to pay your bills? A budget planner can show you if you’re short and where you can find money from elsewhere. Clever eh?

Go on, give our Budget planner a shot – it will only take 10 minutes of your time, you won’t regret it!

Don’t let credit take over your life

Now you’re on the way to building up your savings, think about how you’re using credit too. If your first thought is to reach for the plastic, see if you can shift away from relying on credit cards, unless you know you can clear your total balance each month.

Get into the habit of using credit wisely. Use your savings to pay down credit cards, make sure you’re not paying over the odds in interest charges or making low repayments that mean your balance never gets cleared.

Rainy day fund calculator - how to use it

Try out our nifty little tool to find out how long it will take to save up the amount you want in your rainy day fund (you know, that chunk of money you have stashed away if something goes wrong).

You need to pick the amount of time you plan on saving and enter the days. Then pick how much you want to save and we’ll work out if you’ll hit your target.

Don’t worry if it says you’re short of a few quid, we have plenty more articles to save you money in our My Money section.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.