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Help with the cost of living

We understand that the months ahead may feel overwhelming as we see rising costs in energy, food and other essentials. If you are struggling, please know you are not alone. This page has resources and information to help you during these difficult times.

Speak to us

Our Money Advice team are here to support you with any money problems you may be experiencing. From budgeting advice and help with benefit entitlements, to support with furniture costs or getting lower mobile phone tariffs, the team is here to help so please get in touch.

Contact the team

Explainers, advice and money saving tips

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How to make your food last longer

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Social tariffs

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Saving money in the kitchen

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Make the most of your radiators

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Ways to track your spending

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Ways to sell your old clothes

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Flow temperature on boiler

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What is the October price freeze?

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Five ways to save energy around the home

Local authority and government support

All households in the UK will receive a one-off payment of £400 to help cover the cost of energy bills. Direct debit and credit customers will see the money credited to their account, and those on a pre-payment meter will have the money applied to their meter or paid via a voucher. Find out more here.

People receiving benefits will also receive a payment of £650, made in two instalments. This includes all households receiving Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Pension Credit. Find out more here.

If you were born on or before 25th September 1956, you could get between £250 and £600 to help pay your heating bills. The amount you receive will also include a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, which is between £150 and £300. This is in addition to any Cost of Living Payment you get. You will get the Winter Fuel Payment automatically (you don’t need to claim) if you’re eligible and receive either the State Pension or get another social security benefit. Find out more here.

If you’re on a qualifying benefit between 1st September 2022 and 31st January 2023 you can get £200 towards paying your fuel bills this winter. This is in addition to the winter fuel payment offered by the UK Government, but you do need to apply for it. Find out more here.

The Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) is a grant that can be used to help with essential costs following an emergency or if you are in extreme financial hardship. The grant can be used to help you cover the cost of food, gas and electricity, clothing and emergency travel as well as being used to purchase a cooker, washing machine or fridge/freezer in the event that they can no longer be used. Find out more here.

School and childcare

Free school meals are available to eligible pupils who attend school full-time in Wales. To find out if your child or children are entitled to a free school meal, contact your local authority. Find out more here.

Your child or children may be entitled to receive free breakfast, if the school provides this. To find out if your school offers free breakfast and if your child is eligible, speak to the school directly. Find out more here.

The Childcare Offer for Wales provides up to 30 hours of free early education and childcare for eligible working parents of three and four-year-olds for 48 weeks of the year. Find out more here.

Utility and energy support

If you’re having trouble affording your water bill, please don’t ignore it. Welsh Water offer a number of ways to help and make your bills more affordable, from spreading the cost of your bill to a Customer Assistance Fund. Find out more here.

If you are worried or struggling to pay your bills, contact your energy supplier as soon as possible. Big energy firms have funds that can help if you’re in debt, so get in touch with them directly to check their eligibility criteria.

Food banks

To get help from a food bank you will need a voucher. Please request a voucher from our Money Advice team.

 

Find your nearest food bank

Looking after you and your home

If you’re struggling to pay your heating bills and your home is cold and damp, your health may suffer. As well as becoming poorly, cold-related illnesses can have a knock-on effect and lead to absence from work, sleep deprivation and stress-related illnesses.

Here are some tips to keep your home warm for less:

  • When it gets dark, close the curtains and shut the doors to keep the heat in
  • Turning down the temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bill by up to 10% – set it to 18°C to save money but keep warm
  • If you have a condensing combi boiler, lower the flow temperature to 60°C to make your boiler more efficient, helping lower your energy bills

Condensation, damp and mould

Very cold rooms are more likely to get damp and mouldy. This can lead to respiratory infections, allergies, and asthma and can affect your immune system.

You can reduce this by ensuring you block any draughts, let fresh air circulate and keep your home warm.

 

Debt advice

Citizens Advice offers information on making the right choices, including how to help with debt problems and how to get your finances back on track. Find out more here.

StepChange is a charity that offers free debt advice, helping get your finances back on track. Find out more here.

Stop Loan Sharks has launched a new campaign to help communities in Wales recognise the signs of illegal money lending. If you’re worried about your own situation or somebody you know, contact Stop Loan Sharks Wales for safe, confidential support. Find out more here.