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Money and finances

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Cost of living support

If you need money or financial support and are struggling with the cost of living, the following services and organisations might be able to assist you.

Remember, if you are struggling, you are not alone, and there is no shame in asking for help. Everyone needs a little bit of extra support at some point in their lives. 

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Advice Plymouth

Citizens Advice Plymouth and Improving Lives Plymouth are working together in a joint contract with Plymouth City Council to provide quality information and advice services across Plymouth.

Phone          0300 3309 043

Website       citizensadviceplymouth.org.uk

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Citizens Advice Plymouth

Citizens Advice Plymouth can help support you with your utility bills, financial support, benefits, pension, debt, and legal advice.

The benefits calculator will help you find out what benefits you can claim. It is free to use, and the details you provide are anonymous. Citizens Advice also has an online budgeting tool to help you understand what you're spending money on and where you might be able to cut costs.  They have an easy read guide to banking and a useful glossary of financial terms.

Phone          08082 787 910

Website       citizensadviceplymouth.org.uk

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Money Helper

The Money Helper website offers money and pension advice, making it quicker and easier to find the right help. It brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers: the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service, and Pension Wise. There are links to online tools and advice about a huge range of topics, including banking, credit, pensions, and savings.

Phone          0800 0113797

Website       moneyhelper.org.uk

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General debt advice 

You can search for the closest face-to-face service to you on Money Helper.

The following national organisations also offer online services, some of which are available 24 hours a day:

Money Saving Expert has lots of advice and tips related to income and budgeting.  

 

Help to stop gambling

If gambling is causing you problems, for example you are betting more than you can afford to lose or it is causing you financial difficulties, then there is support available.

Contact The National Gambling Helpline by calling 0808 8020 133 for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for free information support and counselling or chat online on the GamCare website. Find support from Plymouth's Gamblers Anonymous group

Find more support and information on the NHS website

 

Support in a crisis 

The council work with partners across the city to provide support in a financial crisis, for example if you've started a new job and won't be paid for a while or if you have received an unexpected bill that affects your ability to make day-to-day payments.  

They may be able to refer you to the Foodbank for support with food, clothes for job interviews and budgeting advice. Find out more about how to apply for a crisis referral.   

 

Grants for the Armed Forces community

In response to the increasing cost of living, the Royal British Legion has launched Everyday Needs Grants, providing up to £2,400 over 12 months for members of the Armed Forces community.

The grants programme aims to help with everyday essentials, such as kitchen appliances, clothes and energy costs. It's open to anyone who is eligible for Royal British Legion support, which includes serving personnel or those who have previously served.

Find out more and apply on the Royal British Legion website.

 

Be scam aware  

Scammers are likely to try and take advantage of the cost of living crisis. Be alert for any scams, for example if you're approached by someone unexpectedly or if an offer seems too good to be true.  

Take Five To Stop Fraud has lots of advice about scams, including the different types of scam and what to do if you think you have been scammed. Take Five advise you to: 

  • Stop: take a moment to stop and thing before parting with your money or information 
  • Challenge: could it be fake? It's ok to reject or ignore requests for money or information, especially if you feel pressured  
  • Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you've been scammed and report it to Action Fraud.  

Citizens Advice has a useful tool to help you check if something may be a scam and you can also report scams to them.  

 

Loan sharks 

Be aware of loan sharks - illegal money lenders who are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will often charge very high levels of interest and may use intimidation or threats of violence to frighten people into paying back a loan. If you've already borrowed from a loan shark, the important thing to remember is that you haven't broken the law and there is help available. 

Find more advice, including alternatives to loan sharks, on Money Helper.  

 

Find out what benefits and financial support you may be able to get

Use the government's online tool to find out what support you might be able to get to help with your living costs. You can get benefits and other financial support if you're eligible.

Check what benefits and financial support you can get


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How to submit an organisation or community group to this website

If you are an organisation or community group and can help support people living in Plymouth, please complete our online form and we will add you to this directory.

Submit your offer of help and support 

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