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Basic Living Costs and Budgeting

row of jars labelled gas phone electricity and water​​​​​​Basic Living Costs 

There are lots of costs involved in running a home, and you need to make sure you can afford these before you accept a tenancy from us. 

You can use a budget planner to help you work out if you can afford the property. 

Before you take on a tenancy you will also need to attend a Pre Tenancy Workshop, which covers issues around money and costs.

There are various benefits which may be available to help you meet the costs of a tenancy, whether you are working or not. You can speak to a GGHT Money Advice Worker for a full check on your entitlements.  Some of the costs you will need to consider are:
  • Rent & water charges
  • Council tax
  • Utility bills - gas, electric
  • Insurance
  • TV licence
  • Cable/Satellite TV/Streaming Services
  • Telephone/mobile phone
  • Food
  • Clothes
  • Children’s expenses
  • Transport - public transport, running a car
  • Socialising
  • Furniture, appliances and other household items
  • Decoration and flooring

The GGHT Money Advice team are always here to help you with budgeting and planning your finances.
Alternatively, you can get more advice from the Government’s Money Advice Service, who also offer advice to help people make informed choices about their finances.

Why budget?        

  • Take control of your money
  • Knowing your spending habits makes it easier to make change
  • Make your money go further
  • Avoid your debt getting out of control

Accordion Description
  • ​Payslip – are you on the right tax code? Check with HR or Inland Revenue 0845 3000 627
  • Benefits – Are you entitled to any benefits? DWP Benefit enquiry line 0800 882 200 or use the online calculator.
  • Use a budget planner
  • Keep a record of your outgoings.
  • Record your daily spending in a diary.
  • Outgoings that you pay for once a year divide the figure and set aside every month.
  • Arrange to make bill payments the nearest date after you get paid or when you receive your benefits
  • Ask about paying your bills every month or week.
  • Consider small cut backs on non-essential items 
  • Always check the terms of any loan, check the total amount you are expected to pay back. If in doubt seek advice.
  • Compare phone, gas, electric, internet, TV deals – use a comparison service. 
  • Water meter - apply to have a water meter fitted by United Utilities. You will only pay for the water you use.  Find out more at or call 0845 303 7744.
  • Energy suppliers offer Social Tariffs for Vulnerable Customers - this tariff is the lowest available price.  .
  • BT Basic is an account for customers who are on low income and claiming means tested benefits. Tel: 0800 800 864.
  • Save for Christmas – check out our 12 saves of Christmas tips!
  1. ​​Monitor and review your budget, make sure you know what’s coming in and what’s going out.  Use a budget planner.
  2. Make small cutbacks if necessary
  3. Take a financial health check, make financial goals use the a savings calculator to assist you.
  4. Remember! seek specialist advice if you need help .
  • ​Try cutting back to help balance your budget.
  • Contact the people you owe money to as they may be able to make arrangements to help you
  • Don’t ignore the problem
  • Don’t panic – seek free and confidential advice
  • National Debtline – Free, confidential and independent advice (0808 808 4000)
  • StepChange – Offers a structured programme of advice on how to manage your money (0800 138 1111)
  • Advice UK – Free and confidential advice. (0300 777 0107 or 0300 777 0108) 
  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)  
  • Christians Against Poverty UK – free debt counselling (0800 328 0006).  
  • Consumer Rights Service – Service run by Citizen’s Advice Bureau offering information and advice on consumer issues, including credit and debt. (0345 404 0506)
  • Payplan – Free confidential advice on debt problems (0808 256 8366 or 0203 432 3267). 

Find out more on our Debt Support leaflet​ (pdf).
  • ​​​AER – Annual Effective Rate. This the annual rate of interest on savings, taking into account how often the interest is added to your account. The higher the AER, the better the return.
  • APR – Annual Percentage Rate of charge. This is the overall cost of borrowing if you owe money on your credit car, loan or overdraft.
  • Credit Check – A search of your borrowing record, also known as your credit history. A bank or other organisation carries out a credit check on you when deciding whether to lend you money.
  • Creditors – People you owe money to.
  • Direct Debit – An instruction you give to your bank or building society to make regular payments to someone from your account. Unlike a standing order, you agree that the creditor can vary this amount each month.
  • Fixed Rate – An interest rate on your mortgage or savings account that is fixed ( i.e. doesn’t move up or down) for a set period of time.
  • Interest Rate - the figure that sets how much interest you pay on a loan, or how much you receive if you put money into a savings account. The rate is usually linked to the Bank of England bank rate and can move up or down.
  • Secured Loan – When a loan is ‘secured’ on your home, it means the lender can repossess your home and sell it to get their money back if you keep up your payments.
  • Standing Order – An instruction to give to your bank or building society to make regular payments to someone from your account, for example to pay bills. Unlike a Direct Debit, the creditor cannot vary this amount – only you can.
  • Variable Interest Rate – An interest rate on a loan or savings account that can change according to the circumstances. For example, if the Bank of England bank rate changes, the loan interest rate will probably change.