Advice Column: Savings

Thursday 26th October 2023

As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column, this week we focus on saving and budgeting.

 Ive just had my hours cut at work. I’d like to take on a second job, but there’s nothing around. It sounds ridiculous to talk about Christmas now, but I’m already worrying! I usually start buying the kids a few presents really early to spread the cost – but that’s going to be impossible this year. How can I make less go further, without going into debt?

 It is understandable that you have these concerns right now. One way to stretch your household finances is to shop around for the best deals on your mobile phone and broadband (depending on the details of your price plan), and on utilities, such as electricity. Installing a water meter can also sometimes bring savings.

It’s also worth checking any insurances and subscriptions – cancel any you don’t need and shop around for the others. It’s normally cheaper if you don’t leave it until just before the renewal date.

If your children are school age there may be help available with uniforms, technology and free school meals. See for more details.

A fall in income may mean you’re eligible for benefits, especially if you’re a parent or carer. The Turn 2 Us benefits checker is very useful. See for more details

It sounds like you’re normally very organised. Make a list of the cost of your priority outgoings – such as housekeeping and essential travel – against your new income.

It’s easy to slip into overdraft, or miss a payment, and it can then become more and more expensive – and stressful – to get on the right track and out of debt. Likewise, think carefully about any ‘buy now pay later’ deals – they’re not always the best option long term.

The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit