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Make your money easier to manage by yourself

Step 1 – Get paid straight into your bank account

It’s usually much easier to have all your income paid straight into your bank account.

You can still do this if you’re on benefits, getting sick pay or working part-time.

Getting paid like this is good because:

  • it saves you trips to the bank.
  • it’s safer than carrying cash around with you.
  • you don’t have to wait for a cheque to clear before getting your money.

If you haven’t got a bank account and think you might have trouble opening one because you have a low income or a poor credit history, you could apply for a basic bank account.

These bank accounts are the easiest to get.

Step 2 – Use Direct Debits and standing orders for bills

When you’ve made your budget and know you’ve got enough coming in to match your spending, switch your regular bills to Direct Debit or standing order.

This is a good idea because:

  • you won’t need to worry about getting to the bank or to the post box
  • payments will be taken automatically, so you won’t face any late payment penalties
  • many companies, councils and organisations give a discount for people paying by Direct Debit.

But make sure there’s enough money in your account.

Bounced Direct Debits and standing orders can leave you facing heavy bank charges.

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Step 3 – Make online payments or use telephone banking

For bills you can’t pay by Direct Debit or standing order, see if you can pay them using your online or telephone banking services.

If online banking isn’t for you, picking up the phone to pay a bill couldn’t be simpler. It’s quick, easy and safe to pay this way.

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Step 4 – Use online or phone banking to keep track of your balances

It’s important to make sure you keep a close eye on your bank balance, so you don’t go overdrawn and have to pay extra charges.

Online or phone banking can keep you up-to-date easily if you’re at home.

If you see some trouble ahead, think about calling your bank before they have to call you.

Step 5 – Get support from your bank

Banks have to make their information and services as accessible as possible for their disabled customers.

Support you can ask for includes:

  • bank statements and other documents in Braille, large print and audio formats
  • low-level counters in branch and counters fitted with a hearing induction loop
  • chip and signature cards for customers who are unable to memorise a PIN
  • ATMs (cashpoint machines) that are wheelchair-accessible and have text-to-speech functionality.

Ask your bank what support they can offer you.

Getting someone to help you with day-to-day money

Do you need help to do certain things, such as getting cash out of the bank? Then you can find out more about your options and how to make arrangements to get support in our Getting informal help to manage your money guide.

If you’re worried about how much you’ve got to live on

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If you’re worried about not having enough to live on, take a look at our advice on making ends meet and claiming the benefits you’re entitled to.

Find out more in our guide about saving money on your household bills.

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If you don’t have a bank account

When opening an account, you’ll need to show proof of who you are and your address.

If you don’t have the right documents, ask the bank what they’ll accept instead.

Some banks will take a letter from a responsible person, such as a teacher or a social worker, or a benefits notification letter.

If you’re not able to get a current account, possibly because your credit rating is low or because you’ve not got a credit history, you might consider a fee-free basic bank account. 

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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