We aim to make our website as accessible as possible. However if you use a screen reader and require debt advice you may find it easier to phone us instead. Our phone number is 0 8 0 0 1 3 8 1 1 1 1. Freephone (including all mobiles).
family on couch

How to deal with less money coming in

Find out how to keep up to date with bills you need to pay.

Our top tips for you

Read how to:

  • Deal with what cannot wait
  • Take control of your finances
  • Feel better about your future

This can be hard, but you need to know:

  • How many debts you have
  • How much you owe for each one
  • How much interest is added

Once you do this, you can start to plan.

Open your letters

Look for your latest bank statements and letters from people you owe

You can also view statements online.

Write down:

I cannot find these details. What should I do?

Check your credit file.

This can show you what you owe online.

There are three main credit reference agencies:

  • Experian
  • TransUnion
  • Equifax

Check with all of them so you do not miss anything

Deal with urgent paperwork

You need to know which bills are priorities.

The impact of not paying priorities is bigger.

Work out which bills to pay first.

A monthly budget shows your:

  • Income
  • Debts
  • Bills
  • Other spending

It helps you understand your money and take back control.

This is how to do it:

1. List all the money you have coming in during the month


  • Wages
  • Benefits
  • Pension
  • Any other regular payments

Add these together. What is the total?

Tip: To turn a weekly amount into a monthly amount:

  • Multiply the weekly amount by 52 (the weeks in a year)
  • Divide that total by 12 (the number of months in a year)
  • The result is the monthly amount

2. List your monthly spending

Write down all your regular, monthly bills. Make sure you include:

  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Gas/Electricity
  • Water
  • Council tax
  • TV License
  • Mobile Phone
  • Broadband/TV package
  • Childcare costs
  • Clubs and memberships
  • Hire purchase costs
  • Insurances

Write down all the other things you buy that change from month to month:

  • Food
  • Clothes
  • Travel
  • Hobbies
  • Activities
  • Entertainment
  • Subscriptions

Think about one off spending like Christmas or a holiday. Divide those costs by 12 to get a monthly figure and write them down too.

Add everything you have written down together

3. Write down all the minimum monthly payments to your debts

Add these together

4. These lists together are your monthly budget

  • How much do you have coming in versus going out?
  • Have you got everything you need covered?
  • Can you make savings anywhere?

Find more about how to make a budget here.

It is always ok to ask for help.

There are many organisations that help people deal with debt.

StepChange Debt Charity offers free online advice 24/7.

We provide practical debt solutions when appropriate.

You will get a reference number to show your creditors you are seeking help.

Complete your session on your own terms. Our online service saves as you go.

Get debt advice now

When you build a budget, you list out all your spending.

This can help you spot areas to save a little each month.

If you are already cutting back, there may be other changes that help over time.

Food and housekeeping tips

  • Plan meals in advance
  • Make a shopping list
  • Do a weekly food shop with your list
  • Cook in batches and freeze meals
  • Use multi-purpose cleaning products
  • Tear old clothes into cleaning rags instead of buying sponges and wipes

Personal care

  • Finish toiletries before buying more
  • Bars of soap last longer than shower gel
  • Use pea-sized amount of toothpaste
  • Use a 50p-sized amount of shampoo (for long hair, less for short hair)


  • Compare and switch
  • Can you get gas and electricity cheaper from someone else?

  • Switch off
  • Turn things off when not using them. Particularly at night

  • Cold wash, line dry
  • Wait until you have a larger load to run the washing machine. Avoid tumble drying.

Our energy customer guide can help you deal with rising energy bills.


Compare and switch

There may be a better deal for your phone or internet contract.

  • Connect to Wifi - This saves money on phone data.
  • Use webchat apps - Calling people with apps uses your broadband or data package
  • Especially helpful for long distance calls.

You can also:

  • Try to remember your long-term goals
  • Focus on achieving them
  • Think about how to turn hard lessons into positive outcomes
  • Talk to other people about money worries
  • Support each other

Now it’s over to you...

We hope this page has given you some tools to feel more in control of your financial future.

It takes courage to face debt and money troubles. Reading this page is a great first step.

Remember, we are always here if you need help along the way.

Martin on Feefo says:

"They supported me every step of the way and keep me updated."

"I had been putting off accepting that due to a change in employment my lifestyle was exceeding my income. I was constantly looking at ways to make my finances more manageable.

"I was referred to StepChange by one of my creditors and they have been amazing. They have dealt with my situation in a way that means I no longer have too much month left at the end of my money! No longer feel like I am drowning. "

Get help like Martin

Are you being chased for benefits overpayments?

You may be contacted by DWP Debt Management if you owe money to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for tax credits or Universal Credit overpayments.

Find out how deal with DWP debts

Debt happens. We deal with it.

We have helped millions of people since 1993.

Find out how.

"No need to be embarrassed"

"I am at the beginning of my journey to become debt free but StepChange have been understanding and empathetic with my personal financial situation. They have not made me feel stupid or made me feel a failure but have helped put my mind at ease, removed the pressure and helped me to take my first steps forward to get my financials under control."

Joanna, Feefo Review