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Wiser Money Project

Let’s talk money

Would you like to be able to manage your money better? Do you think you might benefit from some information on budgeting, saving money, how to switch your energy supplier or get cheaper tariffs?

We also assist with information on income maximisation including help that is available from various Trust Funds. Contact our Wiser Money Project Team for enquiries and information. We can arrange one-to-one interviews, or if you have a group of between 6 – 12 people we can even arrange workshops. You can contact the team on financialcapability@westminstercab.org.uk


Talk Money Week

Talk Money Week (9-13 November 2020) is an annual campaign to get the nation talking about money. Click here for more information

 


Top Tips Financial Advice

Video advice you’ll need to make the right financial choices. Click here for more information


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Specialist Debt and Money Advice Unit

From January 2019, the Money Advice and Pensions Service (MaPS) will fund Citizens Advice Westminster to run our Wiser Money Project, delivering debt and money management advice and casework to local residents of Westminster.  Wiser Money Project - Debt and Money Management Advice Unit Jun19

Clients will receive advice and support on the full range of debt problems including:

  • Utility arrears (gas, electricity, water)
  • Housing arrears (rent/mortgage)
  • Consumer credit debt (credit cards, loans, hire purchase)
  • County court orders (CCJ’s)
  • Debt Relief Orders (DRO’s)
  • Bankruptcy
  • Other non-priority debts

We can help clients to reduce their expenditure and look at ways of increasing their income!

We can take referrals for Westminster residents from:

  • local statutory services
  • voluntary organisations
  • local or London-wide advice agencies

To book an appointment with our Debt and Money Management Advice Unit, please email: debtteam@westminstercab.org.uk  or complete an on-line referral form.  

You can also find out more via the Debt Free London website.

 

Got a specific money problem? Our tips below will help you find a solution.

1. Managing your energy bills

These are worrying times and many people are concerned about paying bills. Energy bills are a “priority debt” and must be paid ahead of credit cards as persistent non-payment may lead to the risk of being cut off.

 

Since the outbreak of Covid the Government has agreed emergency measures with energy suppliers so at the moment your energy supplier won’t disconnect your gas or electricity if you miss a payment. It is always advisable to continue paying these bills where possible. Otherwise, among other things, the sum owed will continue to grow and non-payment will impact your credit scoring. It is also true that the temporary respite won’t last forever.

 

But if you’re facing difficulties in making the payments you should contact your energy supplier in the first instance and they will consider various options that match your situation. This is especially important where you have a prepayment meter. They’ll try to help you find other ways to keep your energy supply connected.

This may include:

  • let someone else top up for you
  • add funds to your account
  • send you a pre-loaded top-up card

 

You’ll need to pay back any credit your supplier gives you – ask them when and how you’ll need to do this.

 

In case of need, please also contact Westminster CA through the contact details available on this website and your queries will be directed to an appropriate adviser who will contact you.

 

Other support to reduce the cost of energy bills is available through existing government schemes that are widely available.

 

Winter Fuel Payment

This is available to all on a state pension and certain other benefits and is worth between £100 and £300 per year. It is not paid automatically so eligible applicants need to make a specific claim here:

https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment/how-to-claim

 

Warm Home Discount Scheme

This is worth £140 per year and is credited to your gas or electricity account. To check if you qualify you should contact your utility supplier. Their details can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme/energy-suppliers

 

Cold Weather Payment

This is payable if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over 7 consecutive days. It is available if you are receiving certain benefits and is paid automatically so there is no need to apply and the amount is £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March. Check your eligibility here:

https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment/eligibility

 

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