I’m a money expert, six tips will help you pay bills when you’re struggling

IF you’re worried about not being able to afford your bills this year, you’re not alone.

Six out of ten Scots worry about their mortgage payments, monthly rent or energy bills.

There are six useful ways to help when you're struggling financially


There are six useful ways to help when you’re struggling financiallyPhoto credit: Getty
Six out of ten Scots worry about their mortgage payments, rent or energy bills


Six out of ten Scots worry about their mortgage payments, rent or energy billsPhoto credit: Getty

Did you use your credit card to pay for Christmas, or do you use your card more for day-to-day expenses to give you some breathing space? You’re not alone in that either.

According to a recent opinion poll by Survation for Advice Direct Scotland, almost a third of people in Scotland who have a credit card say they have used it more often to pay for everyday items in the past year.

Rising energy costs, rising food prices and stagnant wages have all contributed to a growing debt crisis.

Our research found that 17 per cent of those in debt have defaulted on their repayments and a quarter of those in debt said they owed a staggering £10,000 or more.

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And with fixed-rate mortgage contracts expiring, there’s further concern that more people will struggle with repayments in the coming months.

However, the survey shows that 63 percent of those who have defaulted on repayments have not sought independent expert advice about their debt.

No one in Scotland should be left fighting their debt alone.

Advice Direct Scotland provides free information and support on a wide range of debt related issues through its service moneyadvice.scot, which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Specialist debt counselors can work with you to assess your current situation, review your income and expenses, and consider what to do next.

Sometimes just talking things through can help get people back on track.

There are a variety of solutions that can help when you’re struggling with debt or financial concerns.

Around half a million people across Scotland are not making use of the financial assistance to which they are entitled.

You don’t have to be one of them – help is available.

And if you’re struggling, here are our top six tips:


HUNDREDS of thousands of Scots are missing out on the benefits they should claim.

This includes benefits administered by both the UK and Scottish governments.

A number of benefits have been introduced over the last four years to make those on low incomes responsible for caring for children under the age of 16 available.

There is also cash for people who need help paying for a funeral, the disabled, caregivers, young people entering the workforce and to help people heat their homes.

Advice Direct Scotland have a free benefits calculator on consulting.scot to check your claims.

Prioritize to find control

It’s important to sort through senior debt first.

These are debts that can cause particularly serious problems if you don’t do anything about it.

And examples of senior debt include mortgages, rent, council taxes, child support, and court penalties.

It is important to address these as they can cause potential legal issues such as: B. Eviction, repossession of property if you own your home, disruption of service, fines or even imprisonment in some cases.

Once you have your senior debt under control, you can move on to other money issues.


Make the most of your money – it’s hard earned so it’s always best to shop around before paying for any goods or services.

When shopping for groceries, check a variety of retailers before you buy and always check what’s on sale.

And check price comparison sites before buying things like insurance and boiler covers.

Avoid hidden shipping costs by checking T&Cs before you buy, and use a credit card if you’re spending over £100 as your purchase is protected by Consumer Credit Act.


HOUSEHOLDS with traditional pre-payment meters should have received their vouchers worth a total of £400 under the UK Government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme.

Figures recently showed that one in four of the vouchers was not redeemed.

The prepayments are valid for 90 days, so you must use your January vouchers before April 9th.

However, if it expires, you can ask your supplier to reissue it – with a final deadline of June 30th.

Contact energyadvice.scot if there is any difficulty in reaching suppliers or solving problems.


Debt can be difficult to talk about, but bearing it alone can be a serious burden.

It’s important to make sure you talk to trusted friends and family when you’re having trouble.

Sometimes talking through something can help you get back on track instead of fighting on alone.

Open and honest conversations can really help.

They might be able to support you with some great advice and, you never know, they might have the same problems as you and talking to them might help them too.

Be wise and take advice

ADVICE Direct Scotland offers impartial advice to anyone in Scotland, whatever their circumstances.

The moneyadvice.scot service on 0808 196 2316 offers information and support on a wide range of debt issues.

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In addition, energyadvice.scot can help with energy issues and Verbraucherratgeber.scot supports people with issues such as fraud or complaints.

The sites also offer tips on a range of topics including how to deal with complaints and disputes, grants, scams and scams, and useful tips on switching providers.

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https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/money/10446673/money-expert-tips-bills/ I’m a money expert, six tips will help you pay bills when you’re struggling

Andrew Schnitker

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