Managing your money

Managing your money

Our Money Matters Team work with a wide range of partners who support us to offer practical tips, advice and information to help you make the most of your money. Whether you need support to find the right deal, you’re in a desperate financial situation or just need some help to budget and make your money go further, the right support and advice matters.

We can help

We can offer energy advice which can help you to identify potential energy savings in your home.

Who can benefit from the Money Matters Service?

This service is not just for customers in a desperate financial situation or who are in debt, it might just be those who have experienced a change in circumstance or want to learn how to budget more effectively. 

What support is available?

  • Benefit checks, claims and appeal support
  • Signpost to partners for Debt advice, support and solutions
  • Support with fuel debt/fuel grant applications
  • Signpost to partners for help opening a bank account/setting up direct debits
  • Help to gain access to a local Credit Union
  • Signpost to partners for budgeting support, advice and information
  • Energy saving advice (fuel bills/usage)
  • Access to fuel switching our service 

As well as the Money Matters Team, StepChange Debt Charity has a team of expert advisors that are dedicated to help you get the most out of your money. They specialise in helping people to find easy and practical ways to live on a budget.

Get all the latest thrifty tips and money-saving advice by:

There are lots of things you can do to start tackling any debt problems you may have, and we’ve put together the following checklist to provide some useful information about what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

  • Don’t just ignore the problem, it will not go away. And the longer you leave it, the worse it will get.
  • Check to make sure you are claiming and receiving all the benefits you are entitled to. We can put you in touch with organisations that can help with this.
  • If you are employed, always check that you are being paid at least the minimum wage. The Direct Gov website will show you what the latest figures are - http://www.direct.gov.uk
  • Work out your regular income and what your outgoings are (either weekly or monthly) by using My Personal Budget Plan
  • Spend some time working out a new budget for yourself based on your income and outgoings. And remember - be realistic! Is there anything you can cut back on?
  • If you have a number of debts, work out which ones are Priority and which are Non-Priority.
  • Always contact any creditors you have and let them know what the situation is. Most will accept reduced payments just so long as you stick to the repayment arrangements.

One of the best ways to find out if you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to is to visit www.direct.gov.uk/benefitsadvisor 

There are also a number of local organisations who can arrange a free benefit entitlement check for you, such as Sunderland Advice Service www.sunderlandadviceservice.co.uk

We understand that the cost of day-to-day living and running a home is expensive, especially in today’s climate. That’s why it’s important to keep track of where your money is going. That way, you’ll know exactly where you stand financially and can plan how much you can afford to spend weekly or monthly.

To get the ball rolling, have a go at filling in your very own budget planner. This will help give you a clear picture of your outgoings. Try to include as many outgoings as you can, and remember to include times of the year where you may need to spend a bit more, such as birthdays and Christmas.

You don’t have to be in debt to access Gentoo’s Money Matters Service. It might be that you’ve experienced a change in circumstance or just want to learn how to budget more effectively. Alternatively, the Money Advice Service is a free, national body set up by the Government to provide clear, impartial advice that can help people make informed choices about their money.

On their website you’ll find a range of useful guides, tools and planners, as well as a free and confidential 10-minute money health check. You’ll also find useful information about banking, saving and investing, insurance products, warranties, mortgages and pensions. It even offers advice about what to do if you’re faced with a life–changing event such as starting a family, redundancy, divorce or separation, bereavement, retirement or saving for your children’s future.

If you need more information, you can also call the Money Advice Service on 0300 500 5000

Online budget planner

Where does your money go each month?

Work it out now with this budgeting tool from the Money Advice Service.

Debt test

Are you concerned about your debts? You can use this debt test tool to assess your financial health and keep your finances on track. 

Debt test

Contact Us

No matter how big or small you think your money worries are, our friendly and approachable Money Matters Team can give you all the support and advice you need. We can even arrange a confidential face-to-face chat within 48 hours. Just call, text or email us and we’ll do the rest.

If you need advice or support give us a call on 0300 123 2004*, Text ‘MONEY’ followed by your name to 07860 022 026**, use the contact phone below or email moneymatters@gentoogroup.com

*Calls to 03 numbers will cost the same as calls to a landline number and will be included as part of any inclusive call minutes.

**Texts will be charged at your network’s standard rate.