Firstly, remember ignoring a problem will not make it go away! Problems are more easily resolved when acted on quickly.
This can be done in two ways – increase your income or reduce your outgoings.
Increasing your income
Have you claimed all the benefits you are due? A lot of families are unaware of benefits like disability living allowance (DLA), available to children with health conditions who need extra support.
If a child under 16 needs more help or supervision than a child of the same age that doesn’t have a disability, they may qualify for DLA. Being entitled to DLA could also mean other help is available for the family.
If you’re signed up to our online app, BRIAN, you can use BRIAN’s benefits checker to see which benefits you may be entitled to.
A benefits check at your local Citizens Advice or an appointment with The Brain Tumour Charity’s Benefits and Money Clinic can also help you find out about any benefits you may be due.
Expert benefits & money advice
Last year our Benefits and Money Clinic helped 178 members of our community claim over £450,000!
Reducing your outgoings
Look at all your regular bills. Certain things you won’t be able to change, but a lot you will.
Check the energy tariff you’re on and consider switching to save money – if you haven’t done a comparison or switched in the last year, you’re probably overpaying.
When shopping, take the brand challenge. If you buy branded products, drop down to the supermarket’s own brand. If you already do this, try the ‘basics’ range to see if you can tell the difference. If you can’t tell (or if you prefer the cheaper product), you can make significant savings without feeling you’re missing out.
Check your phone and broadband contract to make sure it meets your needs. Don’t pay extra for high speed or large monthly data allowances if you never use them.
The Internet is a goldmine of free activities, so try tracking down free events online, like our free Family Days for families affected by a brain tumour.
Organisations from children’s centres to churches lay on free local events. To find these, try ‘Liking’ the Facebook pages of every local library, museum, wildlife trust, Country Park, church and children’s centre. Then scroll down to events on the left-hand side of their pages.
Eventbrite often comes up trumps too. Filter by ‘family and education’ and ‘free’, then search for top activities near you.
More tips from Denise
Our experienced benefits and money adviser from Citizens Advice, shares more of her money-saving tips.