Managing your money

This page gives advice on managing your money and any benefits you get.

We all need money to live, for life’s essentials like food and bills as well as for fun.

When you are 16, you will be asked if you want to receive benefits in your own right. You may be able to get new benefits as well, even if you are still in education. If you are worried about looking after your own money, you can ask someone to help you manage it – this is called an appointee.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will visit you and your appointee to explain how it works and to make sure they are happy with the arrangement. The money is still yours and you can still go into your bank. If you have an appointee, they can fill in forms or talk to people about your money for you. Citizens Advice can tell you what benefits you or your family are entitled to. 

You can also find information, including a benefit calculator, on the County Council’s website by clicking here.
Saving and needing to borrow are a fact of life when you are learning to manage your money. Only use trusted organisations such as your bank or a local credit union. You can find details of these on Northumberland Money.

Try and save a little - even the smallest amounts add up quickly. If you are on a low income you can look at Help To Save to make your savings go even further. Your local credit union can help you with this. Remember to never borrow from anyone you are not sure of.
Some things need to be paid for - food, rent, bills etc. so pay these first and think about what you have left for the more fun things - try to plan ahead!

Budgeting can be difficult for anyone, and it’s normal to be a bit worried about money, but help is available. You should ask for advice straight away to try to avoid getting into more difficulty. You can contact Citizens Advice or the Money Advice Service for free advice, or find useful information by clicking here.

Citizens Advice Northumberland has specialist debt advisers who can help you no matter how bad you think things are with debt
As you become an adult it’s very important to manage your money and understanding your bank account will help you be more independent. It can be more difficult to apply for a bank account when you’re over 18 so you should try to open one when you are 16 or 17.

See Money Advice Service and Northumberland Money for information about choosing a bank account.
The Direct Payment Team is on hand to support you through all aspects of your using your Personal Budget. 

For example if you decide to use your Personal Budget to employ a personal assistant, the team can support with
  • Support Drafting a Job Advertisement
  • Support with interview questions, and support to interview
  • Carry out DBS checks for potential Personal Assistants
  • Support with contract of employment
  • Support setting you up with a payroll company who can hold your personal budget on your behalf
  • Support to set up HR support and Liability Insurance
  • Available to support you with any queries you have once the personal budget has been set up
For further information please contact:
Support planners operate across Northumberland and  will meet with yourself to discuss likes/dislikes and any barriers with accessing leisure or social activities. The support planner will advise of what is available and support you making initial contact. The Early Help team offer support for clients aged 0-19 and have a bank of family workers that can support young people to engage with any known community facilities and local services suitable for young people with different needs.

Support planners would work with yourself  to access volunteering opportunities and the SEEDS team based at Eddie Ferguson House in Blyth can support with this. 

Support Planners can find out what and where this is available. There are different organisations which support with travel which include Buzz and Family Gateway. For a care Needs Assessment you can contact 01670 536400.