Media comment: Universal Credit rollout

16 February 2015

As the national rollout of Universal Credit begins this week, more people across Britain are likely to need help to adjust their budgeting habits to manage a single monthly payment. The Money Advice Service has a number of resources on its site, including information on how to budget for a monthly benefit payment, and a budget planner tool at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/budgetplanner

Nick Hill, Money Expert from the Money Advice Service offers five top tips to help people manage the move on to monthly benefit payments:

1. Check how and when it might affect you : watch our short video and read our information and advice by clicking here.

2. Keep a spending diary: note down all money coming in and every payment going out (such as rent/mortgage, and living expenses etc) to see exactly what you are spending and keep track of your cash.

3. Plan your monthly budget: Because Universal Credit is paid monthly you may need to make changes to the way you budget to avoid running out of money before the end of the month. Click here to use our online budget planner to get a clear picture of your income and outgoings.

4. Open a bank account or similar: Universal Credit will be paid monthly straight into your account, so to receive your payments you’ll need a bank/building society account, or a different banking service like a prepaid card or a credit union account. You’ll also need to decide whether to open a joint account - if you live with your partner, and you’re both eligible for Universal Credit, you’ll get a single monthly payment which can be paid into either a joint or an individual account.

5. Set up automated bill payments: using Direct Debits or standing orders to automatically pay for rent and energy bills is a safe and efficient way to pay these bills straight away.

For more information, please contact: The Money Advice Service press office on 020 7943 0593 or pressoffice@moneyadviceservice.org.uk