Advice on money management
For information about Housing Benefits and Council Tax support, including how to calculate your entitlement, have a look at our Benefits Pages.
To find out about Discretionary Housing Payments, visit our Benefits Advice and Information pages.
Visit the GOV.UK website for information on the minimum wage.
If you want to work out how much Income Tax and National Insurance you can expect to pay on your income, use this calculator.
MoneyForce is the home of money guidance for UK Service personnel and their families. Make sure your money stays as MoneyFit as you by taking control of it in every aspect of your career.
Make sure you're paying the right amount of Tax. If you are earning under £10,000 a year then you shouldn't pay any Tax.
Find out the myths and truths about the Financial Ombudsman Service on their website.
You can get help with opening more than one bank account, at the Money Advice Service website.
Sometimes the financial world uses words that only bankers would understand. Here's an example:
This is someone who does competitions regularly and seriously to make money. To do this, you'd need to enter hundreds of free competitions, rather than doing the odd contest. This way, you're statistically more likely to win big and your winnings in the UK are tax free.
For some examples of this, have a look at Experian's A - Z.
- Everyone in the UK over 16 can have one
- You can save up to £15,000 a year tax free. From 1 April 2015 this will increase to £15,240
- You could earn up to 3% interest a year
- The £15,000 can be split between a cash ISA or a stocks and shares ISA. How you split the money is up to you
- Money in an ISA will stay tax free for as long as it's in there
- The earlier you save the more you'll earn
Older ISAs often have lower interest rates. You have the right to transfer past years' cash ISAs to the new best buy ISAs, if you want to. For more information visit the Money Saving Expert Website.
Opening An Account
Most banks need one proof of ID and a different document as proof of address.
Proof of ID
- Full valid UK/Foreign Passport
- Photo national ID card
- Full paper driving licence
- Full or provisional UK/Foreign driving licence
- Benefits entitlement letter
- Blue disabled bus pass
Proof of address
- Paper Driving Licence
- UK/Foreign bank account/credit card statement
- UK mortgage statement
- Council Tax bill
- Tenancy Agreement
- Rent Book
- Job Centre Plus letter
- Benefits entitlement letter
- Utility Bill
- TV Licence bill
If you don't have any of these, talk to the bank and explain. They may be able to offer something else.
Who can get a bank account
Anyone over 16 years old who lives in the UK with a fixed address. Don't worry if you have bad credit history, CCJ's or bankruptcy. If one bank can't help you, try another. It doesn't mean that they all can't help. You can quite often get more than one account - one for bills and one for spending.
Do I have to pay for a bank account?
Some banks offer free basic accounts with no overdraft, no cheque book but with free access to your money with a bank card.
How do I get one?
You can get an account by contacting a local branch. Either call them, write to them, visit them or go to their website.
If you have any other questions, have a look at the Money Advice Service website.
No access to public funds
To find out which public funds you're able to get help from while living in the UK, have a look at GOV.UK's guide.
Other organisations that may help with migrants
Migrant Help provide a wide range of services across the UK, working with the following client groups:
- New asylum claimants and refugees
- EU Nationals
- Foreign national prisoners
- Victims of modern day slavery, for example human trafficking etc
Barka UK support Central and Eastern European migrants in the UK who are facing severe social and economic difficulties.
The Choices Service offers confidential, impartial and non-directive advice and information to help you decide whether or not to return voluntarily to your country. They can help you if you have:
- Claimed asylum
- Been refused asylum
- Been granted discretionary leave to remain
- No legal status in the UK (an irregular migrant or overstayer)
- One of the above statuses and are an unaccompanied minor under the age of 18, or if you have children under 18 who will be returning with you
You might want to have a look at the recent Immigration Bill.
Hold Your Hand
You may want someone to help/guide you through something and the following organisations are there to help:
- Kent Community Wardens
- StepChange Debt Charity - If you call them while you're with a client, they'll do a 'WAM transfer'
- The Financial Ombudsman - Have a look at their Frequently Asked Questions for front-line community and advice workers who help and represent consumers
- Family Mosaic
There are some more services and organisations available at The Maidstone Link.