Make a budget

With the cost of living rising, a single bill can impact your financial situation for the month or even longer. Knowing what you must pay for and the things you consider to be additional or luxury will help you understand where you can make savings if you need to.

Breaking down your income and outgoings in detail helps you to understand exactly what is coming in and what you’re spending on. Doing this will show you how much you need to pay your bills and cover essentials, what makes up your basic living costs and how much you have left for what else is important to you. We recommend using Money Helper’s budget planner tool to create your budget.

Check your subscriptions

Once you know what you’re spending on, it can help to review your direct debits, standing orders and recurring payments to identify any spending you may be able to go without for a while.

A lot of recurring payments include subscriptions that aren’t regularly used, like streaming services for TV, film and music. A lot of similar services offer free trial periods or cheaper packages. You may want to consider shopping around, even for the short term.

You can cancel these types of payments with the provider and cancel the transaction through our Internet Bank, Banking app or by phone. Just check if you need to pay any cancellation fees when doing so.

Check what you’re entitled to

We’ve teamed up with Policy in Practice who offer a free, confidential and independent benefits calculator. The calculator can help you find the benefits or grants you could receive, how to claim them, and how they will be affected by changes in your employment or working hours.

Before using the calculator, you’ll need accurate information about your:

  • savings
  • income, including your partner’s (from payslips, for example)
  • existing benefits and pensions (including anyone living with you)
  • outgoings (such as rent, mortgage or childcare payments)
  • Council Tax bill.

Get support with your essential payments

Keeping up with bills

Your household essential bills include your rent or mortgage, water, gas, electricity and Council Tax.

If you’re worried about missing these payments, speak to your supplier or local authority as soon as you can. You may be eligible for special payment assistance or it’s likely they can help make it easier for you to manage.

If you’re concerned about your mortgage payments, speak to your lender. If you have a mortgage with us, visit our Home Support Hub to see what options are available. If you’re struggling to pay your rent, speak to your landlord. We also recommend reading the Citizens Advice article on help with renting (opens in new window).

When there is a lot to pay and you need to prioritise, it’s better to clear the debts that carry penalties first and work from there. This includes your mortgage, rent and essential household bills. To find out more about debts and how to prioritise, visit the Money Helper website (opens in new window).

Energy saving offers

You can often save money by switching suppliers for utilities like electricity or broadband.

We’ve teamed up with Switchd to help reduce the pressure of your energy bills. Nationwide members can get a free 6-month subscription to the energy switching service. Find out more about our Switchd offer.

Food shopping

Enough food for you and your family is critical, and food shopping is often one of the biggest costs to budget for. By looking for ways to save money, you may find increased food costs easier to deal with.

There’s a lot of advice that can help you maximise your food budget. StepChange offer a range of useful tips to consider when shopping for food. Find out more on the StepChange website (opens in new window).

Get support with your debts

If your debts are beginning to feel too difficult for you to manage or if you’re relying on credit cards or overdrafts to pay for essentials, we recommend getting advice that is based on your circumstances. The sooner you ask for help, the quicker you can feel back in control.

If you have a credit card, loan, arranged overdraft or mortgage with us, we can help guide you to the best support option.

Get debt support

Other debt support and information

If you have debts with multiple providers, an independent third-party debt service can help. They’ll discuss your situation in confidence and help you find ways to manage your debts. PayPlan and StepChange are two services we work with to help you.

PayPlan is a free independent debt advice provider that can offer support if you’re concerned with keeping up with repayments. Visit the PayPlan website (opens in a new window) to find out more.

StepChange is a debt charity who help people take back control of their finances with a range of solutions. Visit the StepChange website (opens in a new window) to find out more.

We’d also recommend checking the Insolvency Service information on dealing with creditors. Visit for guidance on the Insolvency Service (opens in a new window).