Help with essential costs
We understand money may feel tight right now. So we’re here to support you with some tips that may help when it comes to paying your bills, debts and living expenses. We also let you know about other organisations who may be able to support you with their expert guidance.
What's on this page
Review your spending
Taking a deeper look into what you spend will help you find out how much:
- you need to pay your bills
- makes up your basic living costs
- you have left for what else is important to you
When you’re clear on what your essential costs are, you can identify where you would like to reduce your spending.
Creating a budget can help you work out what you’re paying for, and how much you spend.
Check what you’re entitled to
Turn2us have a calculator to help you find out what benefits or grants you may be entitled to claim.
Their benefits calculator is quick and free to use. Any information you include is completely confidential.
Keep up with household 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.
When there is a lot to pay and you need to figure out what to pay first, it’s better to clear the debts that carry penalties and work from there.
To find out more about bills and debts, and how to prioritise, visit the Money Helper website (opens in new window).
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.
Help with your energy bills
There are many different energy efficiency support schemes available that could help you save money on your bills.
- For some general help with your energy bills, including different initiatives and schemes, visit gov.uk (opens in a new window)
- If you want to know what grants you could be eligible to receive as part of the Help to Heat initiative, including the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, visit gov.uk (opens in a new window)
- No matter your circumstance, you can read the Energy Savings Trust's tips (opens in a new window) and advice to save energy and lower bills.
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.
Switchd still runs daily checks on the whole market. You'll automatically be switched when there is a better deal available, without having to check yourself. You won't be charged until you've completed a switch and saved at least £50 even once the 6 months have finished.
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.
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.
Talk to an independent advisor about your debt
We work closely with organisations, like PayPlan and Stepchange, to make sure you can access free help based on your individual situation.
You can speak confidentially with a specialist debt advisor for different types of support including:
- help with debt plans and insolvency
- general debt advice
- money management
- financial wellbeing