Managing your money if you’ve been affected by cancer
When you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to make sure you’re on top of your finances, and aware of what’s coming in, and what’s going out.
Paying your rent or mortgage when you have cancer
One of the main financial worries for cancer patients can be keeping up with mortgage or rent payments. This can be the single most expensive outgoing you have. Our Advisors can help look at a number of things including:
- Housing Benefit which is available for people over State Pension age on a low income, to help towards paying your rent. Eligibility depends on your income and savings and you must be liable to pay rent
- Universal Credit is claimed by people of working age, if they require help to pay their rent - this is called the housing costs element. Eligibility depends on your income and savings and you must be liable to pay rent
- If you have a mortgage you might be able to apply for a government loan to help pay your mortgage interest payments, if you are eligible for certain qualifying benefits
- If you are paying a mortgage, you may be able to speak to your bank or building society about taking a payment break or ‘holiday’, or moving to an interest only mortgage. This means either pausing or reducing your monthly payments, although you will still be required to pay the interest on your mortgage
- If you have insurance policies linked to your mortgage, you may be able to get the costs covered
After your rent or mortgage, your household bills are likely to be where you spend a lot of money. You might like to consider the following things:
- Some people undergoing cancer treatment can feel the cold more, which is why there are grants and discounts available for heating costs
- Your energy or water company may have a scheme to help you reduce your bills, we can help you to identify what might be available
- Depending on your income and savings, you may be eligible for Council Tax Reduction which can mean a full or part payment towards your council tax bill. You may apply whether you own or rent your home
Reducing costs - comparisons, planning, budgeting
Being in control of your finances means being aware of what you have coming in and going out. It’s important to budget your money to cover all your costs, so you don’t find yourself short at the end of the month.
- Use comparison websites like Go Compare to see whether you are getting the best deal on things like your energy, car or house insurance, phone bills or broadband
- Review your outgoings and monthly Direct Debits to see if there’s anything unnecessary, you can live without
- Plan your meals to reduce food waste and search online for recipes which can use up leftovers.
- Give regular meter readings to your energy supplier so that you are billed correctly
- Check out petrolprices.com where you can put your postcode in and it will tell you the most up to date petrol prices in your area
- For your council tax you can contact the local authority and ask to pay your bill over the 12 months rather than 10, when you receive notification of the amount of council tax you are liable for the year. Sometimes this can be reviewed throughout the year, depending on your circumstances
- Check to make sure if you have a TV package that you are making use of all the channels
- Rather than buying clothes brand you may want to consider shopping in charity shops where you can pick up great bargains. You can find your nearest Tenovus Cancer Care shop here
- If you are paying a bank account fee for a benefits package make sure that you are using all of the benefits
Contact our Benefits Advice Team
Get in touch with our friendly team who can offer advice on keeping on top of your money. Either use our Ask the Advisor form or call our free Support Line on 0808 808 1010.