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How can I manage my money?

Photo: You may need to budget your finances to access the things you want and need

If you're deaf, you may be entitled to extra financial support for living, education or work. It’s important that you make sure you're getting all the additional benefits you are allowed to have and that you manage your money sensibly.

Depending on your needs you may find you'll need to budget more than your hearing friends so you can use it to access the things you want and need. You can also find out more about benefits you may be entitled to.

How do I budget?

Knowing how much money you have coming in and what you have to spend it on is important in managing your money. The best way is to stay in charge of you money is to make a budget. Write down all the money you have coming in and make a note of when it comes in and then also make a list of all of the things you have to pay out, such as bills. This will help you know what you have left over at the end and whether you need to make any changes like reducing some of your costs.

There are lots of tools to help you do this, including apps you can use on your smartphone, some are even linked directly to your bank account. You can use a free budget calculator from organisations, such as Money Helper and Citizens Advice.

Problems with money

If you get into problems with money, Money Helper will be able to give you help and advice. You can also contact charities like Stepchange for free help, including their debt calculator. Both have useful tools like budget and information about debts and what to do if you find yourself in that situation.

Help with money and access support

Remember there might also be extra money to help you with independent living, travel, studying and support in the workplace.

These include:

  • access to work, which helps with costs at work, like interpreters and palantypists
  • Disabled Students Allowance, which helps with costs at university like note takers.

If you're not already receiving it, check if you are eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

If you're on a low income or looking for work you may be entitled to benefits like Universal Credit. They can sometimes pay extra because of a disability or deafness. You can use online benefits calculators to check what you are entitled to, like those on the Turn2us and Entitledto websites. 

If you're studying you may be entitled to student support like bursaries or grants. Turn2us also have a grants finder for extra help with things like paying for a piece of technology, or to help you with your studies. You may also qualify for some benefits but the rules can be a bit complicated, so it might be a good idea to speak to a benefits advisor or to contact our helpline.

You can find more information about studying and benefits here.

To receive Universal Credit and other benefits, you’ll need a bank or building society current account, or an account with an alternative provider like a credit union. The account must allow you to both make and receive automated payments. Go to the Money Helper website to find out more about the options available and which is best for you.

How much should I be saving?

Start saving as soon as you can. Even if you are just saving small amounts it's a good habit to get into. Some banks have apps and tools to help you with this. 

While you’re here think about your pension. It may be a long way off but the earlier you start to save, the better your pension pot will be. It's important to think about the best options for you. The pension advisory service can provide free information and advice and websites like Money Saving Expert will have helpful tips.

There are free savings calculators to help you plan how to save sustainably.

Which bank should I choose?

It’s important to have your own bank or building society account so you can get your wages or benefits payment. 

Banks have lots of deaf friendly features, but their accounts all offer something slightly different, so you need to find the right one for you. Before choosing your bank some of the things you may want to do include:

  • finding out if they have any deaf friendly features, for example, BSL video relay, next generation text or online banking
  • thinking about what you would need in an emergency, for example, if you lost your bank card or you hadn't been paid and had bills to pay. How easily could you reach your bank or get in contact?
  • Do they charge a fee?

Generally, most accounts are free to start so if you choose one and don't like it, there isn't anything to stop you switching to a different one. 

There are lots of choice from, you can lean more about the different bank accounts on the Money Helper website.

If you can’t open a bank or building society account, for example some people who have difficulty proving their identity, you could also consider a opening a post office account or a basic bank account.

Disabled Persons Railcard

If you regularly travel by train, buying a Disabled Persons Railcard could save you money. The railcard gives you and the person you're travelling with 1/3 off the price of your train tickets anywhere in the UK. Remember, you must take the railcard with you when you travel.

You can buy your railcard on the Disabled Persons Railcard website.