First of all don’t panic, there is always a solution. Do not turn to anything that will make your situation worse or anything that will cost you more money in the long run.
- Speak with family & friends – it’s obvious but understandably doesn’t work for everyone however most family members or friends will prefer to help than see you suffer. Just remember to pay them back (& not go off and splash out on non essentials) otherwise you risk ruining your relationship.
- Find your local food bank & get referred, you will need a voucher from an authority (e.g. Doctor, Citizens Advice Bureau, Family support, Job Centre, Colleges, Council, Hospital, Probation services, Social Services, and various other charities/groups) but these are fairly common across the country.
- See if there is a Foodcycle or similar near you, normally will give you a hot meal
- See if you can apply for a hardship grant via Turn2Us, anything from being a Vegan to having a last name of Johnston and everything in between! Also speak with your university/college or your council for similar hardship grants (these often aren’t ‘advertised’).
- Apply for a crisis loan – https://www.gov.uk/budgeting-help-benefits/how-it-works
- Take advantage of freebies etc, for instance we generally have multiple freebies on our website including free food and drink
- See if you have a local church that can help or a charity that gives free food. For instance in a Sikh Gurdwara (temple) they have Langars (kitchens) where vegetarian food is served to all visitors (regardless of faith, ethnicity etc).
- Bank overdraft – Only really suitable for students who can get 0% for up to 3-5 years, if you can’t get this interest free then ideally avoid it as long term it will cost you more money.
- Do some small jobs for cash – Cutting lawns, helping decorate etc. Make a few flyers with your story and explain what you’re trying to do and someone will help. Search local job boards, Facebook groups etc for cash in hand jobs.
- Sell your unused things on Facebook, Gumtree etc
- I know it may sound ridiculous but lots of places throw away perfectly edible food at the end of the day, finding these places can massively help but be careful with the whole trespassing thing.
Immediate relief that you should try and avoid
- Avoid payday loans – they’re the devils work, cost you ridiculous fees and if you don’t pay them back in time you risk massive charges
- Avoid credit cards – if used correctly you can benefit from the perks / income from stoozing HOWEVER if you’re currently in a situation where you have little or no money this unfortunately proves you’re not the best with financial planning, this is common with lots of people so don’t worry you’re not alone but getting a credit card is a bad idea at the moment.
- Avoid doing something you may regret – e.g. something illegal
- Avoid a bank loan – you need to drastically improve your current financial situation, masking it with cash that isn’t yours and will cost you more to pay back isn’t a solution.
Short term relief:
- Learn about ‘Reduced to clear’ times and exploit them to get super cheap food
- Delay/postpone your bills – Speak with the council, electricity/gas/phone companies &/or landlord and see if they can delay/spread out over time your bills etc to give you some breathing space.
- Continue looking for other grants you can apply for.
- Use our free guides on this website (e.g. improve yourself, profit & save)
Long term changes you need to make ASAP:
- Reconsider your food expenses, what you buy, where you buy it etc.
- Wrap up warm and learn how to spend less on your heating
- Learn about couponing and do it
- Research matched betting (however be extremely careful with this as if done wrong can cost you more money).
- Educate yourself, use that education to earn more money. You can learn so much for free.
- Act confident and you can get away with anything (within reason)