Make a big difference with small change

Do you

  • Struggle to cover expenses every month?
  • Feel like as soon as money comes in, it goes out and there is nothing left over?
  • Wish you could afford a holiday but that seems impossible?

We can help.

Try out our top tips here or get in touch with your income officer for one to one advice and help.


A budget gives you control and keeps you focused on where your money goes. It helps you to avoid spending unnecessarily on things that do not help you achieve your money goals.

  • Visit us on 5-9th September and we will help you in person. Its all confidential and one-to-one advice so its about you and your money.
  • Visit The Money Advice Service website for their budget planner. It allows you to put in all the money you get in and money you spend then it creates a spreadsheet for you, with advice about how much you have left over each month:
  • Use the Jam Jar approach. Divide your money into separate pots (jam jars, envelopes or separate accounts) for different expenses. It’s a great way of making sure your essential bills are covered and your money does not get spent on other things. If you are using real containers (jars for example), you take cash from the allocated jar to pay each bill as it comes in. You also do the same before you go shopping. Try to stick to a rule of ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’. For example, if your petrol jam jar is empty don’t allow yourself to dip into your electricity jar instead.If you have any cash left in the jars at the end of the week or month, try to get into the habit of putting it towards an emergency savings fund. Most banks offer jam-jar accounts which do not charge you if a Direct Debit is set up but the account is empty. Ask you bank for more details. 




  • Put a little money aside often. You will be surprised how they add up.
  • Get a budgeting card like the The Post Office Budget Card Plus – this allows you to save money separately from your bank account or physical piggy bank at home and once it’s on the card you cant remove it, it can only be spent at participating retailers (over 22,000 listed):

Benefits include:

  • You can save a minimum £2 and maximum £250 in multiples of £1 up to the annual limit on your Budget Card Plus.
  • You can save a maximum of £3,000 every year: and, from 24 hours after putting money on the card, you can use it to pay for selected Post Office services like your car tax, telephone bill or One4all Gift Cards.
  • IT can be used in over 22,000 high street stores nationwide and selected online stores between 1st November until 31st January. View the full listing on the website.



Debt is a common challenge for lots of people. The Guardian reported that ‘the average UK household owes close to £10,000 in debts such as personal loans, credit cards and overdrafts (full article here:

If you have debt, take control. Get debt advice even if you think you are coping as there may be a more effective way to manage and reduce your debt.

Octavia hold a debt advice surgery provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau on Thursdays. We also have a Financial Inclusion Officer who can provide debt advice by appointment.

If you are unable to come in to see us then you can call the debt charity Stepchange on 0800 138 1111, Mon-Fri 8am-8pm and Sat 8am- 4pm.