Get ready for Christmas with Perennial’s budgeting tool
Perennial, the charity for people working in all areas of horticulture, is helping those in the sector to take control of their finances and combat their money worries in the run-up to Christmas. For those struggling to pay their bills, Perennial’s friendly team is available on the helpline (0800 093 8543) and ready to support people.
The charity is encouraging everyone, regardless of their financial position, to visit the website (perennial.org.uk/budgetingtool) and use the tools available to help manage their money for Christmas and beyond. The easy-to-use budgeting tool will help people find out how they are using their money, check their financial situation and receive useful hints and tips.
Perennial also offers a range of financial support from short-term help towards the cost of food, heating and clothing to those that may go through a period of illness, or families who have experienced a recent bereavement.
Christmas is a time of celebration but for many, it brings added financial pressure. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), nearly 63% of people* surveyed this year are feeling stressed or anxious about their financial situation. This can have a significant impact on their emotional and physical wellbeing. In addition, when questioned** 1 in 3 people said that they are unable to save for the year ahead and would also be unable to pay for an unexpected expense of £850. This figure rose for those on lower wages to 41.5% and parents were particularly affected with nearly half unable to pay for an unexpected expense.
Wendy Tozer, Debt Advice Manager at Perennial, comments:
Most of the people we help require financial help and support of some kind and we know it is a huge contributing factor to stress and other mental health issues. But financial wellbeing is so much more than managing debt and we want everyone working in horticulture to have the confidence to take control of their money.
Using the budgeting tool is a great first step towards understanding personal finances and achieving a good balance between income and spending. By being money-aware and creating a budget, we hope that those who are struggling financially will then be encouraged to spend wisely this Christmas. The tool also gives lots of tips for increasing income and reducing expenditure, giving people the means to make a change for themselves or find out where to go for further help.
Perennial’s online budgeting tool is available via the Perennial website and can be used on a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. It is very easy to use and does not require any technical or financial expertise.
All information provided is completely confidential and will not be shared with anyone else. People can use it anonymously if they wish or they can register to allow them to revisit their budget at any time and see how their planned changes are working.
Speaking about his experience of using the Perennial budgeting tool, one person said:
I used the Perennial budgeting tool on my phone and it was very easy to use. It has helped me to understand my finances better and encouraged me to contact Perennial for additional help and advice. I’d certainly recommend it to others who might be worrying about money.
Perennial’s qualified debt advisers are on hand to support individuals with their financial concerns, from better budgeting, talking to creditors, or more complicated issues such as bankruptcy. They also work with individuals to ensure that they are receiving the support they are entitled to from the state. This is vital support as many people have experienced a change in financial situation during 2020. Perennial also offers direct financial help in some circumstances, including help for spouses/partners and dependent children.
In 2020 Perennial continues its push to reach more people than ever before with information about its services including preventing the need for Perennial’s help in the first place.
Julia Hayne, Director of Services at Perennial, says:
We know that unplanned expenditure remains a challenge for families managing a stretched monthly budget. We can often make a positive change to people’s circumstances and we find that when people seek our help early we can prevent their situation worsening. If you would like help, information or are worried about money please use our online tool and speak to us as soon as possible.
Perennial’s Debt Advice Service is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (www.fca.org.uk).
*Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain, published by the Office for National Statistics, May 2020
**Personal and economic well-being in Great Britain, published by the Office for National Statistics, September 2020