When you’re struggling financially, it can be tempting to withdraw and try to ‘go it alone’.
But whatever problem you’re facing, no matter how big or small – asking for help is really important.
Nobody can do it alone
It’s common to think we can solve our problems by ourselves. But this isn’t always possible – nor is it always the best thing to do:
We only see things from our viewpoint, which has blindspots. Speaking to others gives a more well-rounded view
As they’re less emotionally involved, others see the situation more clearly and can give more rational advice
Others might have the resources to help us solve the problem
It’s important to do what you can to solve your problems – but you don’t have to do it completely alone! Everyone needs help – why do the world’s best athletes, singers and entrepreneurs have coaches? ⛹️♀️
And in terms of asking for help from friends and family, yes, they might not be happy with some decisions you’ve made.
But they usually have your best interests at heart so regardless of how they feel, they’ll hopefully do what they can to help – but they can’t help if you don’t tell them!
We’re living under exceptional circumstances
The cost of living crisis means that more and more people are struggling financially, with prices rising much more quickly than salaries. We’re living in a moment in time where we’re all being financially impacted by conditions way out of our control.
Although times are hard, there is help available to ease some of the financial pressure you might be feeling, in addition to any help that may be available from friends and family.
Where you can find help with your money
Hardship funding and other financial help
Many students don’t apply for their university or college’s hardship funding because they don’t think it’s for them.
If you’re going through financial difficulty, your university or college is likely to have support on offer. Don’t hesitate to ask your Student Services department what help they can provide.
Even if you aren’t eligible for hardship funding, there might be other financial help available at your university or college.
Here’s everything you need to know about hardship funding.
You may also be eligible for other sources of additional funding, such as scholarships, bursaries and grants. Check out the Blackbullion Funds page and The Scholarship Hub to search for extra funds.
Food banks and hubs
As food prices rise rapidly, it’s becoming harder and harder to cover your weekly grocery shop. But there are some services providing free food items.
You can find a local Trussell Trust food bank here. It’s also worth asking your Student Services department if there are any food schemes on campus.
Help if you’re struggling with debt
It’s easy – particularly when times are tough – to fall into a cycle of debt, where the size of your debt gets bigger and bigger. You’re absolutely not alone if you’re struggling with debt right now.
StepChange is a charity that can provide advice. National Debtline also provides free debt advice including guides, factsheets and a web chat service. You can also go to Citizens Advice or MoneyHelper for more guidance.
Gambling presents lots of potential problems for your financial wellbeing and mental health, as well as other potential negative effects.
GamCare provides support for anyone affected by gambling problems. RecoverMe is an app that uses cognitive behavioural therapy to help those who are concerned about their gambling habits or think that they might have a gambling addiction.
You might be entitled to benefits
Make sure you check if you’re eligible for any benefits, such as Universal Credit – it’s worth making the most of any help you can get. Citizens Advice can assist with this.
Education, education, education!
One of the best forms of help you’ve got for your finances is financial education.
The Blackbullion platform covers 80+ financial topics to help you improve your money skills.
Learning about money will help you to understand your finances, leaving you better equipped to deal with difficult financial times and improving your financial wellbeing.
Some learning you might want to start with:
No matter bad times are and how much we might be struggling financially, we can all improve our situations by speaking to others and accepting and embracing help.
Further learning ⏭
5 positive things you can do for your money in 5 mins
8 financial icebreakers to start conversations about money
What you need to know when applying for scholarships, bursaries and grants