Managing money

It is easy to be financially cocooned when in the Armed Forces, especially if you are living in service living accommodation, or service family accommodation.

Being or getting on top of your finances

Good money management is really important. From living within your means, to saving for short and long-term goals or having a realistic plan to repay your debts, it all pays off.

It may seem time-consuming but it will save you money in the long run. Knowing how much money you have coming in and how much is going out is key to staying on top of your finances.

Further information:

Benefits and tax credits

There are various forms of benefits. There are independent benefits calculators to help you find out what benefits you could be entitled to, how to claim them.

The Royal British Legion’s Benefits, Debt and Money Advice Service provides free, confidential advice about benefits that you may be entitled to, assistance in making an appeal against a benefit decision and comprehensive advice for those in unmanageable debt.

Coping with debt

It’s important that if you’re in debt, or at risk of getting into debt, that you face up to the situation. Don’t be tempted to take out a payday loan or short term loan with an unlicensed money lender (loan shark).

There are a number of independent organisations that can help you excavate your way out of a debt situation.

  • SSAFA debt advice will let you know about qualified debt advisers working in your area. Once you have received specialist advice, SSAFA can then look for ways to help with any priority debts – these are debts where you are at risk of losing your home or supplies of essentials such as – gas or electricity.
  • National Debtline (ND) is an independent charity, dedicated to providing free debt advice by phone and online to people across the UK.
  • Step Change Debt Charity is experts in helping people to manage and repay their debts.
  • Money Advice Service offers free advice and support online, in person and over the phone.
  • Citizens Advice has detailed and independent advice on managing all money issues including dealing with debt, mortgage and rent arrears, insurance, loans, pensions and banking.
  • The Royal British Legion’s Benefits, Debt and Money Advice Service provides free, confidential advice about benefits that you may be entitled to, assistance in making an appeal against a benefits decision and comprehensive advice for those in unmanageable debt.
  • Turn2us is a national charity that can help people access benefits, grants and support services if you are in financial hardship.

Pensions

You may be eligible for an Armed Forces pension if you’re a current, or former member of the Armed Forces.

Veterans UK is responsible for the assessment, award, payment, and maintenance of all pensions relating to the Armed Forces. Pension forms are produced by Veterans UK.

It is important that you plan to have enough income in retirement. As well as your Armed Forces pension(s) you may be eligible for the State Pension.

Armed Forces and Reserve Forces pension schemes guidance booklets.

If you’ve been seriously injured during service

There are several Armed Forces Compensation Schemes available to serving and former serving personnel who are injured as a result of their service in the Armed Forces. The scheme that applies to each individual will depend on when and where you served.

The Royal British Legion can provide grants to serving and ex-service people and their dependents who are suffering financially.