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: 

  • Money Advice Service  offers free advice and support online, in person and over the phone. 
  • Money Saving Expert  aims to provide money-saving guides, tips and tools. They also highlight special offers and provide detailed information about budgeting, loans and mortgages. 
  • Citizens Advice  national team has detailed and independent advice on managing all money issues including dealing with debt, mortgage and rent arrears, insurance, loans, pensions and banking. 
  • Citizens Advice local office    
  • StepChange provides money and advice support. 
  • Moneyforce - Royal British Legion helps to get your finances in order. 
  • Turn2us  is a national charity that can help people access benefits, grants and support services if you are in financial hardship. 

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.