Planning & Managing Your Finances

Macmillan Cancer Support

Cancer can affect your finances. Planning, managing and understanding your finances will help you.

Income

Cancer can affect your usual income. It is important to make sure you have enough money coming in to cover what you need. This money could come from:

  • work
  • benefits
  • savings or investments
  • insurance policies
  • pensions
  • grants.

Consider your current monthly income and expenses – and what they would be if you’re unable to work. If your income is low, you may be eligible for state benefits. This can also apply if you are elderly or a carer. If you have a health or life insurance policy, check whether you’re eligible for a pay-out. You may receive a lump-sum that you could invest or use to pay off debts.

Reviewing any savings and investments may help with their everyday management. You could decide to cash them in or stop payments if money is tight. Before cancelling any regular payments, check the terms and conditions for the savings account or investment.

Budgeting

Planning a budget

A budget shows how much money you have coming in and going out. Working out your weekly or monthly budget is an important step to managing your everyday finances. Once you’ve created a budget, it will help you understand what you need to do next.

Three steps to working out your budget

  1. Write down your regular income from all sources and add it all together. This is your total income.
  2. Write down everything you spend (monthly or weekly) and add it all together. This is your total spend. You may not spend money on everything we suggest in our budget calculator, but make sure you include everything that applies to you.
  3. Subtract your total spend from your total income. This gives you your balance. This is the amount you have left over each month (or week, depending how you have calculated).
  4. If the final amount is less than zero, you are spending more money than you have coming in. This is called having a shortfall. If you have a shortfall, you should check whether you can increase your income and look at ways to cut your spending.

Managing payments

It is important to keep track of your bills and bank accounts, although this can be hard.

Paying by direct debit ensures your bills are automatically paid on time. It lets an organisation take money from your account each month. Contact the company providing the goods or service to set up a direct debit.

You can pay a lot of bills online. Contact the company providing the goods or service to arrange this.

When you are coping with cancer and its effects, you may want to ask someone you trust to help with your banking. You can do this through a third-party mandate or using a joint bank account.

You could also open a Post Office card account, which accepts state benefit and pension payments. If you apply for one person to be given permanent access to the account, they can take money out on your behalf.

If you don’t have a bank account, you may be able to use the Simple Payment method to collect any benefits, pension and child maintenance payments.

For further information go to https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/organising/your-finances

The Macmillan Support Line is staffed by trained experts and offers people with cancer and their loved ones practical, clinical, financial and emotional support. Call free on 0808 808 0000 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm).

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Helplines & Web Chats

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Bowel Cancer UK - Forum
Bowel Cancer UK - Ask a Nurse
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