The last month of the year is often one of the most expensive – and with Christmas fast approaching these are all the money changes that you need to know about.
There are also a number of important announcements that shoppers should be looking out for to help them budget for the next few weeks.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will issue its annual Christmas bonus and there will be updates to interest rates and inflation rates over the last 12 months.
Pensioners will continue to receive up to £600 in support next month – and if you’re not sure if you’re eligible for it, there is a key date to note down in your diary.
Being aware of money changes this Christmas can really help get finances in order, and ensure you stick to a budget.
The DWP will soon start to pay £10 to people claiming certain benefits. You need to be in receipt of one of the following benefits in the ‘qualifying week’ – which is usually the first full week of December – to receive the bonus.
You must also be present or ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Gibraltar during the qualifying week.
Winter Fuel Payments will continue to be paid to eligible state pensioners in December, having started in November. The Winter Fuel Payment itself is worth up to £300, depending on your living arrangements and circumstances.
But the Government is then topping this up with an extra £300 pensioner cost of living payment – meaning some households will get up to £600 this winter. You can get a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023/24 if you were born before September 25, 1957.
Most people who receive the following benefits will get the Winter Fuel Payment automatically:
There will be some cases where you need to apply. Read more about the Winter Fuel Payment and if you need to physically apply for the cash here.
Cold Weather Payments are worth £25 and are awarded when the average temperature where you live is recorded as, or forecast to be, 0C or below over seven consecutive days.
Keep an eye out for this award if the temperature drops in December (as it has already been close to freezing at the end of this month.)
The scheme reopened on November 1 and will run until March 31 next year. You need to be living in England or Wales and claiming certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest to be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment.
If you live in Scotland, you might be entitled to an annual £50 Winter Heating Payment instead.
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