A rundown of the sites we think give the most understandable info on money, debt, and everything that goes with it
Debt and money problems can be a pretty lonely thing to figure out. They can leave you feeling confused, frustrated and not sure who to turn to.
From charity websites, to blogs, to advice columns, there's lots online designed to help you deal with your money, and know what to do when it becomes a problem. Sometimes too much information can be confusing – and financial advice is one of the worst culprits for that.
So which websites do it best? These are some that we think set out information in a way that’s clear, helpful and understandable.
Where to go for help to start the process
For a lot of people, talking about money problems can be difficult. Asking for help or advice is a daunting task. Mind, the mental health charity, recognises that. They've put a guide together on how to go about starting conversations with people you know and trust, which feels like a big step in the right direction.
In fact, Mind have a whole range of useful information about money on its ‘tips for everyday living’ section of its website. It’s laid out clearly, has a five step plan to help you get to grips with your money and faces up to the fact that for a lot of people, money is actually a really difficult thing to talk about.
The page also gives some useful advice on how to prepare for a phone call with a debt advice charity, or a meeting with your bank to help make the process less stressful and less intimidating.
For help on knowing your rights
Citizens Advice is a UK based organization that helps you people their head around the problems we might face in day to day life. It’s pretty good at letting you know your rights as (you guessed it) a citizen, and has a very comprehensive website breaking down some of the most common problems people have.
If you’re looking to understand why your bank’s charged you for your overdraft, say, you just type that into the box on the homepage, and a summary of all the articles on the Citizens advice website comes up.
And when you're looking for advice on dealing with your debt
Stepchange is a charity designed to help people deal with debt problems. As well as having lots of online resources it can offer you advice that’s tailored to your situation, which is pretty helpful if the rulebook just isn't clarifying what applies to you. If you’re deep in debt it can set you up a free debt repayment plan so you pay all your debts off with one monthly payment.
Stepchange also runs something called Money Aware, which is a useful blog with tips and advice about how to avoid debt, which brings us onto…
Where to when you just want to manage your money better
There are lots of websites, magazines and newspaper sections that specialize in helping you save money in day-to-day life, the most famous are probably MoneySupermarket or MoneySavingExpert.
MoneySavingExpert is probably in the running for being the busiest, most difficult-to-read website ever. But somehow, it still draws hundreds of thousands of people to it. It's probably because of how vitally important the information they host is – if only they hosted it in a slightly more understandable way.
The site covers everything from getting you the best deal on your mortgage, to cheap cinema tickets. It’s constantly updated, really clear to read (once you get over the mad-busy homepage), and has some pretty helpful personal finance tips.
But for a more personal approach, there are also a lot of bloggers out there. As well as first-hand information about how to get by without spending loads of money, this-is-how-i-did-it style blogs prove that being skint doesn't mean you have to give up on having fun and staying healthy.
There's YoungMoneyBlog.co.uk which was launched by a blogger after deciding she should probably be a bit more organized about her spending and is now basically a fully-fledged personal finance site, while onepoundmeals.com has turned his instagram cooking tutorials into a career.