How to claim & what you can get
Universal credit is a controversial new benefit designed to simplify the welfare system. It combines six benefits into one single payment, but the roll-out has been plagued by delays to payments, which have left tens of thousands of vulnerable people in rental arrears and some even dependent on food banks.
Best Children's Savings
Teach your kids to save at up to 4.5% interest
Children can earn up to 4.5% on their savings – yet many have cash in accounts that pay dismal amounts, depriving them not only of interest, but the lesson that your money can work for you. This is a guide to the top-paying children's accounts, including how to use their tax-free allowance for your gain.
Cut childcare costs by £1,000/year
Many parents can save £100s a year using Childcare Vouchers, which allow you to pay for childcare from your PRE-TAX salary. The scheme closed for new applicants on 4 Oct, but if you were signed up before then, you can still use them, so we've left this guide as it was. As long as you're with the same employer, and it still offers them, you can continue to get Childcare Vouchers
Child Trust Funds
Should you switch to a junior ISA?
Child Trust Funds (CTFs) are defunct tax-free savings products, but the six million original accounts can be converted into more competitive junior ISAs – and the first children eligible for the funds are now old enough to manage their account themselves.
How to claim child tax credit and working tax credit, renew or appeal
Tax credits can be worth £1,000s a year, even after the cutbacks of recent times. Unlike many other benefits, you renew them each year. However, most people making new claims now (rather than renewing) have to apply for universal credit.
Government scheme gives you up to £2,000 per child
Tax-Free Childcare gives eligible families up to £2,000 a year per child towards childcare costs, for free. And it even pays towards activities such as summer clubs. Yet of the 1.6 million families eligible for the scheme, only about 315,000 are claiming. Here we explain how it works and how you can sign up.
Things to do with the kids
Days out, free activities, restaurant offers & more
Kids need to be kept entertained, especially during the school holidays. But there's no need to break the bank – our guide is packed with free and cheap activities to keep the little ones occupied, plus deals and tricks for cheap family days out.
Can you take kids on term-time holidays without being fined?
In 2017, a dad who took his daughter out of school to go on holiday, lost a long-running battle against the system. With the cost of going away rocketing during school holidays, it's no wonder many are tempted – but last year the number of fines issued to parents in England for unauthorised holiday absences shot up by 93%. Here's the latest on what you can and can't do.