The economy has been hugely affected by the pandemic and as a result many people are, not surprisingly, worrying about their finances.
Whether you’ve lost your job, have been furloughed, or are worrying about keeping up with payments, there are many things you can do to protect your finances until normal life resumes.
Consult the experts
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Look at your
Bite the bullet and look at your bank account.
Are you still paying for a gym membership? Do you have subscriptions you no longer need? Run through your bank statement and cancel any non-essential direct debits.
Still shopping on ASOS? Making in-app purchases on Candy Crush? It’s time to scale it back. Try to cut down on any non-essential spending – that’s spending that goes towards anything that isn’t necessary. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it adds up.
how long the coronavirus situation will go on for, so having some savings where
possible is a smart move, even if you are still earning.
If you are able
to put a little bit of money away in savings, take a look at MoneySuperMarket to see the best savings accounts.
The best thing to do if you’re worried about cashflow is to create a strict budget to follow.
Budget planning will help you cut costs and save money, so we really recommend you try it out. Money Advice Service has a great budget planner which is a good place to start.
overdrafts and loans
Many lenders have put measures in place to help people struggling with debt as a result of coronavirus.
If you owe money, contact your lenders and explain that you are struggling to make payments. Support measures vary but there are some in place to help see customers through the short term.
Remember, burying your head in the sand is not the best strategy when it comes to managing debt. A proactive approach will put you in control of your finances helping you feel way more positive.
you’re entitled to benefits
If you have
lost your job, are self-employed and self-isolating, and aren’t currently on
any benefits, you may be entitled to some on the Employment and Support Allowance or Universal
Check out this benefits calculator to see what you may be entitled to.
If you have to
take time off work because you’re ill, you may need to rely on Statutory
Sick Pay, Universal
Credit or Employment and Support Allowance.
self-employed, the government has a little bit of good news for you: you can
defer paying tax on VAT for three months. This may even be extended, depending
on how long the coronavirus situation continues.
You can defer
payments until a later date if you owe VAT between 20th March and 20th
June, but if you want to you can continue paying VAT as usual.
are part of the government’s Time to Pay Scheme,
so check it out for further details.
If you are
unable to pay your employees wages, take a look at the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
You may do your best to follow finance advice, but if you’re having an absolute cash crisis, there is help available if you can’t afford the essentials.
If this applies to you Step Change offer some invaluable resources.
Look after yourself
stressful time and really important to look after yourself.
Try to stay
calm and keep connected to friends and family – and reach out if you need help.
And remember, you are not alone.