Managing your finances during the pandemic

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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 current outgoings

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.

Nobody knows 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.

Create a budget plan

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.

Debts, 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.

See if 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 Credit.

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.


If you’re 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.

These deferrals 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.

Need emergency help?

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

It’s a 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.

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