We are living through unprecedented times and as a result many of us are facing financial struggles. Whether that is taking a pay cut, losing your job or having your investments value drop significantly – we are all feeling the strain right now.
I have spoken to my financial advisors and pulled together some basic financial tips and tricks to support you through this time. I really hope they help, but if you need more in-depth advice then feel free to use the resources listed at the end of the article. Right, let’s hop in!
1. First things first, check out the government website.
Here in the UK there is comprehensive support for almost anyone who is negatively impacted by Coronavirus, whether you’re an employee, self-employed or a business owner Further information here. Also, don’t forget you can also apply for a mortgage payment holiday.
2. Create an emergency budget.
Based on your current financial situation analyse your income, your outgoings and what you can afford to spend over the coming weeks and months. Remember, it is better to be too conservative than to overspend at a time like this. Check out this budget planner.
3. Check your savings.
Do you have some savings you can rely on? Some banks are allowing you to access fixed term savings with no penalties due to the current circumstances. Just get in touch with them.
4. Check your outgoings.
Many reoccurring outgoings can be put on hold for the time being, for example, many water companies are allowing payment breaks or adjusting payment plans. Don’t jump the gun and cancel all your direct debits though, your best bet is to get in touch with those companies who you pay bills too and checking their individual policies.
5. Cut costs.
Now is the time to tighten the purse strings and see where you can save cash, every little adds up. Already our lifestyles are naturally becoming less expensive as we go out less, travel less and eat out less. However, try taking it a step further and cutting back on as much non-critical or essential spending as possible. For example: no online clothing shopping (let’s be real we are all wearing Pjs most of the time anyway!), buying seasonal produce, freezing your gym membership, cancelling your season ticket, getting a better broadband deal and cutting your energy usage at home. Basically, take a long hard look at your bank statement and see what outgoings can be reduced or eliminated completely. Check out more tips here.
6. What about my long term investments such as pensions?
Sure, right now they are taking a massive hit and they are likely to continue to for a little while as we pass through this turbulent time. The most important thing is to avoid panic trading, as this often locks in losses and means you could miss out on any recovery. The safest bet is to sit on your investments and ride out the wave. Ultimately the long term impacts of the virus on investments is impossible to predict, but based on previous volatility in the markets – once things return to normal your investments should rebound.
7. Last but not least… watch out for scams.
Fraudsters are using the Coronavirus outbreak to scam people out of money, whether its fraudulent sellers online or phishing emails. Be extra vigilant.
Hopefully these tips help, but if you need more advice and support then check out these websites: