By Charles Stubbings, Account Manager, Moneybarn
COVID-19 has plunged the UK into unprecedented times, with most of the nation never experiencing a global crisis on this scale. It’s changing the way we live, including our spending habits.
Finances have been a key concern since the nationwide lockdown was announced, with many workers being furloughed and small businesses closing for the foreseeable future.
Despite the government making financial support available, many still find it hard to get by amongst the uncertainty. To help, Moneybarn has put together its top tips on how to keep your head above water in these stressful times.
This is the closest you’ll get to an actual holiday for a while, but you’ll be saving money rather than spending it. A ‘payment holiday’ is being offered for various outgoings, to relieve people of some financial burdens while money is tight.
But it’s important to know where to find the right information:
Mortgages: apply online with your bank where possible. The latest figures show 1 in 7 mortgages have been on payment holidays since the pandemic struck.
Loans and credit cards: lenders are required to give payment holidays to those whose finances have taken a drastic hit – and you have until July 9th to apply. You’ll still be charged interest, but this will just be added to the total repayment cost.
Renting: understanding your rights is important, as the government is encouraging landlords and tenants to work together to reach a fair arrangement. Failing this, the government has made it compulsory to give 3 months’ notice before eviction – protecting people while they come to terms with the impact of Covid-19.
Alternative money making
While many jobs rely on human interaction – particularly client-facing occupations like therapists, personal trainers or beauticians – all hope is not lost.
With video streaming platforms like Zoom and Skype becoming more accessible, why not try and continue working remotely? Get creative and consider running a workout class from home or starting an online course in your trade via video chat. Make sure you aren’t going outside the government guidelines before you start and then once you know, the world is your oyster!
Not only does a good clear out help declutter your mind and get your home organised, but it could also help you raise some extra cash.
‘Marie Kondo-ing’ your home will reveal exactly what you use, and which forgotten items you’re simply hoarding. But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so sift through and see which items you could place on online marketplaces like eBay, for some extra pocket money. Always be conscious of the lockdown restrictions, like essential travel and postage, but if the items do not qualify then you can always wait, knowing the items are there to be sold and money ready to be made!
Frustrating fixed savings
…are frustrating no more! Fixed savings offer much better interest rates than standard accounts, but in this time of financial strain, it can be frustrating to know you have money you can’t access.
Usually, there are access fees for dipping into your savings early, but this has been waivered while the country gets to grips with the coronavirus pandemic.
While this should never be your first port of call, as you could lose interest on your cash, there’s peace of mind in knowing your money is there if you need it.
For many people, this may have been an obvious first move. But many of us don’t always see the power in getting our ducks in a row.
In uncertain times, some structure can help keep your mind at ease. If you know what your key outgoings are, you’ll know where you can afford to cut down and save some extra cash.
There are a few ways to create a budget planner, with many online money advice forums sharing basic and flexible templates, so look around to find the one that works for you.