Things might feel up in the air right now, but you can still keep your finances under control.
It’s safe to say that 2020 has had a few twists and turns. The spread of COVID-19 has had a global impact on every aspect of our lives, from healthcare and businesses to social events and work.
So it’s no surprise that many of us are worried about the impact all of this will have on our finances. The current government isolation guidelines mean that, for those of us that aren’t key workers, we’re either working from home or not working at all. Understandably, incorporating all these changes into our finances can feel like a mammoth task.
But there are ways to manage your money effectively even during a nationwide lockdown. And we’ve got the information you need.
From checking your past bookings to seeking support from an independent financial advisor, these are some of the most effective ways to keep your savings in check during this period of uncertainty. Let’s take a look.
Look into government support
Because the coronavirus crisis is such an unprecedented situation to be part of, the government has put a huge amount of support in place to help employers, employees and self-employed individuals alike. If you’re self-employed and worried about how the current climate might impact your incomings, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme offers a taxable grant of up to 80% of a self-employed person’s income based on average monthly profits for the last three years.
Be sure to explore the gov.uk website and see what support measures are in place for you.
Review your incomings and outgoings
They say ignorance is bliss, but now is not the time to avoid your bank balance out of fear. It’s essential that you stay constantly aware of your financial situation.
Check exactly what you’re expecting to come in over the next few months, and make a logical estimate of your outgoings, including housing costs, essential bills and food shopping.
This is also a good time to review your direct debits to see whether everything is essential right now. Many gym memberships are freezing memberships for users, but if yours isn’t and you’re struggling financially, you probably don’t need to keep paying right now.
Budget, budget, budget
If you’ve never properly budgeted before, now is a great time to start. Giving yourself a weekly limit on your spending will give you much greater control over your finances, and make your overall situation much clearer.
Be realistic with your budget rather than optimistic, looking at the last week as a template. It’s easy to think that lockdown means spending no money at all, but this likely won’t be the case.
Check any bookings to see what you’re owed
Chances are the events you had planned for the coming months have been cancelled, and travel plans have been postponed. Be sure to check the fine print of these arrangements to see if you’re entitled to a full refund, which you 9/10 should be. Alternatively, you might be offered the chance to reorganise your plans at no extra cost.
The presence of a global pandemic can trigger some severely reckless spending, but try to avoid this temptation and instead keep being smart and sensible with your finances.
Try setting yourself a goal for how much money you want to save over the lockdown period. Most people find that simply giving themselves a target to aim for can make their saving efforts more fruitful.
Get help and support
Despite being in isolation, you don’t have to suffer alone. Seeking out the help of an independent financial advisor can help clear the path ahead of you and give you peace of mind when it comes to your finances. From general support to investment advice, independent support can help you stay on track during this time.
Whether you’re looking for investment advice or help with managing your finances, speak to the team at Carrick Financial Management today. An independent financial adviser can offer expert and impartial guidance centred around your needs.