How can you navigate the ‘new normal’ financially? We provide 4 simple tips to help you get to grips with your finances while the lockdown purgatory drags on.
- Calculate your new personal budget
The COVID-19 outbreak has split people into two very distinct groups. While millions of workers have lost their jobs or are struggling on zero-hours contracts and no government support, others have maintained their income and now have nothing to spend their money on.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, one thing is for sure – your financial circumstances will have changed. That’s why it’s a good idea to calculate your new personal budget, which this template from Wonga South Africa can help you with. Getting a precise picture of your new income and expenditure will allow you to make the most of your current circumstances, whether you choose to put more of your money into savings or you identify areas where you can cut your costs.
- Research all the available support
If you’re struggling financially, it’s essential that you’re aware of and apply for any support that’s available. Governments around the world are putting support packages in place and many lenders are offering mortgage windows that could allow you to defer your mortgage payments for up to three months. If you rent your home, it’s worth contacting your landlord to explain your situation and to discuss whether they can offer any flexibility around your rental payments.
- Build a cash buffer
If you’ve struggled to save money previously and your income has been unaffected by COVID-19, this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to save, save, save. With very little to spend money on, millions of people are finding that they’re better off during lockdown than they’d usually be. That has led to record consumer debt repayments in the UK. You could use the extra money to build an emergency cash buffer, repay personal loans and credit card debts or even to save a deposit for a home.
- Review memberships and subscriptions
With everyone having such busy lives these days, the COVID-19 lockdown has given many people the gift of time. It has allowed them to slow down and take a look at the finer details of their finances that they’d usually overlook.
This is a great opportunity to review all those monthly memberships and annual subscriptions you pay for and think about whether your money is being well spent. Many memberships have been frozen, so this is the perfect time to test whether you miss them. If you don’t, you should cancel them as soon as you can.
What are your financial tips for lockdown? Please share your thoughts with our readers in the comments below.