The coronavirus crisis has hit everyone differently, but many of us will have felt the impact financially. There have been thousands of job losses, meaning people have had to dip into savings or apply for loans and benefits. As we emerge into a new world, it’s time to take control of your finances and get them back in order. However, there are some steps you can take now to manage your situation better. Some are long-term, while others are short-term fixes. The more you implement, the better off you will be. Read our helpful guide on how to get your finances back in order after the pandemic.
Take Out a Payday Loan
A short-term payday loan can help to pay immediate expenses. While payday loans aren’t a long-term solution, they can be handy if you have outgoing bills or need to replace a broken appliance quickly. As long as you have the funds to pay the loan back, they can be quick, cost-effective ways of getting extra funding.
Switch Household Bill and Energy Providers
It’s surprising how much you could save by switching energy suppliers. A few pounds may not seem like a lot, but everything you save will add up. Start by noting down every outgoing bill and expense you have. This could include but is not limited to gas and electricity, phone and internet providers and various types of insurance. Next, look at comparison websites or phone the companies to find out if they can offer you a better deal than your current one. Sometimes, companies will offer you a better deal if you are a long-term customer, but you will have to ask for these. Before you take any deals offered, go on comparison websites to see if you can get a better price with another service provider. If you can get a better deal with someone else, contact your original provider and ask if they can match the deal or do better. If they can’t, move your business elsewhere. This may seem like a hassle, but you can do this in an afternoon. It’s worth a few hours of your time to see if you could make major savings.
Check What You Are Entitled To
You may be entitled to benefits and other financial incentives from the government you’re not claiming. In addition, there are several benefits you can get depending upon your personal circumstances – you don’t necessarily have to be unemployed to claim these.
First, if you are furloughed, make sure your employer is paying you the correct amount. Next, check past wage slips to see how much 80% of your normal pay packet is, then work out if you’re getting this. If you are not, speak to your employer, then seek further advice on the government website if you get no further.
If you have children, you may be entitled to child benefits. You can claim child benefit for each child until 16 years old or under 20 if they are in full-time education or a training scheme. This could help the average family out massively, and if you are not claiming, head to the government website to fill out an application today. Currently, you can claim £21.05 per week for your first child, then £13.95 a week for any children after that. This means a family with two children could be entitled to roughly £1800 per year. If you are a high earner with an income of over £50,000 per year, you can still claim child benefit, but you will have to pay tax on it.
Universal credit is another government benefit you should check you are entitled to. If you have recently become unemployed due to the coronavirus crisis, universal credit could replace at least some of your income until you find a new role. You can use the calculator on the government website to see how much you could get before applying. The minimum you can get if you are a single claimant under 25 is £342.72 per month, and this figure rises as you get older and if you are part of a couple. So don’t put off claiming there’s nothing to lose, and this could help if your income has been reduced or you have been made unemployed recently.
Along with benefits, there are grants available in the UK to help you through times of financial hardship. Grants aren’t just for businesses, although these are available. You can use various online search tools to find the right grant for you. There are grants for white goods for low-income families, help with school uniforms and other necessities, emergency funds, home improvement funds, charity grants and many more. You may be entitled to one or more of these depending on your personal circumstances, so spend some time searching online to find out if a grant could help you and your family through the pandemic. A quick search of grants in the UK will bring up a selection of grants and grant finding tools online.
Contact Your Bank for Repayment Holidays
Your bank may be able to help if you have any debt. Due to the pandemic, banks are offering repayment holidays on mortgages, credit cards and overdrafts. What you will get, if anything, depends on your bank, your circumstances, what you owe, and any pre-existing repayment plans you have. Whether you think you’re entitled to a repayment holiday or not, it is worth contacting them to see what they can offer you. Banks know this is a difficult time for everyone and will be reasonable, so don’t feel anxious about discussing your difficulties with them, as many people will be in the same situation. However, the sooner you contact your bank, the sooner you can avoid getting stuck with mounting debt.