This is a little out of the usual for my blogging material but in light of the current world wide situation, some of my blogs are going to be less MS focused and more based on tips to help you get through the next few months. As we all have to make changes to our lives, I am hoping to offer some advice on things I am doing to make my life easier. I hope you find these useful. In this blog, I am going to write about ways you might want to save money – you may have to spend more on unexpected items, things might cost more, or you may have lost your job. Either way – these are tips that I’ve curated from the past couple of months since I started my corona lock down at home.
Writing up an emergency budget – use a spreadsheet to work out what money you have coming in and what you have going out. You can download some budget planning apps which will help you make some savings as well. I don’t personally thing anyone finds this fun, but you might be relieved you did as it will help you identify areas you can cut back.
Check out what savings you have and if you can use any of them – if you don’t have any savings, it’s perhaps not the best time to start putting money away. Of course if you have some spare, put that aside as you never know when times may be harder.
Shopping – only buy what you need and cook meals in bulk for reheating. We have always written up a shopping list for the week ahead so we have very little food waste. It will help you to buy enough for you and your family, and you will save money by not wasting food. Oh and whilst you’re stuck at home – don’t be tempted by all of the deals online for home delivery!!
Ask your mortgage provider for a holiday – during this time perhaps you can appeal to the better nature of your mortgage provider and ask for a couple of months off to get your finances in check. These are strange times and a break from large payments may give you the chance you need to get a reserve of money. Taking a holiday from these payments will not affect your credit file but you will be impacted if you are unable to pay your bills. From what I have read, a mortgage lender will be willing to offer a 3 month holiday for people who are at risk of hardship.
Council tax – well. I have recently tweeted the local council about this one. Council is a priority debt and this means that if you don’t pay it, you can get taken to court. The councils have not yet issued details about what will happen with the council tax during this time – however if for any reason you are struggling to make payments to your council tax, you must contact them and let them know.
Gas and electric – all of us need to pay for these important services to keep our houses warm. If you are struggling to make payments to these, don’t be silent about it. Contact the provider and they may be able to draw up a new payment plan for you.
Insurance – you won’t be able to take out any income protection or redundancy insurance now as this is a worldwide crisis. However you may be able to claim if you already have the protection in place. Have a look at your policies and see if you can make a claim if you are sick or lose your job as a result of the current situation.
Renters – I am no longer a renter myself but I know that if I was this would be a worrying time. Not only are rentals often riddled with issues such as damp and drafts, but if you are unable to make payments you are at risk of being made homeless. The government have put in place some new policies to prevent landlords from being able to evict tenants who are unable to pay. Whilst some landlords have already sent letters to their tenants advising that they understand the current situation and will offer holidays to tenants – the government has suggested that tenants are entitled to at least 3 months grace on rental payments.