It’s no secret that financial concerns can affect our mental health, especially during a pandemic. The situation with the pandemic has impacted all of our financial plans.
Some people have been lucky as they are still able to earn the same amount of money as they were the previous year before the pandemic happened. Those that have been placed on furlough may not be able to think about saving money during the lockdown period. While lockdown meant that there are fewer opportunities to spend, this year has been uncertain for many.
To help put your mind at ease, we have provided some priceless tips that can help you save money and reduce stress.
What Benefits Are You Entitled To?
Have you claimed your support from the Government? There is a range of benefits that you may be eligible for including:
- Statutory sick page
- Employment and support allowance
- Jobseekers allowance
- Personal independence payments
There are also other types of financial benefits available, such as universal credit which can help top up your income. The amount you receive will depend on what you already have. However, it’s important to know that if you apply for universal credit, it can stop other benefits such as tax credits. It’s worth checking before you make a claim.
Although it’s difficult to predict what might happen in these uncertain times, it may be a good idea to top up your savings for that rainy day. Start by working out how much you can save and you may also wish to set up a direct debit to a savings account. You can then transfer an affordable amount of money into your savings account each month. If you transfer your savings as near to payday as possible then it will help you to avoid overspending. In the long run, this will give you financial resources for emergencies.
Whereas if you already have savings in place, the money you have been saving can be handy for that rainy day, which is very important in these uncertain times. If you’re receiving a lower income than usual, then it might be time to utilise your savings. After all, your savings are there to help at times like these.
Controlling Impulse Purchases
To help control impulse buys, vow to wait 24 hours before you hand over the money if you want to buy something. By waiting a day, it can help reduce on impulse purchases and that you only buy what you really need.
Removing sources of temptation can also help you save money. You may want to unsubscribe from promotional emails which tempt you to shop online. Although these promotional emails might offer limited-time deals, ask yourself if you really need that item right now. Removing your saved card details on your computer or mobile can also help reduce spend as you are taking away the convenience of making purchases online.
Prescription medication can become expensive, especially if you need medication frequently. However, there are is a variety of common medication that are available over the counter, such as skin creams and painkillers. These can be purchased at lower prices when compared to prescription prices.
For regular prescription users, there is an alternative. You could get a prepayment certificate which means you can pay a certain amount upfront which covers a certain time period. For example, you could pay £29.10 for three months or £104 for a year which will cover all of your prescription medication in that timeframe. Just two prescriptions a month under an annual cost could help you save a lot of money.
Ask for Help
If you’re struggling to meet your monthly mortgage payments, you should speak to your lender to see what help they can provide. Payment holidays have been introduced as a result of the coronavirus and they have become very common when it comes to mortgages and loans.
If you’re unsure about the type of help available to you, please get in touch with us. We are here to help you discuss your options.
About Stuart Mosley
Stuart Mosley (CeFA, CeMap, CLTM) founded SJ Financial Solutions in June 2005 having spent 12 years with big corporates such as Halifax and Santander. He felt the personal touch and straight speaking was missing from financial and mortgage advice services and set up SJ Financial Solutions to change this.
If you would like to book an appointment then please get in touch and we can arrange a suitable time to discuss further. We can arrange appointments at a place and time suitable to you, we can discuss your options over the phone or if you prefer email, then this is fine with us.