Since the onset of COVID-19 millions have struggled to preserve their livelihoods. Many businesses in the UK have stalled. Meeting basic financial obligations has become a challenge. In these turbulent times we look for ways to mitigate our losses and take back control of our personal finances.
Here are some ideas.
In the present economic climate managing asset payments is of prime importance. Numerous mortgage owners have experienced financial blows. Yet, there is still a lot of wiggle room for making those loan repayments. In April the UK government offered the chance to apply for a 3 month payment holiday for mortgages and rentals. Furthermore, you can request an extension after that 3 month relaxation elapses. If you are still faced with constraints in making your repayments, you can defer them all the way to October 2020. Millions of migrant workers in the UK send international money transfers for loan repayments. With similar schemes in other nations many of them will be able to reduce their financial burdens for a while.
The COVID-19 economic crisis forced too many of us to dig deep into our savings. Economic activity is still stagnant in many places. We must find more effective ways to meet the daily demands. One practical suggestion has been to cut back on certain areas of consumption. Take TV for instance. Sky Sports and BT have given their customers the option to pause subscriptions till things get back to normal. Interestingly customers will continue to have access to these channels during the subscription pause.
Another such area is the cost of commute. With many of working from home we spend less time and money to get to and from the office. Train users can now get refunds on advance tickets. If you have at least a few days left on a weekly or monthly ticket, you may be eligible for a refund. There is more positive news for those who use the tube. TfL will grant a refund if you still have at least six weeks remaining on your annual ticket. Monthly and 7-day tickets can be refund too, subject to the eligibility conditions.
For those of us who happen to be afflicted, another way to save money is to take sick leave. You may be able to get GBP 94.25 per week for up to 28 weeks in Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from your employer if you’re too sick to work.
You may want to take advantage of universal credit. Normally universal credit is available for people who have lost their jobs, or have low household incomes. Credit card companies are now willing to waive some of their fees. Banks are offering reduced payments and payment holidays on loans. In fact, the Financial Credit Authority has allowed banks and credit card companies to stop payments for a 3 month period starting April. Moreover, with the 'emergency credit limit' your purchasing power could increase. Contact your credit card and loan providers for more details on waivers and payment holidays.
Life's inevitable demands often force us to take out loans. If your loan payments seem to be taking a toll on your other priorities, here is a bright idea: Handle the high interest loans first. According to a financial guide published by Mercer in April, you stand a greater chance of obtaining a credit card with no interest on balance transfers if you have a good credit score. The world’s biggest outsourced asset manager advises that you won’t need to pay interest on your credit card debts for a good long period of time if you pay all your debts inside the given time frame.
COVID-19 caused much of the economy to stall. Meanwhile the bills kept coming. One way to create some liquidity is to break a fixed deposit. However, doing so usually attracts penalties. Some banks in the UK have temporarily waived the penalties and fees for withdrawing money from fixed deposits. Contact your bank for this and other temporary but useful solutions that offer a way out of the current predicament.