One of the biggest struggles many of us are facing right now is financial difficulties. Even the most financially stable of us prior to the pandemic may be experiencing struggles now – all at the hands of coronavirus. But how has the virus impacted our cash flow? Well, governments around the world have implemented social isolation and social distancing measures, which have had a negative impact on businesses in a whole host of industries. Many businesses have been unable to operate as usual, as they have had to close their premises or have had to limit the amount of people who can go into their premises at any one time. Those that have been unable to operate remotely may have had to let staff go or make staff redundant. More people out of work means less people spending money on the whole, which then impacts further businesses, as there’s less demand for their products. These companies may then have to let staff go, make people redundant, or offer their staff reduced hours or reduced salaries. This may well be stressful. But the important thing to bear in mind is that there are ways to deal with financial difficulties right now. Here are some to consider.
Create a New Budget
As adults, many of us live to a budget. This is where we determine exactly how much money we have coming in on a monthly basis, how much needs to be spent on essentials and necessary payments (such as rent or mortgage payments, energy bills, food and other things you can’t get by without) and then how much disposable income you have available to spend on non essentials that you and your family may simply want. What’s important is that if your income changes, your budget needs to change too. If you’ve got less money coming in now, it’s absolutely essential that you create a new budget and stick to it. If you find that you have less disposable income, you need to make sure that you reduce all non necessary spending. If you find that your income is now insufficient to pay for your essentials, you need to look for ways to reduce spending in these areas. Perhaps you can switch energy providers to a lower tariff. Maybe you can try supermarket own brand and unbranded foods in your food shopping that will come with a lower price tag. Simply make sure that you are spending within your new means.
If you find that you do need to borrow money to make ends meet, it’s essential that you borrow responsibly. There are many lenders out there who have huge interest rates attached to their loans, making it extremely difficult to actually pay them back in full and meaning that you will end up paying back a lot more than you initially borrowed. Instead, take a look at more responsible lenders like Plenti who are more likely to make you a fair offer.
Get In Touch with Lenders
If you find that you are struggling to make payments such as credit card payments, loan payments, finance agreement payments and more, it’s absolutely essential that you reach out to the lenders and that you are honest with them about your current situation. All too many people completely ignore their financial situations and will bury their heads in the sand when they receive letters or notifications about missed payments. This needs to be avoided. Missing payments can mean fees, fines and other charges that place you in even more debt. They can also impact your credit score, which can be difficult to repair in the long run. Instead, make sure to contact your lender and explain that you are struggling to meet payments as a result of coronavirus. They are likely to be understanding and many lenders are making gestures such as removing interest from their loans and cards, removing late payment fees and reducing minimum payments to help. It’s always worth asking.
Finding New Work
If you have lost your work due to the pandemic, it’s important that you start searching for new work immediately. This will help you to start generating an income again sooner rather than later. Now, this may feel difficult and if your industry has been particularly impacted, it may also feel disheartening, as there may be no roles being advertised in your area. Of course, this may mean that you may have to start searching for work outside of your usual area of experience and expertise. Consider focusing on roles within industries that are in high demand right now. There are supermarkets hiring for more staff. There are increasing roles available in healthcare. Consider these. This may make it easier to get employed and start earning again.
Look Out for Help
Of course, there are a lot of people struggling financially right now and governments around the world are aware of this. So, make sure to look into what help your government is providing. Most have some sort of schemes or grants that can help you out. Some countries are offering furlough schemes. Some have self employed income support grants. Some have stimulus checks. It’s definitely worth looking into. Make sure to apply for anything that you are eligible for!
Selling Unwanted or Unneeded Belongings
Most of us have belongings that we either don’t want, don’t need or don’t use. Now could be a good time to declutter your home and sell some of these unnecessary belongings for profit. This will put a little extra money in your pocket that can help you to get by for the time being! So, go through your belongings and ask yourself, do I need this? Does it have sentimental value? Could I easily part with it? When you’ve gathered up items that you neither want nor need, take good quality pictures of them and list them on online sales sites like eBay, Depop or Etsy!
As you can see, there are numerous approaches you can take towards helping yourself out during times of financial difficulty. What’s most important is that you do take action and that you work towards helping yourself out of any negative situations that you may face. Hopefully, some of the above advice can help.