Are you struggling with money worries right now? We get it. It’s a hugely challenging time for everyone. The good news is you’re not alone, and there’s plenty you can do to ease the strain of coronavirus on your bank balance.
To help you get through this crisis, here are five common money worries and tips on how to beat them.
1. I might lose my job
Okay, this is a tough one. Many jobs are unstable right now, and it’s natural to worry about what the future holds. But in the meantime, here are some ways to cope:
- Write down your income and expenditure to give you a clear picture of your finances.
- Look for ways to save money. Can you cut back on unnecessary spending? Would switching to a new credit card, like a balance transfer credit card, ease some money worries?
- Open a savings account and put any extra money away as an emergency fund.
- Update your CV and consider signing up to a recruitment agency, just in case.
- Consider taking on side hustle for some extra money.
You could also ask your employer how things are going. Although it’s possible they can’t give you a clear answer, asking questions can help you feel more in control of the situation.
2. I’ve already lost my job
First, don’t panic. Here’s how to get back in control:
- Contact your creditors immediately and tell them what’s happened. They can help you set up repayment plans.
- Give Citizens Advice a call to see what benefits you’re entitled to. For example, if you’re unemployed, you can often claim New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance.
- Don’t take out any new credit.
- Contact your local Job Centre for help finding new work.
- If you need cash quick, you could always sell unwanted goods online.
Struggling with depression or anxiety after losing your job? Reach out to a charity like the Samaritans for mental health advice. And remember, your friends and family want to help – tell them how you’re feeling.
3. There’s no money to pay my bills
Money worries can affect you whether you’re employed or not. If the bills are piling up, here are a few things you can do:
- Again, be honest with your creditors and contact them as soon as possible. Be realistic about what you can afford to pay them each month and try to stick to it.
- You might be entitled to a coronavirus payment holiday if you apply before 31 October 2020. To find out more, ask your lenders.
- Homeowners may be entitled to mortgage interest support. This is a loan that helps cover the interest on your mortgage for a set period of time.
- Consider applying for a debt consolidation loan. This isn’t right for everyone, but it can help if you’re paying multiple debts.
Remember, if you don’t pay your debts, it’ll affect your credit score. That’s why it’s so important to contact your lenders and be upfront about your situation.
4. I can’t afford to isolate
Yes, you can. It all comes down to applying for the right benefits. So, here’s a rundown of what you should know:
- You’re entitled to £500 if NHS Test and Trace tells you to isolate.
- If you’re employed, you should also get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
- On a low income or self-employed? Consider applying for Universal Credit.
- If you can’t get SPP, you might qualify for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
5. My business can’t survive another shutdown
- Improve your cash flow by chasing overdue payments.
- Apply for a Bounce Back Loan or Business Interruption Loan.
- If you can’t pay your tax bill, set up Time to Pay with the HMRC.
- Apply for an SEISS grant.
And, if you’re forced to close, remember you can apply for the Job Support Scheme from 1 December 2020.
The key takeaway? Don’t ignore money worries. Start talking to your creditors and reach out for help if you need it.
Finally, if you’re really struggling with stress or anxiety due to money worries, contact your GP.
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