Juggling money; work; kids; business …Arrgggghhh!
What a time! We’re still stunned and having to pinch ourselves on all that is happening right now. As the majority of the country goes into lockdown and we start a virtual social world of hangouts; zoom; whatsapp video calls; house parties and actually sitting down and talking over the telephone for lengths of time…thankful for technology right now. Let’s all try not to lose our heads over it and start to tackle things one at a time, otherwise it’s way too overwhelming. We also understand that health is the most important topic right now, along with those who have already been bereaved, our hearts go out to you.
So…how are you and your families really doing? Hope everyone is managing this pressure cooker of home working; no working; kids at home; distancing from elderly parents, as it looks like it really is going to be the marathon they said, rather than a sprint. Have you started looking at all your finances yet?
Some people don’t want to look at their bills and finances at the best of times but most of us our being forced to break it down and find ways to reduce bills and/or find new ways to produce income. Many businesses including ours, have had to morph into something different (although we were going down that road anyway), faster than expected, so we are trying to stay with the positive and actually ‘slow down’ whilst going through the sludge of online/paperwork that still needs to take place. So…here are some tips on where to get started, no matter what position you find yourself in. Bear in mind that most places will be pushing their contact online, so always check the website first as many tasks can be done that way.
- Look at your bank statements and see which Direct Debits you no longer need e.g. magazines (though if catching up on reading material, go ahead) and start contacting those companies to cancel or negotiate a deal
- Talk to your mortgage lender or landlord (if you have no income or a big reduction in income all of a sudden) and see what can be worked out between you. Mortgage lenders SHOULD give us a 3 month break (though it will still be added to the amount you owe)
- Council tax – if really in need, most councils are just getting funds from the government to help, so there is no harm in talking or going online to see if there is any help
- All other bills Martin from moneysaving expert is working tirelessly to help and keep us informed on switching energy etc e.g. Sky will ‘pause’ bills on the Sky sports section of your package, go online to pause it yourself
- Check any savings you have, go online and see if you can get draw downs or how accessible they really are if needed
- Businesses – we know to check gov.uk every day as more details come about how to navigate the support they are offering in helping to keep businesses going and staff employed. Read as much as you can before making an informed decision. Try to ring your insurance company again, ours never got back to us!
- Check your local council page for any help residents and businesses e.g. Southwark have a link to click to log for business help, nothing on Lewisham as at this blog date/time post
- If you are still working, try to save a bit more than you usually do (if this is not a rainy day, I don’t know what is!)
There is so much to navigate, I cannot possibly put it all down here but hope this has triggered a conversation or action to help you through this time. You can only do one thing at a time, so pace yourself and start with one company, one job, one telephone call or research at a time and see how to come out of this with leaner and fitter finances. We wish you all the best.
If you need to talk some more, see what’s on offer here:
Other useful links for finance and the mind:
From FSB site:
- Mind has issued tailored support for mental health in the wake of COVID-19, which includes tips for taking care of your mental health if you have been asked to stay and work at home.
- Heads Together Workplace Wellbeing hub
- Samaritans. Whatever you’re going through, you can call
the Samaritans for
free at any time, from any phone on 116 123. They are available to offer
If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call on the phone, otherwise you can email them, visit a local branch or write to them. Click here for more contact information.
ACMA, MAAT, DipPPC
Business Owner, Accountant, Speaker, Writer, Performance Life Coach
“I Can Do It!” Buy my book here https://therapy4life.net/ebook/
Twitter / LinkedIn: Karen F Burke