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Reviewing your finances during COVID-19

Reviewing your finances during COVID-19

COVID-19 made 2020 a challenging time. The pandemic has altered our planning and choices in many areas of life, none more so than how we are planning our finances. It is changing the way people budget and despite the uncertainty of how the pandemic will affect your budget planning in light of the impact of COVID, there are numerous steps you can take to help plan your finances for the upcoming New Year.

Review Your Budget

The pandemic has been a time where many of us have had to take stock of our current situation financially. Many individuals have been laid off and furloughed, meaning incomes have been cut. Essential expenses should be your top priority right now.

Re-evaluate your current budget, take a look at the incomings and outgoings. What can be cut out to conserve your budget? Could you reduce travel and gas costs by walking or cycling to your destination? Are there any luxuries that you could cut out to help alleviate your finances? Our blog on creating a budget for the new year is designed to help you plan your finances and can make it simple for you to keep track of your money.

Check for any Government Assistance

The pandemic has had a marked effect on the economy, with job losses leading to losses of incomes and livelihoods. There are a number of Government schemes designed to aid in this difficult period. On the 17th December the Government extended the furlough scheme so that it will now run until the end of April 2021. This means the state will continue to cover up to 80% of your wage if you can't work.

  • Employees on furlough will get 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 per month. 
  • Employers across the UK can use the scheme. So those in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are able to apply. 

Alternatively, you may be entitled to benefits. If you have lost your job or your income has markedly dropped, or you have been unavailable to work due to illness and subsequent self-isolation, you may be eligible for a number of options to aid your finances into the New Year and beyond. These include:

  • Employment & Support Allowance
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Universal Credit.

The Gov.UK Benefits page breaks down which benefits you may be entitled to.

Gas/Electric/Water companies may be able to help

As touched upon earlier, there should be a focus on prioritising your budget on the necessities, in particular bills, a major expense for majority of households. With the New Year approaching, Winter in full swing and chillier temperatures and lockdowns meaning more time spent at home, you may have one eye on rising gas and electricity bills.

If these expenses are of concern, we suggest:

  • Contacting your energy provider to find out if they can help. They may agree to reduce your energy bills or alternatively, provide a payment plan to help spread the cost. For more information as well as the options available from energy suppliers, check the Citizens Advice website. 
  • Many water companies are also doing what they can to help customers. From running schemes to funding numerous charities, find out more on the Consumer Council for Water website.

Budgeting and strategically planning your finances are highly recommended in light of the impact of Covid. However, you may also be looking into a loan to help ease your current situation. Dot Dot Loans specialise in online cash loans to help with unexpected expenses and situations like COVID-19. Our loans aren’t right for everyone, and you should only borrow what you can afford to pay back. If you would like to find out if a Dot Dot loan is right for you, read our FAQs for more information.

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More from Anissa

Hi, I’m Anissa, an author for Dot Dot. My passion for writing started from a very young age when I used to write news articles for my primary school! I love blogging and producing enjoyable content. Outside of work, my hobbies include fitness and music. I love cooking, baking, and trying new recipes. I also enjoy browsing Netflix and immersing myself into a good series. I’m here to help make your financial journey smoother with some helpful hints and tricks! I hope you enjoy reading them.

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