Covid-19 has had an impact on most of us – on our physical and mental health, our relationships, our families, and our financial stability. With 20 million adults (38% of the nation) reporting that their financial situations have worsened as a result of the pandemic, it’s clear there’s a lot of work to do in rebuilding our money confidence – and our bank balances.
As we’re all moving into the next phase of the pandemic, many of us may want to plan to help us get back on track. When it comes to your money, we can help you with that. MoneyHelper, our new money guidance website, launched in the summer. Free, impartial and backed by government, we are here to help you gain confidence with managing your money and pensions.
How has Covid-19 affected you financially?
Has the pandemic meant you’ve taken on more debt than you’re comfortable with? Have your savings been wiped out? Are you struggling to make plans for the long-term? If the pandemic’s taught us anything it’s that we need to plan for the unforeseen.
That’s where we can help you. Our brand-new Couch to Financial Fitness plan is a free, step-by-step programme, designed to help you feel better about managing your money. From dealing with debt, to building up a savings buffer, to cutting costs and setting up a budget, the first four weeks of our plan will coach you through all the core money essentials.
Once you’ve got those under your belt and are feeling more confident you can move on to money milestones, such as saving for a house deposit, starting a family or sorting out your pension.
Why not give it a go? Your future finances will thank you.
Five top tips for building your money muscles
- Set up a budget – The first step to strengthening your money muscles is setting up a budget. This will take a bit of effort but it’s a great way to get a quick snapshot of the money you have coming in and going out and spot areas where you can make savings.
- Stay on top of bills and payments – Make a record of all your debts you need to pay back. If you’re struggling to stay on top of these, make sure to pay priority bills and debts such as mortgage, rent and energy payments before secondary debts like overdrafts, personal loans, credit cards and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) arrangements, as the consequences of not paying back priority bills are more serious.
If you are worried about debt, you don’t need to struggle alone – free debt advice is available. Use MoneyHelper’s Debt Advice Locator Tool to find a trained debt adviser who can help you.
- Shred your costs – If you’re spending more than you have coming in, you need to work out where to cut back to get yourself back on track. For many of us, household bills make up a large chunk of our spending, but by shopping around there are ways to save potentially hundreds of pounds a year.
- Build up your savings – It might be hard to think about setting aside any money, but at the very least it’s a good idea to try and have some emergency savings. Think of it like lifting weights – even starting with a small amount each month will make a difference, and you can always add more on if you feel like you can take it up a notch.
- Review your budget and spending regularly – Life is unpredictable so try to review your budget and spending if there’s a change to your circumstances, or at least every couple of months to ensure you’re still on the right track. Use this as a chance to celebrate those wins if you have been keeping to your plan – just like physical fitness, it’s healthy to look back and see how far you’ve come.