Coronavirus household budgeting while Furloughed
Due to the unprecedented circumstances of the Coronavirus pandemic, households throughout Scotland are facing redundancy, furlough and the biggest flu outbreak since the end of the first world war.
Most of us know the physical symptoms of Covid-19 by now, but the non-medical symptoms and diagnosis are just as worrying for some as the cough, fever and loss of a sense of smell. And, like the Covid-19 flu itself, some of us are resistant and unaffected in many ways.
For many in Scotland, the perception is that our incomes and outgoings have been turned on their head in just a few short weeks. Many people are more worried about their disposable incomes than ever before.
But, for those of you that have been furloughed – are your finances ironically now better now than they had been before?
Coronavirus Household Budgeting Guide
Losing 20% of our monthly salaries can make some of us better off financially. Really? Think about it, there are at least seven short term savings available.
1. No Restaurants or Bars
Nice family meals, trips to McDonald’s. The lunchtime trip to Greggs with the extra pastry or treat. All now gone. The few pints after work, the Stag and Hen nights; gigs and club nights – all those nights than can cost in excess of £100 per night; not possible for a good while yet. In fact, with supermarket restrictions in place; it’s difficult to buy
2. Travel Expenses
Whether it’s your Scotrail smart card train ticket, or your usual fuel cost – there are fewer expenditures here for most of us, furloughed or not.
3. No Holiday
Whether you pay up your holiday monthly through a high street travel agent such as Barrhead Travel, or Kuoni or an online vendor such as icelolly.com – be it a family trip to Orlando, luxurious beaches in Mexico or a package holiday on a Mediterranean beach…Chances are, it’s not going to happen this year. Plus, we’ve not got the associated costs either; new summer clothing, sunglasses, suntan lotion; renewed passports – it all adds up.
4. Mortgage Payment Breaks
Most mortgage lenders are providing payment breaks of 3 months, without affecting your credit rating. Mortgages are always lent on the basis of a salary multiplier; so losing 100% of your mortgage payments and trading off with 20% less pay seems like a negative. But, with careful planning – this can be turned around into a positive.
Find out more about mortgage payment breaks we wrote about earlier.
5. Childcare Costs
No more nursery and childminder fees.
With cinemas, football matches and all other activities on hold; entertainment opportunities are limited.
Gyms and leisure are closed – so there’s a monthly saving here; be it a cheap and cheerful PureGym or a more luxurious David Lloyd. Sky Sports are offering lesser subscriptions minus sports too.
Where might we be spending more in our Coronavirus Budgets?
Increased Utility Bills
We’re in the house for longer – eating up electricity and gas. Make sure your Coronavirus household budget accounts for this. Think about switching providers during these times. It’s usually cheaper to do online and doesn’t involve any paperwork. Providers such as Bulb offer refer a friend saving schemes to help.
ASOS came under criticism recently for behaving like its business as usual. Couriers are still delivering and the grey area of essential vs non-essential shopping is coming under increased scrutiny. Retailers such as Amazon still continue to trade online
However, this is an area where we need to be careful – boredom, credit card and an abundance of spare time are never a good combination.
But, with an abundance of spare time, it’s possible to use that time productively and shop around for savings during the Coronavirus pandemic. Mobile phone contracts, broadband and TV, insurance policies – the time of activities most of us never have enough time to get around to; now is the time to shop around for the best deals and take advantage of opportunities presented by organisations desperate to keep their sales and retention teams active.
Coronavirus household budgeting while redundant and out of work
The Coronavirus job retention scheme isn’t perfect for everyone of course. Some employers have not been as considerate to their employees and then unfortunately, many businesses have been forced to close through no fault of their own.
Universal Credit claims are being fast-tracked and recently unemployed workers in Scotland protected like never before. However, with social distancing restrictions and economic fewer jobs are available. s1jobs.com, the leading job board in Scotland, usually has over 6,000 jobs on its website at any time; currently, this is hovering over the 2,000 level.
Fortunately, some retail opportunities have opened up for temporary jobs in supermarkets and logistics for anyone in need of a new job urgently and again, these opportunities are being fast-tracked with a wider range of candidates considered.
While no-one can predict exactly what will happen next in this modern-day phenomenon, you may be wondering what action you can take to reduce the impact on your finances in the months ahead.
The comforting news is for everyone is there are plenty of ways to reduce your outgoings, make the most of what you have and save for the future.
Coronavirus household budgeting for the self-employed
An extra challenge for over 300,000 self-employed people in Scotland is awaiting their Self-employment Income Support Scheme grant is filling out the forms and awaiting payment. Trust Deed Scotland covered this in our Coronavirus self employment debt advice article.
However, in order to claim this, you must have submitted your tax return for the tax year 2018-19 – you need to do this by 23 April 2020 if you haven’t already
Coronavirus household budgeting and debt repayment
Trust Deed Scotland knows through experience that helping people to face up to their financial difficulties can be challenging. Having assisted over 20,000 people in Scotland, thousands have left reviews on TrustPilot.
In their own words, our clients tell us that they feel embarrassed or ashamed to seek help over their unaffordable debts. And, in the same reviews; many say that they wished they’d asked for help sooner and describe how our expert debt advisors helped them feel at ease, by giving them non-judgmental advice.
If you are struggling with debts, we advise you to speak to our expert advisors and find out more about the options open to you. Protected Trust Deeds and the Debt Arrangement Scheme
Call us on 0141 221 0999 to get started, or try our debt repayment calculator to explore your options.