In times like these thinking about your financial situation can be stressful. Fears over the spread of coronavirus have caused lots of people uncertainty and anxiety in various areas of their lives, from their health and well-being to work and finances.
There are a number of things you can do today that may help you and can yield immediate results from both a financial and well-being perspective. Our advice is to go through each of these tips, one at a time.
1 – Review your Budget
The first step is to look at how much you have coming in versus how much you have going out.
As well as making sure you’re claiming what you are entitled to – including benefits, sick pay and tax relief – you may need to see if you can cut back on outgoings.
Depending on your spending and needs that might not be easy as it could mean doing without things that you might normally buy.
Some financial institutions offer spending breakdowns by category on their apps or websites. Using one of these resources can be a very handy way to track you expenses when reviewing your budget.
2 – Look over your household bills
Having recently done this exercise myself, this is a really good idea. The main area to examine are your utility bills and see if you can get a better deal by switching your energy or broadband supplier.
If you are over one year with your existing energy supplier it is likely you are paying too much.
Apparently only about 14% of the population switch providers each year, so in general there are a lot of households not availing of the lower introductory tariffs.
If you are currently experiencing difficulties paying your utility bills, you should contact your provider directly to put a plan in place.
3 – Assess Debts and Loans
Loan repayments that may have been affordable a few weeks ago could now be causing you to worry if your income has dropped or if it might do so in the near future.
If you’re having trouble with loan repayments, you should contact your provider directly to talk through what options are available to you.
Financial services companies are offering a range of measures to help customers affected by the Covid-19 crisis. These measures include
- A payment break on loans
- A simplified application to apply for support
- A solution to ensure that an application for a payment break as a result of Covid 19 will not affect your credit record
The payment break means, you have the option of not making your loan repayments for up to three months and your credit record won’t be adversely affected.
At the end of the payment break period, your repayments will be adjusted so your loan will be repaid within the original term.
As a result your new repayments will be higher than they were before the payment break. In the case of Credit unions, they can make decisions at a local level, so if you have concerns meeting their loan repayments you should contact them directly.
4 – See if you can get refunds for cancellations
Commuter Tickets – If you are a commuter ticket holder and you’re now working from home, you could find yourself paying for transport you can’t use.
The National Transport Authority is working with Irish rail, Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann to find a solution. Whilst no decisions have been made yet options could include a three month extension for annual ticket holders or a refund for monthly ticket holders.
Concerts and Festivals – A ban on events of over 5,000 attendees confirmed until the 31st August 2020, has meant many of the concerts and festivals this summer have been cancelled.
Event organisers are working to reschedule many of these shows and original tickets are valid for the new dates.
If the new date does not suit you, you may be able to request a refund, but this could depend on getting in touch with the organiser before a speciified deadline, so make sure to check with the event organiser if this is possible.
Package Holidays – According to the information published on the Citizens Information web page under the Travel Plans and Covid- 19 section, if you have booked a Package holiday the following cancellation rights apply:
- Package Holidays due to start before July 20 – you are entitled to a full refund without paying a termination fee.
- Package Holidays due to start after July 20 – you are still entitled to cancel your booking and get a refund, but you may have to pay a termination fee to the travel organiser.
5 – Review your Protection Policies
Talking to us at Peavoy Financial Planning about which life cover policy best suits your needs can be a great way to make sure you’re not overspending on insurance, as we have access to a variety of policies and providers.
It’s important to make sure that adequate financial protection is in place to cover you and your family during this time, especially if your financial or personal circumstances have changed.
For more infomation, get in contact with me here at Peavoy Financial Planning and we will work through your current situation with you.
I can be contacted on 087-2902206 or alternatively by email on firstname.lastname@example.org .
David Peavoy BA, QFA, LIAP is the Owner of Peavoy Financial Planning whose practice is based in Office 5b, Portlaoise Enterprise Centre, Clonminam Business Park, Portlaoise, Co Laois.
David Peavoy T/A Peavoy Financial Planning is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland
Disclaimer: All data and information provided within this blog is for information purposes only. It should not be taken as specific advice for your situation. Peavoy Financial Planning makes no representations as to the accuracy. completeness, or suitability of any information and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its use