Covid-19 has sent shockwaves through the country. While much of the focus has been on public health, understandably with so many lives tragically lost, many of us have also seen our finances severely shaken up, especially if your job or income has been hit.
With further uncertain times ahead and Christmas just around the corner, now is a good time to take stock and help make sure your finances are fighting fit.
It’s important to understand how much money you have coming in and going out each month. Regularly reviewing your spending can really help you stay on top of things, including adjusting your spending if your circumstances change.
Online budgeting tools, such as this one from the Money Advice Service, can be a great help. Be sure to include occasional one-off expenses such as Christmas, when setting and sticking to a budget for gifts and groceries can make such a big difference.
If your regular spending exceeds your income, see what you can either cut out, cut down on or save money on. For example, could you reduce how much you spend on groceries by changing brands or even switching supermarkets?
Perhaps you can cut the cost of household bills like broadband, energy and insurance by shopping around to see what deals other providers offer. The same applies to any financial products you have such as mortgages, loans and credit cards. Comparison sites, provided by Experian and others, can help you find cheaper deals on a wide range of financial products.
If you’ve taken an agreed payment holiday on one or more of your credit accounts to help you get by, measures taken by Experian and the other agencies will have protected your credit score. If you are still struggling and need further support, speak to your providers to understand what help is available and how it might affect your credit report.
It does pay to try to make sure your credit score is in good shape. This will make it easier for you to access affordable borrowing and can also help you stay on top of what you owe to all your lenders.
You can check your credit score for free and get tips on how you might be able to boost it.