With the UK being put on lockdown and children at home this has had a big impact on most people’s ability to carry out their jobs. 

Whilst the Government have outlined fantastic measures for the employed, they are still working on measures to help self-employed and your cashflow will still be massively impacted in the short-term and long term. 

To try and help each of you, we have put together our tips for trying to reduce your personal expenses at this time. 

1. Cost of having a roof over your head

Mortgage holidays 

If you have a mortgage, speak to your lender about the 3-month payment holiday. Please be aware that interest will still accrue and this will lengthen the term of your mortgage. Five of the major lenders will let you apply online. For more information please see the MoneySavingExpert article: how to apply for a mortgage payment holiday. 

We have also put together an article regarding the ins and outs of a mortgage ‘holidays’ during coronavirus.

Renters

Speak to your landlord if you can’t pay all your rent. Mortgage holidays are applied to buy to let mortgages so they may be prepared to defer your payments or part of them (remember many properties have management charges that will continue). 

Any deferred rent will still be payable in the future (unless actually forgiven by the landlord). Polite negotiation may bring benefits, including a guarantee that you will catch up on the arrears in the future. 

2. Travel costs

Train season tickets

Have you got a train season ticket? It may be worth cancelling it now! With the UK now essentially on lockdown, it’s understandable that we’re all commuting a lot less. If you have purchased a season ticket you may be eligible for a refund. Read how to get a rail refund.

More than one car

You may want to consider declaring any additional cars as SORN to reduce your insurance and keep one essential car for supermarket trips. Remember they need to be parked on a private drive.

3. Other finances 

Credit cards

Now is the time to look to switch a balance to a 0% credit card if available

Credit card debt can be crippling, and often has one of the highest interest charges. Contacting your credit card provider regarding a payment break could significantly reduce your monthly outgoings if you aren’t able to switch it.

Other loans

Speak to them about a repayment holiday too 

Lease cars

If your car lease is up for renewal, see if you can extend with current car for a period rather than having to find upfront payment for a new lease vehicle.

4. Utilities and other subscriptions

Re-broke utilities 

It’s now easier than ever to compare quotes with website like MoneySupermarket.com and CompareTheMarket.com. Don’t allow laziness to cost you more money! Alternatively, you could contact your energy providers and enquire about pushing back bill dates.

You may want to cancel subscriptions or non-essential direct debit

In recent years, more and more services are switching to subscription-based models. Although these can be convenient by removing up-front costs and large annual payments, multiple subscriptions can snowball into large unnecessary expenditure. 

£10 a month for Netflix may not sound like a lot, but when you then add in a Sky package, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Graze, Hello Fresh… It all adds up. It might be worth reviewing your current subscriptions and trying to cut out a few.

5. Food 

Food planning

Planning your meals for the week is a great way of ensuring you are not overspending and reducing food waste, especially at a time the food you want can be hard to come by. By knowing the meals you plan to cook ahead you can be sure that you will not have unused food going off in the bottom of your fridge! You might even use up those odd tins at the back of the cupboard.

Growing your own

Growing your own fruit and vegetables is a great way of saving money as you can pick up starter kits for a fraction of the price. Although there is a time element to be taken into consideration, with the coronavirus pandemic urging us to stay at home for the foreseeable future this may be a great way to occupy your spare time and learn a new talent. Great fun for anyone with kids too.

We can help

To help you with budgeting further and having everything clearly down in a neat spreadsheet, download this free tool from Money Saving Expert.

If you need any further advice or help with any of the above items, please call us on 01474 853 856 and we will be able to support you through this. 

Please send this article to your employees as they may also need some tips on reducing their personal expenses at this difficult time.

We’ll also be sharing an update tomorrow on more support for those who are self-employed. If you’re not already signed up to our daily emails, sign up here

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