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Take a closer look at your finances

Last reviewed on 02 July 2020

Whilst most Co-op colleagues will be receiving full pay during the Covid-19 pandemic, we know that doesn’t mean that your family income will be the same as others in your household might have been furloughed or lost their income altogether.   Adjusting to the change in the money you have coming in isn’t easy. The first thing you can do is to review your finances using the following four steps:

Look at your total budget

  • Work out how much money you have coming in and going out each month and write it down
  • Highlight all your essentials like rent, bills and food
  • Work out if you have a shortfall and how big it is

Change your outgoings

Now you know your shortfall check what your options are for making a change to your outgoings. Here are our top tips:

  • If you have loans, a mortgage or credit/store card bills then you can ask your lenders to let you have a payment holiday. In many cases you can apply online
  • For utility bills your provider might be willing to change your payments temporarily
  • If you’re paying rent your landlord might be prepared to allow you a payment holiday or to reduce your payments temporarily
  • For non-essentials could you cut back your spending on them for a while?

It’s important to remember that if you take a payment holiday you will still need to make the payments you miss at a later date. Check out the Money Advice Service for other options.

Plan what you’ll do

Now you know your options choose the ones that you want to follow-up and write down a plan with and the order you’ll do them in and a time when you’ll do them.

And breathe

Now breathe – you’re in control and you have a plan, now it’s time to put it into action.

What if you can’t make a plan?

For some people, dealing with money can be hard. You might struggle with the numbers or you may not be able to see a way through. If you get to Change and Plan you can’t see an answer that works for you, StepChange are best placed to help. They’re a charity that helps people in debt, they can help people find the right answers for them. Find out more here, or call 0800 138 1111.

What Government support is available?

The Government has taken a number of steps to help people manage their money including asking lenders to allow people to take holidays from paying their loans and mortgages.

You can find out more about the options you have by checking out the Money Advice Service website.