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Bayport Blog

Financial Tips For Uncertain Times

Published: April 17, 2020
Categories: Emergency loans
Tags: Emergency loans, Financial Tips, Personal budget, Responsible lending
Financial tips

Lockdown was supposed to be over by the end of this week, but now we’ll be here until the end of the month, at least. The longer it lasts, the more we don’t know what to expect. The best we can do for now, is to work with what we’ve got. Worrying about the future won’t change a thing, but implementing some of these financial tips could make a difference to your personal budget and your ability to deal with unforeseen expenses.

Our first tip is to connect with your money mindset. Even for the most financially savvy of us, our emotions, self-worth and sense of safety have a huge impact on how we interact with our money.

The first step to making healthy, positive money decisions during this time is to connect with your money thoughts. Are you beating yourself up for not creating an emergency fund months ago? Are you questioning the big career change you chose to make early this year? Can you hear your parents’ voices in your head, telling you that it makes no sense to save money, some crisis always just comes along to wipe out your savings?

These thoughts are a reality for most of us. Here are three ways to deal with them:

  • Slow your body and your thoughts down: take some deep breaths, then look at your thoughts without judgement and allow them to leave your mind. You will have to do this more than once, but it will help to calm you down.
  • Make a list of everything you are grateful for. From the sun shining and being healthy, to having enough to eat or sharing your life with a loving partner – write it all down. Gratitude is the fastest way to get us out of our fear, frustration, anger and anxiety.
  • Where can I add value and give support? Looking away from yourself is a guaranteed way to get yourself out of a funk. You don’t have to give money; you can show compassion, reach out to a friend or a neighbour, or offer your knowledge and expertise to an organisation that needs it. By giving to others, the message we send ourselves is that we have enough, and often that mindset change will attract positive things into our lives as a result.

Once you have cleared some of the money monsters in your head, try all – or some – of these steps to move you forward with your finances.

  1. Check in on your emergency fund. The experts say we should have money set aside to cover at least three months of expenses.
    • If you already have an emergency fund, check how much is in there and for how long it can keep you going should you end up with no income.
    • If you don’t have an emergency fund, see if you can save even a little bit of money (maybe on transport now that you are not going to work every day) to start one.
  2. Understand your financial picture. Write down all your income and all your expenses, and then take a close look at it all. For instance, instead of simply listing your monthly funeral policy payments, read through the policies and confirm that you have the cover the want – not too little and not too much. Cancel any policies that are not necessary and save that money, or use it to cover other necessary costs.
  3. Identify savings opportunities. Here are some examples and tips:
    • Chances are that your car insurance premium goes up every year. This makes no sense, because your car’s value goes down every year. Contact your insurance company and ask them for a reduced premium, based on the value of your car.
    • Draw up a personal budget that covers only the most basic necessities. This will show you how much you need to survive. Now add the other items back into your budget, asking yourself whether they are things you need or only want.
    • Plan your meals. Make a list of everything in your fridge and your food cupboard – you can’t afford for anything to go to waste – and start planning meals based on what you have. Only buy the groceries you need for your planned meals. This will prevent you from buying unnecessary items, help you not to waste food, and limit your trips to the shops.
  4. Credit fraud tends to increase in times of crisis. It is, therefore, a very good idea to get a copy of your credit report to make sure everything is in order. The report will also give you all the information you need to understand how healthy your credit status is. Bayport can help you get your credit report: simply click here.
  5. If you think that you might need an emergency loan in the near future, use this time to research credit providers and what they offer. Responsible lending has to be your motto, now more than ever.
  6. Get ready for the future. Lockdown will not last forever – here are some ideas to prepare yourself:
    • Learn more about money. Instead of worrying about the future, pick up a personal finance book, or listen to a personal finance podcast or YouTube video. Use this time to learn more about how to manage your money and save for the future.
    • If you have always wanted to start a business or just a side hustle, use some of the time you have to research it and put some plans into action.
    • Have some money conversations with your spouse/partner and your children. These unusual circumstances are a great opportunity to talk about your family finances.

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