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Can Quarantine Improve Your Household Finances?

These are uncertain economic times for everyone. With the global pandemic affecting nations and business, no one knows quite how the next few years are going to play out. Even with government backed stimulus packages in place for a lot of countries, the stock markets are suffering and businesses are failing. Even if you haven’t suffered being made redundant, you may have seen the value of savings and investments fall, and be worried about the long term outlook. Thankfully, you can take steps to prepare while in quarantine, to ensure that your finances are in the best possible shape for whatever the future may hold.

Can Quarantine Improve Your Household Finances? Phone and computer on desk, managing your money image
Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

Overhaul Your Budget

Living a simpler life during lockdown conditions has made many of us realise how wasteful some of our pre-pandemic spending habits really were. It’s a time when rampant consumerism has been exposed as unfulfilling, and what we’ve really missed most are simpler pleasures like seeing our friends. With a bit of space, it’s the perfect time to give your personal budget an overhaul. You should currently be making savings on things like eating out, so make the most of it by channelling those into separate account to create a financial cushion for the future. And with a bit more time on your hands at home, it’s an opportune moment to go through all your fixed outgoings like energy bills, insurance cover and credit card debt and shop around using price comparison sites for a better deal. It doesn’t take long to save on things like car insurance – click here to see what cover might suit you.

Look Into Transferring Debt

If you have outstanding debt you’re looking to pay off, you should prioritise securing the lowest interest rate possible so that more of your money goes to making a dent into what you owe rather than servicing the interest. Hunt for a balance transfer to a zero per cent APR card if you can manage to pay off the balance before the term comes to an end. If you can’t, then it can be a better option to seek a bank loan at a lower rate to pay off credit cards. This move can also free up more cash each month should you need it in the future. 

Hold Steady With Investments

If you do have investments, you may have been watching with concern recently as the markets have plunged. But resist the urge to cut and run at all costs. In most cases, if your investments are for the medium-to-long term, it’s better to have them stay put and wait for the market to recover. If you have a short term need to access money, you may need to do some juggling, but it’s wiser to leave as much as you can invested and ride it out. If you have concerns, speak to your financial advisor for some guidance on switching to safer options – for example investing into precious metals rather than stocks.