08 Mar Managing Your Finances in a World Dripping in Fear
‘May You Live in Interesting Times’
From Sir Austen Chamberlain to Robert F Kennedy, the phrase attributed as a Chinese curse has been used most often as an insult by both the aforementioned and a cast of characters throughout the 20th century.
As Chinese has no known equivalent translation, the closest direct translation is ‘better to be a dog in times of tranquillity than a human in times of chaos’. We do indeed live in interesting times but personally, I’d rather be a dog in tranquil times.
Even though the chaos is largely overblown and driven through the tight lens of mainstream media clickbait desperate to scare you out of your wits even more than the last article, there can be no doubt a malevolent interloper is stalking the world, culling the mainly sick and elderly wherever they may be.
Even if, like me, you’ve reverted to receiving your news in a more old-fashioned manner (20-30 minutes of reading first thing in the morning then nothing else, no live TV, no social media, no papers) you cannot have missed the story/event of the 21st century so far.
And if you’ve taken a hit to your finances, maybe either lost your job or have the fear of losing it in the near future you will no doubt be worried as to how this will all pan out and how your finances will look when the dust settles if it ever does.
Have no fear, the Badger is here. Ok, have a little fear; it’s good to be on your game in a time of need.
Take Action Now
Firstly you need an emergency budget. If you haven’t got one, start now with whatever spare money you can find to put aside – the rainy day has arrived and it’s pouring cats and dogs. If you have no spare money, start it later when and if you do.
The next task at hand is taking stock of your finances and discovering how much you actually have to play with on a monthly basis and we can’t recommend a budget planner better than this one from the Nationwide.
Once you truly know how much you’ve got coming in and going out the next step on your path back to financial ‘normality’ should involve looking at what help is available to you.
And there’s no better place to look than the very people who make up the rules and that’s the Financial Conduct Authority.
They are our industry regulators and it’s them who tell lenders what they can and can’t say or do.
The biggest take out from that long list of do’s and don’ts is the availability of 6 month payment holidays for most types of consumer credit and that will cover your payday or personal loan as well as any HP or store finance you may have. Your credit cards are covered there too.
Talk to Someone
If you’re still worried about your finances and don’t know where to turn, click here.
The Money Advice Service has access to all the debt charities and they can also help with debt management companies too if you have gone that far down the road you need to make arrangements with your creditors.
If the three lockdowns and the general fear levels have got too much for your mental well-being try doing what we do and switch off all your screens for a period each day.
Also, try limiting the amount of ‘news’ you’re getting because believe it or not, it all starts here. Since reverting to a more 1980s style of receiving the news for 20 minutes each day, our overall stress levels have been greatly reduced.
We no longer feel as though the world is about to end in a cataclysmic fireball – not just yet anyway.
These people seem to have the gist of keeping their stuff together and if you’re suffering from ‘mask anxiety’ you’re in the right place.
When All Else Fails
And it seems your life is fast disappearing down the proverbial plughole, you might just need to borrow some money.
Firstly start with friends and family – no credit checks, no proof of income needed, flexible repayments, and zero interest, what could be better? Unless you’re a serial family-botherer for money this should always be your first port of call.
After that try government crisis loans and check on the gov.uk site for any other help they may have on offer.
Get up in the loft or out in the lock-ups to see if you might have anything valuable you can sell on well-known shopping sites and if that fails then there’s always personal or payday loans available from companies just like ours.
We hope this helps and you don’t need this guide but if you do………………..good luck.