We are certainly living in unprecedented times, the Covid 19 pandemic has had wide ranging impacts on Irish society. The virus has caused immeasurable heartache for those who have lost loved ones, thousands of people have tested positive, unemployment levels have grown substantially, thousands of people are on reduced salaries whilst many business owners are facing uncertainty over when and if they can reopen their businesses.
As a financial adviser I deal with the financial worries and concerns people have at present which undoubtedly are adding to an already very stressful situation.
Aa we emerge into the “new normal” there are some financial lessons we can all learn from this pandemic
Rainy days funds are essential – they have provided a much needed cushion to people in the last few weeks
You need to be properly insured – I have been inundated with people looking to review their existing protection policies ensuring they have adequate life and serious illness cover in place
Household budgets need to be created and followed – you need to know where your money is going every month to eliminate unnecessary expenditure
We all need to limit the online impulse buys – one of the ways people are passing time at present is browsing online and picking up “bargains” – again be careful here, whilst they might be bargains the money spent will add up especially if you are living on reduced wages.
Don’t accept the status quo when it comes to utility bills – phone your current providers and see if cost savings can be achieved, be it Electricity, Gas, Tv, Phone or Broadband there are several competitors in each of these industries so savings are possible
Beware of the credit card – Banks charge outrageous interest on credit card balances so be careful, it’s great to have a line of credit but if you’re paying back 17 or 18% interest on the outstanding balance you owe that’s going to add further financial strain on you