If someone had told us all only a few months ago that we’d be locked down in our homes, only allowed to leave for essential items and once-a-day exercise, we’d probably have laughed and thought they were crazy. Covid-19 has resulted in restrictions to our lives, the likes of which the vast majority of us have never previously experienced. As well as the obvious health crisis, we also find ourselves in an economic crisis, with many of us unable to go out to work.
Across the UK, families are facing financial difficulties, resulting in some being unable to afford food for their household. If you are finding that your money won’t stretch far enough, take a look at our tips to help get you through the coming weeks and months.
Was your child entitled to free school meals? Make sure they’re not missing out
One of the problems many families are facing, is having to budget additional money to feed their children lunch from Monday to Friday, something which was normally taken care of by the school.
Arrangements vary depending on the school, but children who are eligible for free school meals could be given food parcels or vouchers for food. Get in touch with your child’s school or your local council to find out what is available in your area.
Struggling to pay bills? Ask for a three-month payment holiday
If you are finding it difficult to keep up with your monthly mortgage bill, you could ask your lender for a three-month payment holiday. The same goes for loans and credit cards, too.
This way, you can prioritise the money you do have, for putting food on the table.
There are lots of free resources out there to help lower your food bill
If your weekly shop is making a big dent in your budget, or you’re running out of ideas for cheap but nutritious meals, a quick ‘google’ will reveal a large number of bloggers and vloggers giving you new low-cost recipe ideas for free.
Opportunity to look at your budget and spending
While no-one would argue that Coronavirus is a positive occurrence, it can be helpful to try and use this opportunity to re-look at your budget (or draw one up if you haven’t already got one). Look closely at all of your regular outgoings and ask yourself if every one of those is really a necessity.
Finally, it’s important
to remember that, while things are difficult now, this will pass. Keeping on
top of your finances and seeking help if necessary, will help you to ensure
that you can continue to provide for your family during these unprecedented
Neil Graham, a Partner at Grayfords comments as follows: “Making ends meet when you have a family is difficult at the best of times but the current lockdown restrictions have had a very significant impact on all of us, whether as employees or as self-employed individuals, and upon our overall household and family income. There is help available, however, such as applying for Statutory Sick Pay if you are too ill to work, self-isolating or caring for people in the same household, applying for Universal Credit if you are self-employed and eligible, applying to your mortgage lender for a repayment holiday of up to three months if you are experiencing difficulty in making your mortgage payments or if you are a buy-to let landlord who is experiencing difficulty in receiving rental income, and even applying to your Bank or credit card provider if you are experiencing difficulty in making loan or credit card payments in the meantime.
There is a lot of information freely available in the public domain on how to access these resources and it is hoped that some of the links below may also be of some help.
If you are additionally struggling to keep up with payments made under a Court order following divorce the Court has limited powers to revisit some of the parts of an order but only if the circumstances warrant it. We can offer specialist advice on how to go about that process and whether it is likely to succeed.”