The outbreak of coronavirus in the UK has had a widespread impact on people’s finances. Many have seen a reduction in their income, so it is more important than ever to consider ways of saving money. With this in mind, our Money Advice Officer has brought together information and ideas to help you get through the lockdown without spending a penny, and details of where you can get help if you are struggling to cope financially or emotionally.
Free apps to connect with others
There are many free apps to help you connect with friends and relatives via text, telephone call or video call. Some of these are just about communicating with other people, sharing messages, pictures and videos, but others let you have a little bit of fun, for example playing games and doing quizzes. Here is a list of the more popular apps you can use.
Free things to do at home
Suddenly having a lot of free time on your hands could actually be a blessing. You can use the time wisely to get things done that you’ve been putting off, build relationships at home, learn new skills and enrich your life. Here are some great ideas to get you started.
Free ways to keep kids entertained
Keeping children occupied can be a challenge at the best of times, but this is even more so during the lock down. Fortunately, there are lots of creative things you can do without spending a penny. You should look upon this time as an opportunity to further bond with your children and spend lots the time doing fun activities and exercise with them. Here’s a list with some initial ideas.
Working from home
Unless you’re used to working from home, suddenly changing to this new way of working could pose a lot of difficulties. It requires a lot of discipline, flexibility and judgement, but can be incredibly rewarding when done right, and with the right technology. Here are some fantastic tips to help you of your way.
Looking after your mental health
The coronavirus outbreak could have a detrimental impact on your mental health, whether this is due to having to stay home for a prolonged period of time, being showered with bad news in the media, or being exposed to rumour and speculation. Here is a handy guide about looking after your mental health at this time. If you’re finding it difficult to cope at this time, there are lots of organisations out there that can help you (see the useful links section).
Getting help and advice
If you are struggling to cope financially during this time, is best to get some help and advice to tackle the problem early. Allowing things to escalate never a good idea and could leave you in trouble for a long time to come. Although demand is surging and you’re unlikely to be able to see someone face to face, advice agencies are still offering help over the phone and most lenders are offering payment holidays to allow breathing space during this difficult time. Here is a list of agencies that can help you, and our Money Advice Officer is happy to help where possible.