By Bukkie Adewuyi
I am sharing the below insights for those struggling to meet some of their financial obligations at this time. The propositions will differ in application based on your circumstances and your location.
Make a list of all your obligations – monthly debit orders, payments etc. Classify into interest bearing and otherwise as this will count towards your decision making.
- Auto Insurance – Call your insurance company and discuss the possibility of a reduced rate. The fact that you have limited movements or will have reduced mileage may result in savings on your premium. Consider any restructuring that will not unduly expose you to risk. If your situation can allow you to temporarily leave the comfort of your car for public transport, discuss an interim suspension of your cover.
- Loans – Engage your bank or financial institution on having a payment holiday on your loans – mortgage, car, credit card etc. This can be particularly advantageous if your interest rate is low. If your interest rate is high, you may want to do some sums on your interest accumulation and decide whether it is worth taking the holiday or continuing your payments.
- Utilities – Contact your municipality to apply for a payment holiday if they have it in place. This may buy you a temporary relief of about 3 months.
- Phone and Internet – Explore the possibility of downgrading your current packages and lowering your expenses in the interim.
- Online shopping – Asides the fact that this enables you to shop based on a predetermined budget vs impulse buying when you are in the shops, it also reduces your exposure to the pandemic.
- Relief packages – Assess the relief packages available in your country. Don’t conclude that you don’t qualify. Reach out to the applicable authorities and find out all possible information. There may be other packages that you are not even aware of. This is with regards to personal or business relief packages.
Go over your list again and again. Ensure you cut out non-essential expenses for now. Explore ways to reduce your costs on the essential expenses whilst retaining your risk cover. A lot of organizations are aware of the hardships their consumers are facing and are already putting programmes in place to ensure they retain you as a loyal customer in the long run. A lot of these are however not advertised and can only be explored based on your individual circumstances and your track record with the service provider.
Have you tried any thing else that has worked for you to ease your financial burden this #COVID19 period? Please share with us in the comment section below so others can learn as well.