Managing your finances during these uncertain times.
We know many kiwis and business owners are doing it tough during the Level 4 and Level 3 lockdowns, and whilst we’re all facing uncertainties in many aspects of our lives – the Pocketwise team have tried to put together helpful tips for those financially affected by COVID-19.
The following points may help assess where you stand financially, and important things to consider in coping with the lockdown.
What to do now?
If your income is stable (low risk)
Chances are that you’re an essential worker, or have the ability to work remotely.
- Keep calm and carry on the good work.
- Stay on top of your current bill payments, so that you don’t pile up expenses that need to be paid once we come out of this period. If you have mortgage payments, your bank will have different options on managing these.
- Build an emergency fund that covers 3–6 months of your expenses. This will protect you against unexpected setbacks without slipping into debt.
- Assess your investment goals, and consider paying off existing debt during these times.
If your income is unstable (high risk)
You may have unfortunately been laid off recently, or have high fluctuations in your income.
- Firstly, don’t lose hope, as even though the road forward might be difficult, you will be able to navigate it.
- Find out what support you may be eligible for by visiting covid19.govt.nz
- Pay the minimums on any obligations (ie, utilities, rates, etc).
- Cut unnecessary spending. Try going through past months of your credit card payments and identify recurring expenses which aren’t essential during these times.
- Avoid taking out extra debt unless absolutely necessary (ie, facing evictions).
What to do next?
- Conduct a free Financial Checkup: Get instant suggestions on saving more money and tightening the belt during the lockdown.
- Park your Emergency Fund in a Term Deposit.
- If you’ve got to send money overseas during these times, compare the best international money transfer options.
- Consider what Tax Relief may be available to you.
We know this is an uncertain time under unprecedented circumstances. The best way we can work our way through this is with kindness, mutual support and smart action plans.
We also encourage you to seek advice from an expert, and talk to an accountant or financial advisor to find out if you could make changes to your current situation.
Right now, looking after our wellbeing is the top priority.
This too shall pass.
The Pocketwise Team