5 ways to manage your finances during the pandemic

Nov 02, 2020
Ariful Bhuiyan ACA, Financial Accountant in Bank of Ireland Group, shares five tips on how to stay in the black and wait out a second lockdown.

COVID-19 has already impacted business, education, health system, sports, entertainment, and environment. Moreover, it has left people worried about their current financial plans and how they should approach their day-to-day finances. Here are some smart ways you can manage your bank account during this crisis. 

Suspend major spending

If you were planning to buy a home or looking at purchasing an expensive car, this is not the right time. We don’t know when this pandemic will be over, nor where it will drive the economy. For now, it would be prudent to hold onto some of your savings to give yourself breathing room if any future uncertainty arises due to unemployment, illness, etc. 

The best approach is to observe and react. For example, the property market can be volatile for the next few months, and you may benefit if the house prices fall in the future. 

Reassess other expenses

If you have cable service, Netflix, Amazon Prime videos, or any other streaming subscriptions, it is high time you look at which is best suited for you. For instance, if you are subscribed to a cable service just for sport, think about suspending your service as many sporting events will be on hold for the foreseeable future.

It's also a good idea to check the phone plan and utility bills to see if these make sense for you and your family. Look for better offers from competitor companies. 

No panic buying

With Christmas right around the corner, you might be tempted to jump in and buy all your gifts right now – and this is reasonable given that shops will be closed until the beginning of December. However, when people panic buy, they can check out before they even realise what they are buying or for who. Does Aunt Mary really want a shawl, a bath bomb and wool slippers – or were they the first thing you saw online and put straight into your basket? Make considered purchases.

Improve your saving profile and invest in undervalued stocks

Most of us would have booked holidays and parties over the summer if the situation were normal. Due to the lockdown, many have been lucky enough to save some extra money. 

Try taking advantage of the situation by building your saving profile. If you are continuing to work and earn your full income, it is a good opportunity to buy undervalued stocks. The valuation of many companies went down in April/May, and there is a chance that it may fall again in the coming months due to the surge in numbers. Take suggestions from the brokers and invest in some companies to make a good return in the future. 

Avail of the reliefs available to you

The government has implemented financial relief for people and businesses. Keep in mind that you might be using utilities for work purposes. It was just announced in Budget 2021 that some of these employment costs could go towards tax credits.