In these difficult times where income could be reduced, we all need to take personal stock to identify actions we could take to reduce our outgoings whilst we are locked down and possibly furloughed, thereby bringing less into the home than we would expect.

The following are a list of suggestions, whilst not exhaustive, that might be of use to you:

  • Contact your mortgage providers in an effort to secure a payment holiday. You should stress that the request is coronavirus related and gain an assurance that this will not affect your credit rating. We understand that this will be the case in these circumstances. You should not just cancel the direct debit payment as this will trigger a credit rating action.
  •  If you have other lenders to whom you are making payments take similar action in an effort to reduce outgoings. Again, we would not recommend just cancelling these direct debit payments as that will have consequences.
  • If you pay rent write to your landlord in the first instance setting out the coronavirus circumstances and requesting a deferral so that you can negotiate a new payment plan between you. Do not just cancel the payment as this may lead to problems.
  • Review your domestic utilities and contact them to review payments. There is a suggestion that whilst in lock down we all visit a comparison site such as to identify whether we are on the cheapest tariff for our energy and broadband as many families are paying the most expensive rates.
  • Contact Sky to pause sky sports whilst live sport is cancelled. This is for some the most expensive part of their subscription. I am advised that you can do this by logging on say “pause” and the charge will begin again once live sport recommences. Don’t worry you can still watch the re-runs they are showing during this period whilst on pause!
  • Has your Gym membership subscription be reduced or paused during the time that they are closed? If not contact them to ask for a reduction to a nominal sum per month or pausing the payment whilst they are closed.
  • If you believe that you may be due a tax refund once 5 April 2020 has passed please gather together your paperwork so that this can be processed and a claim made as soon as possible.
  • Review your options for benefits such as Universal Credit as soon as possible if things are tight. Now is not the time to be proud on these matters and many who have never claimed a penny across the Country will be in a similar position.
  • We’ve never known a situation like this and we hope we never do again and currently there is no shame in doing what is necessary to help your home and welfare.
  • Review payments that you are making and like outside journeys, consider whether they are vital or not. Remember you can always reinstate a standing order once this crisis has passed and you are back on your feet.

In saying this I am not talking about cancelling insurance policies on yourself or family.

If you would like any further assistance in these challenging times, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the Author and other professionals may express different views. They may not be the views of Lambert Chapman LLP. The material in the article cannot and should not be considered as exhaustive. Professional advice should be sought in connection with any of the issues contained in the article and the implementation of any actions.

Lambert Chapman Chartered Accountants

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