The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) is encouraging people to pay extra attention to their financial wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic, and to consider what protective steps they can take now to avoid money worries later on.
With coronavirus likely to cause disruption for a significant amount of time this year, the government-backed organisation is urging people to spend some time planning ahead to reduce the impact on their finances, as part of online guidance being published today.
Coronavirus is causing unexpected changes of plan and expenses for almost everyone but people who could face the biggest financial impact include those who are self-employed and cannot work due to illness; people facing reduced hours and job insecurity; and those who are close to retirement.
MaPS guidance to everyone, no matter their situation, is that they should review their finances now, to help them avoid running into difficulty down the line.
Nick Hill, money expert at the Money and Pensions Service said:
“We know that many people are worried about their own and their loved ones’ physical health at the moment, but it’s vital people think about how coronavirus could impact their financial wellbeing too. While this is likely to be a stressful situation for many people, there are steps you can take now to prepare yourself to deal with any financial challenges, and to hopefully give you some peace of mind during the coming months.
“A good starting point is to do an emergency budget and check what savings you have to bridge any gaps. You should also check with your bank, insurers and providers such as energy companies to see what support they can offer. If you still think you will struggle to make ends meet, there are free support services available to help you online and over the phone, whether you’re facing an emergency cash shortfall or you’re worried about debt.
“This crisis has happened very quickly and people may be looking at using credit or borrowing to tide them over. Some forms of borrowing can be very expensive so it’s vital people take time to understand all the options before they make a decision.
“This is also a very worrying time for people with pension savings, especially if they’re approaching retirement. The key thing is not to panic – you should avoid sudden decisions and get independent guidance or advice to help you weather the storm.”
MaPS covers the following guidance on the Money Advice Service website for people to manage their finances during the coronavirus outbreak:
- Step 1: Do an emergency budget
- Step 2: Check your insurance policies
- Step 3: Use your savings
- Step 4: Talk to your creditors if you think you’re going to miss payments
- Problems paying your rent or mortgage
- If you think you might not be able to pay gas or electricity bills
- What to do if you’re getting behind on car finance payments
- If you are worried about debt
- If you think you might have to borrow money
- High cost credit – things to think about
- Avoid loan sharks
- Your rights to sick pay and changes to claiming your benefits
- If you might need to claim Universal Credit
- If you’re worried about your pension
- If you’re worried about redundancy
- Talk to us
For more information visit the Money Advice Service website page Coronavirus and Your Money.
There is also a Money Advice Service Facebook Group for people to talk about their money worries related to coronavirus, which will also include useful tips: Coronavirus and your money
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MaPS Press Office 020 81325284 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Mia Cochrane, senior press officer 020 8132 4937 / email@example.com
Sarah Cordey, senior communications manager 020 8132 5251 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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Notes to editors
About the Money and Pensions Service
The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) vision is: ‘everyone making the most of their money and pensions.’
MaPS is an arm’s-length body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and it has a joint commitment to provide access to the information and guidance people across the UK need, to make effective financial decisions over their lifetime. The organisation also engages with HM Treasury on policy matters relating to financial capability and debt advice.
MaPS brings together the free services previously delivered by the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. MaPS offers customers guidance and appointments over the telephone, online and in person.
For further information visit the Money and Pensions Service website www.moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk
Consumers can continue to access free guidance about their money and pensions via the following websites and help lines: