Financial Advice and COVID-19
As the ongoing spread of the coronavirus continues, the effect on the global economy is becoming more real to everyone and many people are fearing losing their jobs, livelihoods and financial stability where some people may have already been affected by this.
People who are self-employed and freelancing will also be anxious about how to continue their work or not being entitles to receive sick pay. This is inevitably going to increase anxiety for people during this time amid fears around their future job stability. Large firms and small businesses will also be worried about the financial effects from COVID-19.
Below are some tips and resources to help employees, self-employed individuals and businesses begin to consider ways to manage current spending, seek advice on financial support and manage any anxiety you may be experiencing as a result of the effects of COVID-19.
Do not assume and check the facts
In times of panic and anxiety our minds will often think more of the negatives than positives. Our anxiety and fear can also cause us to fall into distorting information. Although this is understandable it is important to manage this type of thinking as it is unhelpful and can cause you to feel more anxious and impact your mental health negatively.
- Do not assume! Check the facts- speak with your manager or company HR on where they currently stand with your job security
- Once the current position is confirmed by your company try to refrain from asking them too often about job security as right now they too may not know what the future holds for their company and may be limited on what information they can confirm with you.
- Be careful with how you are thinking- identify if you are using any ‘Unhelpful Thinking Styles’, e.g. jumping to conclusions, mind reading, assuming.
- The ‘Thought Challenging Questions’ can help to develop accurate and more helpful perspectives of “what if” worries. Being mindful of facts vs opinions will help also.
- The ‘Worry Period’ tool will help you manage any excessive worrying you may be doing. On arrival to your ‘worry period’ you will then be able to consider if your worry is something that you still need to worry about and you can practice learning to let go of what is out of your control.
Revise and improve your budget
Right now, we may need to begin preparing for possible changes to our financial situations. Budgeting and reflecting on ways to lower expenses is going to help you feel more in control of what you can address and what you need to plan for
- Can you budget for any higher bills or expenses?
- Will you save money from lower transport costs that you could spend elsewhere?
- Start writing down and making a budget planner
Be careful where you source your information from
Taking extra care of where you source your information from with regards to your financial support entitlements during this time.
- Remember that there will be criteria connected to all government financial support and assuming is not going to help you.
- Attempting to get accurate information from reliable sources from the UK Government websites will help you better manage your anxiety with this area too.
- Be careful with how much information you get from social media sites and groups as this can often be opinions rather than facts- as a result this can make you more anxious
Useful links to resources and reliable guidance on financial support
The UK government has put together several helpful guidance’s to help individuals, self-employees and small and large businesses. Please click on the link below to which one might be of relevance and guidance to you.
Guidance for employee’s
The UK Government website has information related to the following: Sick pay, SSP start date, how to provide proof of sickness, self-employed, furloughed workers, benefits and rent costs.
HM Treasurer UK advice to individuals
FAQ’s from HM Treasurer UK on support for those affected by COVID-19
Department for Business UK Government
UK Government advice for business affected by COVID-19
Free mental health support platform for UK Small businesses
Free access for small companies to have a mental health support platform especially during the current times of uncertainty and increased fear of job and financial security.
If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 the National Debt Helpline & Changing Steps – the UK Government helpline offers free financial counselling.
How can we help support you during COVID-19
If you are struggling with your mental health and are starting to feel anxious or down due to the financial hardship and worries you are currently having or may have arising. Below is a list of services we have that will be able to support you:
- Online therapy – we can offer one-to-one therapy delivered through Skype, FaceTime or via telephone.
- Self-guided therapy – Access an online portal that will allow you to work through your problems whenever suits you, anytime, anywhere.