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How to manage your money through Covid-19

17 Apr 2020

On 27 March President Cyril Ramaphosa placed South Africa under a 21-day lockdown and then extended for a further 14 days, to slow down the spread of Covid-19. For most of us, this has meant we can't go to work and earn a living, no shopping, no going out - life as we know it.

There is no doubt that the lockdown was the best decision – the only way to stop more people from contracting the Corona virus. So, with little certainty as to when we will be able to start normal working life and earning a regular salary again, what is the best way to manage your finances?

Take care of your money during lockdown and beyond

We all face similar worries. Will we be able to pay expenses and debit orders? What happens if we have debt? How will we access an ATM or a bank? Here are some guidelines to help you take control of your spending and everyday needs, through the lockdown period and beyond.

Know your expenses

Work out what your monthly expenses are and what you are spending your money on, and how this may need to change. Then change your budget to fit with your current situation. For instance, previously, you may have spent your monthly salary according to the '50-30-20 budgeting rule': 50% on car repayments, home loans, rent and groceries, 30% on entertainment, and 20% on debt payments, petrol and savings. But as most shops have closed and your movement is limited, your spending will change. You will probably have to buy more groceries in one go, for the week or month ahead.

Cancel debit orders that aren't necessary

Are all your debit orders, and any other monthly or yearly expenses, essential? Or can you cut back on some? Check the terms and conditions of your contract and how to get out of it, before you stop any debit orders.

Tell the retail store or bank, when you can't pay them a bill or instalment

If you are no longer earning a salary, or if you have lost your job, you may be worrying about how you can pay your bills, such as your home loan and credit card repayments. See which bills you can pay, and which you can't.

Contact the store where you have an account or company that you owe money to. Discuss a way in which you can pay off or reduce a debt, instead of simply not paying. Reach an agreement on how and when you will pay back your debt or arrears, or how you plan on catching up your payments and account.

Save where you can

During lockdown, you will no longer be spending on luxuries like entertainment, eating out, clothes shopping and hair salons. Take the amount that you save from this and put it in a savings account. This will give you reassurance during this uncertain time, and help you build up emergency savings.

Use online banking

Although bank branches and ATMs will be open, it is best and safest for you to use online banking. Take care to protect your personal information from fraud scams.

Contact us if you have any queries or concerns

Don't panic. Remember that the pandemic will pass. Liberty is in it with you and here to provide continuous support during this tough lockdown period.  If you have any queries or concerns about your short- or long-term financial planning, contact a Liberty Financial Adviser or your Broker or call our contact centre on 0860 456 789.


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