Financial Concerns: Housing, Unemployment & More
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 12, 2023
Financial worries can be overwhelming, especially when faced with uncertain times. However, there are steps you can take to work through your finances and find the support you need. In this article, we will explore various strategies to help you navigate through housing concerns, unemployment, and other financial challenges.
Work through your finances
During challenging times, it’s essential to reassess your household budget. Using a budgeting tool can be a valuable resource in this process. Consider the changes in your spending patterns. While you may spend more on groceries and heating bills, you may save money by cutting back on transportation and socializing expenses. By carefully analyzing your budget, you can identify areas where adjustments can be made.
Explore available financial support
The government offers a range of measures to assist individuals facing financial difficulties. It’s crucial to check which benefits and financial support you may be entitled to based on your specific circumstances. Whether you are employed, on a low income, or not currently working, there are resources available to help. Seek advice from reputable organizations such as MoneyHelper, Stepchange, or National Debtline. They can provide guidance tailored to England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. Remember to find the appropriate service for your nation, as debt and money advice may vary across the UK.
Stay connected and prioritize self-care
Financial concerns can take a toll on your mental and physical well-being. It’s important to reach out to family or friends for support. Talking about your worries can provide much-needed relief. Additionally, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Adequate sleep, a balanced diet, and regular exercise can help alleviate stress. Minimize excessive drinking and, if applicable, consider reducing or quitting smoking. These lifestyle adjustments not only improve your overall well-being but can also have a positive impact on your finances.
Seek community support
Communities often have formal and informal systems in place to offer assistance. Explore local opportunities, such as food banks, which can provide vital support during challenging times. Visit the Trussell Trust to find the nearest food bank and learn how to access their services. If you have children eligible for free school meals, ensure you take advantage of this service as well. Additionally, your local council may have information on community support groups operating in your area. Tap into these resources to find the support you need.
Review your insurance policies
If you have life cover, critical illness cover, mortgage insurance, or home insurance, it’s worth examining the benefits and support they provide. Some policies offer legal advice or coverage that can be beneficial during financial difficulties. If you are struggling with mortgage repayments or any other significant financial commitments, contact your lenders early on. They may be able to offer solutions such as extending the mortgage term or deferring repayments.
Utilize industry-specific support
Depending on your profession or membership in certain organizations, you may have access to specialized financial assistance. Trade unions and benevolent charities often extend help to individuals in need within specific sectors. For example, Hospitality Action supports hospitality workers, The Charity for Civil Servants aids civil servants, and the Lighthouse Club offers assistance to construction workers. Research organizations relevant to your field and make use of the grants or support they offer. The Turn2Us Grants Search tool can assist you in identifying potential benefits.
Be cautious of scams
When seeking financial advice or assistance, always rely on reputable sources such as government websites or trusted organizations. Avoid responding to unsolicited messages requesting personal or financial information. Scammers often exploit vulnerable individuals during times of uncertainty. Stay vigilant and protect yourself from potential fraudulent activities.
Coping with unemployment or reduced work
Experiencing changes in your employment situation can be challenging. Whether you have been let go, received fewer shifts, or faced a decline in self-employed work, there are avenues to explore. Refer back to the previous section on financial support to determine the assistance you may be eligible for. Don’t assume you won’t qualify for any aid—be proactive in exploring your options.
Maintaining connections with colleagues can be beneficial, even during unemployment. Staying in touch can provide a sense of belonging and may lead to future employment opportunities. Additionally, if your job was physically demanding, try to incorporate exercise into your routine as a way to manage your mood.
For information about your rights at work, visit Acas. If you are self-employed, consider reaching out to your network for potential work opportunities or connecting with others in your local business community. While uncertain, there is often a demand for various skills. If possible, explore alternative employment options that align with your capabilities.
Remember, if you are on a low income, out of work, or unable to work, Universal Credit can provide financial assistance.
Navigating housing concerns
Spending more time at home highlights the importance of comfortable housing. If you are facing difficulties paying your mortgage or rent, there are steps to consider. Speak with your lender about a payment holiday if your income has been reduced. This temporary arrangement allows you to pause or reduce mortgage payments.
If you are a tenant struggling to meet rent obligations, communicate with your landlord as soon as possible. Discuss the challenges you are facing and inquire about the possibility of negotiating additional time for payments.
To understand your rights as a homeowner or tenant, consult reputable organizations such as Citizens Advice or Shelter in England and Wales, Citizens Advice Scotland or Shelter Scotland, and Advice NI or Housing Advice NI in Northern Ireland. These resources can provide valuable information on your specific rights and options.
In times of financial stress, it’s essential to remain calm, explore your available options, seek advice, and work through potential solutions. Helplines and support services are available to assist you during this time. If you feel overwhelmed and need confidential support, consider reaching out to Samaritans at 0116 123.
Remember, financial challenges can be daunting, but with the right support and proactive measures, you can overcome them. Take advantage of the resources available to you, stay informed, and maintain a positive outlook towards your financial well-being.