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TIPS & INFORMATION ON MANAGING YOUR FINANCES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC…

I am sure I am not alone in knowing someone be it a family member, friend or acquaintance who has lost their job due to the pandemic.

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I am also sure I am not alone when I say that finance worries can affect your health in a big way. Stress creates many health problems and can even flare up old ones. We are going through an exceedingly difficult period now and getting our finances in order is essential. People suffering from mental health and anxiety due to the Covid Pandemic will struggle even more.

I have spent some time online looking through different sites for information and topics on finance related information. From savings, budgets, retirement planning, mortgages and personal loans and I think the one thing they all have in common is that you need to calculate anything related to your income and outgoings.

Health is something I write about daily and that includes my own health which as many of my readers will know has taken a bit of a nosedive recently. So, I did take a quick look at Health Insurance. I do have my own but like many insurance policies be it for health, home or car you try and keep the monthly payments down by adding on an excess amount which you pay yourself before the insurance company starts paying for your claim. Researching a bit further on the cost of self-pay for health treatments lead me down the personal loan route, to see if that is something worth thinking about before my next renewal.

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Loans, according to Bloomberg are not just for anyone even large companies like American Airlines are taking them out but they say that it’s the small businesses, who are the beating heart of the US economy and the ones who have needed Covid loans the most. The UK have Covid Bounce Back Loans for small companies for the same reason. But, what about Mr/Mrs Joe Public who is retired, has saved all his/her life for retirement and is now finding their funds diminishing by the day? This pandemic is certainly something they will not have planned for and although the younger generation may think it’s such a long way off they don’t need to worry it’s important that they understand how no one knows what life is going to throw at us.

I found a great list of expert and useful tips from Forbes on ‘Financial Tips for Surviving Covid-19’, which included making a list of ‘separating wants from needs’, ‘taking advantage of a line of credit’, and or ‘utilizing your credit cards’ and more.

Of course, before trying out anything it is essential that you work out your monthly income and outgoings. Take into consideration that this pandemic may last another six months at the very least and we are about to enter Autumn then Winter when our heating and lighting will be on a lot more than it has been on for the last six months.

Do not be frightened to get in touch with any of your own insurance companies and comparison sites to find the best one for you. It is a minefield out there but if you tread carefully you can get through it. I found this great site called Pigly which has calculators for different loans, insurance and even a budget calculator with budget planning, paycheck estimator and cash flow etc.

Dealing with your finances at any time is not everybody’s idea of having fun but needs must now so look at it with your eyes fully open and not half shut. I am a big fan of the Money Magpie site which also has lots of tips on hidden expenses to include in your budget plan which include ‘optometrist appointments’, prescription medication, books and audio subscriptions, house contents insurance, car maintenance, boiler maintenance and much more. And of course the well known Money Saving Expert’s site has MSE Coronavirus Guides which include Coronavirus Finance and Bills Help.

Once you have sat down and written your budget plan, even if it’s not looking so good it will still feel like you have lifted a weight from your shoulders as you have actually starting doing something about it. Just remember to use reputable companies when looking for any further dealings.

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9 WAYS TO LIFT YOUR STRESS DURING LOCKDOWN…

At the moment it is understandable that many of us (including me) are incredibly stressed right now. But one of the most powerful tools according to Paul McKenna in Woman & Home is making a daily list of things that we appreciate. So, I will kick of with number …

1. Get a notebook or open a file on your computer, and each day, add at least five things to the list. Then any time you are feeling really stressed read back through what you have written. I’ve ordered a notebook today and plan on trying this straight away.

2. Try and work it out, if you can’t manage an indoor workout then go out for a walk in the fresh air, or do some housework to take your mind off it.

3. Try breathing exercises, whereby you breath out for longer than you breathe in. There are a number of ones you can follow online. The theory is that when you breathe out you signal your nervous system to instruct your body to calm down.

4. During the COVID-19 lockdown it’s been easy to eat all the wrong things especially for anyone who is self isolating but this can have a negative effect on your health, so try eating more healthily. Last week I started a diary of the meals I had cooked during the week so I can look at what we had last week and go for something different this week.

5. Listen to some calming music. Just try and switch off completely by sitting or lying somewhere very peaceful and listen to some lovely soothing music.

6. Apparently we have been watching lots of nature programs during the last few months as they have found these have a very calming effect on children. So, do the same as the younger ones and get yourself in a comfy chair, relax and watch a nature program.

7. Make sure you are drinking enough water every day. Being dehydrated can cause a multiple of different problems. You should try and drink around 2.7 litres for women, and 3.7 litres for men.

8. Read a book, there are so many free and very cheap books to read online now or paperbacks you can buy for a reasonable price. I’ve become hooked on my books and find they help me go to sleep at night. If your having a really bad day there is no harm in binge reading, like binge watching a tv program. If it’s a good book just get yourself comfortable and read it from start to finish.

9. Finally, just laugh and I mean really laugh. It helps to relieve stress big time. If you can’t think of anything to make you laugh you can go online and find funny videos, in particular the animal ones which will definitely have you in stitches.

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COPING DURING THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN AND TRYING TO DEAL WITH IT WHILE IN PAIN…

This week has been a week where I seem to have struggled with whatever I have done. We all have them and I’m hoping next week will be much better.

I feel guilty in that I think I have brought some of my pain on myself by doing more than I normally would do during the COVID-19 lockdown. But, I’m sure I’m not alone and a few of us have ‘had a go’ at something over the last eight weeks.

Mine was my little shed in the garden which I have sat and looked at for the last twelve months and decided a make over with lots of help from the other half could be manageable.

The end product is just what I wanted but being a bit of a perfectionist at heart has meant more work for me. The edges and finishing touches were done by me which ended up taking longer than painting the shed. It’s not that I was holding anything heavy but it’s the position you get into to achieve what you want. We adapted a stool for me for lower areas and a big cushion for anything lower down but it just took time.

I’ve rested up a few days but it seems to have really stirred up pins and needles and pain down my arm, in fact it’s affected my hand so badly that I’ve dropped a few things. Now I know I’ve not done any permanent harm but I have obviously provoked a reaction. Injuries happen, it’s a part of normal life.

Because I write my blog so regularly I somehow feel expectations are high and I feel almost guilty if I don’t write my regular post. There are moments in the lives of many people when they are not even sure what brought the pain into their life, only that it is agonizingly there.

Pharmi Web wrote that the University of East Anglia researchers are launching a new study to see how Covid-19 and lockdown are affecting people with bone, joint and muscle pain.

Their previous research has revealed the challenges and poor health outcomes caused by social isolation and loneliness for people with conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lower back pain, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia. The study will be of great interest to us all.

The daily sun dose we are having is beautiful and I am sure the last eight weeks would have felt like eight months without it but I am definitely ready to see my family for real as soon as I can.