The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect people’s health – physical, mental and financial.
Here are some ways to help maintain your financial health now and in the future.
1. Where to get support
If your income has been affected – through losing your job, losing business or being offered fewer hours – you may be concerned about covering your monthly costs.
But, there may be ways you can get help.
We’re helping customers get through this period in several ways, including mortgage payment holidays, breathing space on other debts, and support for small business owners.
Find out more about the financial support we’re providing.
You can also find more information to help you deal with the impact of coronavirus here:
Money Advice Service
2. How to get your money back
Whether it’s holidays, festivals, sport, or other events, cancellations have been a common theme since the outbreak of the pandemic. Seeing your plans fall through can be upsetting – and the prospect of losing money can add to that feeling.
Some events and activities may have been rearranged or rescheduled. But if not, it may be worth looking into refunds.
How this works will depend on what you’ve bought, when you bought it and how you paid for it.
If you had travel plans, you can find answers to many of your questions on our travel guidance page.
And if you’re wondering whether you can get money back on purchases made on your credit card, read our guide on what you can claim.
3. Budgeting: a new (temporary) reality
The temporary restrictions on how we live may have changed the way you manage and spend your money.
This will be different for everyone, but it could mean lower commuting costs, for example.
Some savings may have been enforced but – if you’re looking for further ways to cut back – you may be able to cancel or reduce some of your regular expenses.
- train season tickets – if you have a rail season ticket, you may be entitled to a refund
- gyms, clubs and other activities – if you’ve pre-paid for memberships or classes, check with the company to see if you can get a refund or freeze any regular payments
- energy – as it may be one of your biggest monthly costs (especially when you’re at home more) shop around to see if you could save money on energy
- monthly subscriptions – review your monthly Direct Debits and standing orders, and your credit card statement, to see if you could save money on subscriptions you no longer need or could pause
Explore: How to save money working from home
Registered for online banking?
If you’re trying to minimise any further outgoings, here are a few useful questions to ask yourself before spending money:
- do you need it?
- can you afford it?
- will you use it?
- is it worth it?
It may be harder to cover your costs - even after making cutbacks - if your income has fallen.
Creating a revised budget based on your spending decisions above can help you get a clear picture of your finances and help you plan ahead.
If you think you’ll struggle financially in the future and don’t have savings to fall back on, visit our financial help pages for guidance.
If your income has not been impacted and you’re able to make savings as a result of changes to your budget, think about where to keep any money you put aside.
You might want to keep it separate from your main account, especially if you’re earmarking the money for something in particular. That could be rebooking a holiday when the time comes, building an emergency fund or saving towards another goal.
You can read our guide on how to save for more on this.
4. Managing your pension or investments
If you’ve got a pension or other types of investments, they could be a further source of anxiety at the moment. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the global economy, which means the value of your pension or investments could have been affected.
But it’s important to remember that investing is for the long term, and that applies to your pension too.
Stock market falls are part and parcel of investing. It’s true that some are steeper and more prolonged than others. Although nothing is certain, throughout history, markets have had a habit of bouncing back over time, bringing the value of investments back up again.
Ultimately, the performance of your investments is beyond your control. So, you may be able to reduce your stress levels by not checking your balance too frequently. Instead, it can help to stay focused on your long-term plan and to think twice before cashing in any investments, where possible.
For HSBC analysis of how coronavirus is affecting global markets, visit our Wealth Insights hub. And for details of how to access and manage investments you hold with us, visit our existing investment customers’ pages.
5. Making the most of online and mobile banking
If you normally do your banking in a branch, there are plenty of ways to take care of your money digitally instead.
Through digital banking you can:
- check your balance
- send money
- set up or cancel Direct Debits or standing orders
- pay in a cheque through our mobile banking app (on compatible devices)
Once you’re set up, this is simple and secure, and you don’t need to leave the house.
You can also use tools like Balance After Bills on our mobile app. It accounts for your regular bills to let you know how much money you could have left over.
Find out more about how easy it is to do your banking at home.
6. Know your money is safe
When you’re concerned about your finances, it can be reassuring to know that money you have deposited in a bank is safe. HSBC is backed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS guarantees your money up to £85,000 per person, per institution. Joint accounts are protected up to £170,000.
You can see which other financial institutions are backed by the FSCS at fscs.org.uk.
Find out more about accessing your money during the coronavirus pandemic.