COVID-19: Don’t panic! Prepare for financial wellbeing

2020-04-30 11:28
Having a plan helps to give you some control with things that are not under your control. (Image: Supplied)

Having a plan helps to give you some control with things that are not under your control. (Image: Supplied)

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During COVID-19 we’ve all become familiar with the measures to take to protect our health and that of our families. Just as you take proactive steps to protect your health, a proactive financial plan can ease anxiety and protect your financial wellbeing.

Having a plan helps to give you some control with things that are not under your control. Here are six things to do for added financial peace of mind.

6 things to tick off your financial checklist

1.    Connect to digital banking services

Sign up for your bank’s apps and other online services, but also make sure you don’t become a target for hackers. Check your bank’s security page to see that their security measures are up to date. For example, Discovery Bank only uses the latest and most secure security measures. Setting up these services makes sure you can buy what you need, pay and keep control of your accounts from home.

2.    Keep some money for an emergency fund, save and don’t make debt

You never know when you may need extra money, so keep some close. Try to set money aside in a savings account for emergencies, like medical costs or unpaid time off work. If you already have an emergency fund, keep adding to it, or start one now.

While you’re home, save what you would have spent on travel or entertainment. Use this time to work on savings goals to get you started – even saving small amounts can make a difference. The reduced repo rate also means that you can save on your property repayments. 

Don’t make big purchasing decisions. Try to pay more off on your short-term debt using savings from the repo rate or other living expenses.

3.    Check and update your budget

Check your budget and make changes to adapt to your current situation. Where are you spending more on now compared with a month ago?

It could be useful to create a new budget to see where you’re now using money. Look at all your memberships or subscriptions. Some offer increased value for you now, for example, Vitality’s cash back on personal and family care products, as well as healthy food.

4.    Collect important documents and contact details of institutions

You don’t always know what to expect so have all your paperwork in order. Keep your personal, financial, medical and insurance information in one place so it is easy to find. With Discovery Bank, all your statements and important documents are conveniently stored for you on the app.

Make sure your will, beneficiaries on policies and details of the person who can make decisions on your behalf are all in place. Make a list of all your financial accounts, important institutions and their contact details. This can help avoid the stress of searching for the information in an emergency.

Back up any information you have securely stored electronically or keep extra copies of documents in a safe place and to let a trusted person know where it is.

5.    Know your insurance products – don’t downgrade or cancel anything

Check your health and other insurance cover. This includes life, income, illness and disability cover, and your short-term cover on cars and home contents. Understand what your insurance pays for and how it works.

Your financial adviser can help you with information on managing your premiums for financial products and the benefits your insurance provides during COVID-19.

6.    Understand your income protections and safety nets

You could be working from home and your normal sick leave and holiday leave still apply. Check how many leave days you have and make sure you understand how you will be affected if you get sick or you cannot work for a long period.

Insurance can offer personal protection for income loss in case of illness. Discovery Life’s income protection benefits provide comprehensive cover for a broad range of life events. You can contact a financial adviser online or through other electronic platforms to help you review your income protection.

Use this checklist for some added peace of mind as you take control of your financial wellbeing and declutter your finances like you would your home.

This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Discovery.

Read more on:    discovery  |  coronavirus  |  financial advice  |  covid-19
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