The UK's rise of cost-of-living has been a hard bullet to bite. Tight budgets and difficult financial predictions have created detrimental ripple effects on the spending habits of the common earner. If you are among those who have taken out an income protection scheme, the current storm may seem even more unsettling when it comes to carrying out monthly payments. Income protection offers an invaluable ‘safety net’ during illness or injury. But with the escalating cost of living and a commitment to pay monthly instalments, we are often left asking a vital question: How do I make it work?
In this article we look at some strategic pointers to navigate these challenging times:
- Review your budgets:
Take a closer look at your monthly, bi-annual or annual budgets. Periodically reviewing your budgets could mean the difference between managing your monthly expenses. Lay out your essential expenses with meticulous detail, trimming off any non-essentials can bring up the levels of your monthly savings. In comparison to paying for a hardly used subscription service and paying off an instalment for income protection for your home, clearly defines which needs to be given a higher priority.
- Tracking your expenses:
With all the new tech apps around, spreadsheets may not seem like a great fix, on the contrary however, spreadsheets are a simple, but great way to keep track of your expenses. You can create your own spreadsheet system to track income, expenses, and upcoming bills. Then of course, there are dozens of budgeting apps which are freely available to download which may suit your mode of spending.
Knowing how, when and where your money is spent allows you to adjust and optimise. Tracking your expenses is a great way not only to monitor, but also save up for those all important monthly instalments.
- Are you losing out on benefits and entitlements?
This may seem unreal, but happens often. Contact your employer or HR department to see if any additional company benefits, like free meals or healthcare plans, are available. There could be employee benefits that you might not be aware of. Remember, many employee assistance programs in the UK offer confidential financial and support services. Make use of every resource and benefit that might be at your disposal.
- Making a family support system:
‘Unity is strength’, and what better occasion can it be said than a time of need? Reach out to family, friends. They could be your community support network. Sharing a burden lightens it, and their emotional support can be invaluable. Not just emotional support, they might be able to help you out when you really need some urgent financing too. Don't hesitate to turn to your close circle of friends and family if your situation or stress becomes overwhelming. After all, they are your closest allies during times of need.
- Forward thinking is essential:
The high cost-of-living is temporary. However, you need to ensure that you continue paying your premiums or you risk losing the cover income protection provides. Your income protection cover offers the safety net of a regular income, in the event that illness or injury prevents you from working. This therefore is an investment you’re making for your future.
These are non-specific pointers that provide a general overview of how you can carry on paying your instalments. Paying instalments is a marathon, not a sprint, therefore the strategies you adopt will have to include a long term plan.
As seen in this article, there are strategies you could adapt to make your income protection payments that much easier even during difficult periods. Keeping up those payments might be difficult, but it does provide you with peace of mind. In the UK more and more families and individuals are choosing income protection policies as a way of providing a regular income in the event that illness or injury prevents them from working. And lastly, but not least, consider it as an investment for the future.
* Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 05/02/2024