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There are very few positives to be taken from the current situation across the globe but here at Asteria, we thought we would offer a little bit of positivity in these bleak, difficult times. Though we may not be able to do all of the things that we enjoy doing and life as we know it has been radically changed for the worse, there are a few financial benefits that those who use salary loans, credit cards or personal loans may be able to reap. This is our guide to the surprising hidden financial benefits of Covid 19 restrictions.

Drastically Reduced Transport Costs

This is not applicable to the courageous workers who are driving ambulances, delivering food, and performing other essential tasks but for many people, lockdown means a drastically reduced travel schedule. Public transport is either suspended or drastically reduced and any non-essential journeys that you make are likely to be monitored by the police. The upside of this means that you will not need to pay for bus or train passes and you are likely to spend a lot less money on things like petrol or diesel. Many countries are encouraging their citizens to use bikes or to walk more if possible, which can also be an unexpectedly effective way to reduce your travel costs. In some cases, if you have already paid for a season ticket for transport, you may be entitled to a refund from the travel operator. We advise you apply for this sooner, rather than later if you can.

You Will Spend Less on Entertainment

Cultural events and social gatherings are something that can be quite expensive. Season tickets for sporting events, festival passes and admission to museums and galleries can be expensive. Now that most countries have officially cancelled all sporting events for the foreseeable future and a slow, phased return to normality is likely, you will almost certainly be spending less on your entertainment budget. Taking a proactive approach to managing any savings you make can be a great way to improve your financial situation. If you are paying off a salary loan or a personal loan you have taken out a while ago, this could be the perfect time to put some money aside so you know that you don’t have to worry about finding funds in the future.

Less Impulse Spending

When we are out and about for work and socialising, a quick coffee here, a drink with a friend you bumped in to or a little extra treat after lunch are generally considered commonplace for most people. Though some key workers are still having to leave their homes to perform essential work, most people are still being encouraged to stay at home. Though the guidelines are now beginning to change from country to country, the vast majority of experts are still recommending that social distancing and a drastically reduced contact remain in place for some time. As a result, impulse buys during your workday are less likely to take place. Though you do have access to limitless products and services online, we generally think a little more carefully about purchases we make digitally. If you are hoping to save a little money, avoid the temptation to replace your afternoon latte with a take-out order and make one at home yourself. You might be surprised at how much money you save over the course of a few months.

More Time to Pay What You Already Owe

Though payment holidays from lenders can be something of a double-edged sword, they do provide you with the immediate financial relief you may need in times of serious crisis. If you are struggling to buy food, pay utility bills or cover the cost of essential medical care, requesting a payment holiday is the most sensible thing to do. Most lenders will offer you up to 3 months grace before asking you to start making regular payments again. Generally speaking, the interest you can expect to pay will be higher than what you agreed to before you applied for a repayment holiday, so this is something you will need to consider carefully before you decide to go ahead. If you have multiple loans or credit cards, a good compromise would be to apply for repayment holidays on just some of your debt. That way your credit score will not be affected quite as negatively.

Holidays, Events and Socialising

One of the most disheartening aspects of Covid 19 is the way in which the protective measures that governments around the world have introduced have impacted on our ability to travel and mix with other people. Though this is definitely a negative thing, one small positive is the amount of money you can potentially save due to the changes in lifestyle that you will need to adopt over the next 12 months or so. Most countries are eager to restart their tourist industry and the Philippines is no exception, however, the risk of allowing the infection to spread further far outweighs any immediate financial benefits. For now, it would make sense to use any money that you had saved for a holiday to make your home life a little more enjoyable. Similarly, going to events, parties, cinemas, and concerts will not be an option for quite some time in places that have suffered particularly significant outbreaks. Rather than using your entertainment budget to spend money on takeout food or yet another streaming service, it would make sense to try and put a little aside for your savings.

Clothing Costs

For those who wear a shirt and tie or other formal office wear to work, this lockdown period can mean a few savings in the wardrobe department. Though you may still need to look presentable for skype calls and virtual meetings at home, you will not need to invest in a new outfit every time. Using the clothes, you already have is a great way to free up a little bit of extra cash that you can put towards repayments for loans or your savings.

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