Fear and worry takes a toll on all of us. Action is urgently needed. Early in the first lockdown The Big Issue launched the Ride Out Recession Alliance (RORA), to unite organisations and individuals, share ideas and support those who most need it. For 2021 we have introduced the RORA Toolkit with access to jobs and training opportunities, to improve job chances and help people skill-up for the future.
And starting today The Big Issue is joining forces with Experian as part of its United For Financial Health programme, working with partners including The National Literacy Trust, National Numeracy, The Mix and The Trussell Trust.
“Covid-19 has sent shockwaves through the country,” explains James Jones, head of consumer affairs at Experian. “While much of the focus has been on public health, understandably with so many lives tragically lost, many of us have also seen our finances severely shaken up, especially if our job or income has been hit. At one point around nine million workers were furloughed.
“Latest government figures show that the low-paid and the young have seen their finances disproportionately affected. Although people who’ve switched to working from home are likely to have built up savings due to lower spending, around nine million people have borrowed money to help them get by.”
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In the coming weeks we will share knowledge, advice and practical steps that everyone can take, working with experts across the financial and social spheres.
As Jones says: “With uncertainty ongoing, now is a good time to make sure your finances are as resilient as possible. Regardless of your current status, regularly reviewing your financial situation is vital, especially your income and spending.
“Staying on top of things makes quick, effective adjustments easier if your circumstances change. There’s lots of online support and tools available to help guide you, including on the Money Advice Service website.”
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Even just remembering the basics can make a difference right away. “Many of us routinely overpay on regular household bills like broadband, energy and insurance, so shopping around to see what deals other providers offer can free up cash for use elsewhere,” Jones says.
“The same applies to any financial products you have, such as mortgages, loans and credit cards. Comparison sites, provided by Experian and others, can help you find cheaper deals on a wide range of financial products.”
Alongside our RORA Toolkit, we will ensure that you have the best information at your fingertips. On The Big Issue UK app we will be sharing free weekly tips and advice, where we can answer your questions and concerns, check bigissue.com for updates, and follow us on social media to put your questions to our experts: facebook.com/bigissueuk @BigIssue