Are you better off or worse off financially due to the pandemic?

Tight Git

Distinguished Member
I'm in exactly the same boat as you, though I think it's a bit disrespectful to sound so gleeful about it in light of the many that have or are suffering.

I originally posted:

"In fact I'm really enjoying the lockdown and, from a totally selfish point of view, hope it continues!"

Sorry if I've offended anybody, but I'm not sure how I can word it any differently apart from admitting that I'm being selfish.

Of course I realise that many are suffering, but for me the lockdown is like stepping back to my childhood in the 1950's, with everyone around here so friendly and, with little traffic on the road, a bit of peace & quiet.

Heaven!
 

IronGiant

Moderator
It read OK to me, especially with the acknowledgement.
 

Chris4891

Active Member
Far better off - work for a supermaket chain as a HGV driver. Loads of overtime available - get paid for 48hrs even if we work less hours.

Saying that it is stressful so I’m not doing that many extra hours

Doing my best to put my earnings back into the economy as have developed a taste for whisky recently - helps with the stress
 

sergiup

Distinguished Member
We're both employed full time and can easily work from home, and have done so since April 2020. I am grateful that our jobs haven't seen much impact, if anything I've been busier than ever, and my employer has had a great year which reflected in reviews etc. There's no commuting and associated costs, no buying breakfast / lunch, so financially we're clearly better off. My charity outgoings have also increased, including food banks (that's another rather sad topic).

But it's not that simple. By far our biggest challenge is homeschooling a very attention seeking nearly 5yo (bless her little socks, it's been horrible for her being stuck with just her parents for so long); first lockdown was much easier because it was still a "new" thing, the weather was frankly excellent, and she was still at nursery which resumed in June. She's now at school, they set them a fair bit of work even in reception, and they expect a lot of it to be done, photographed/filmed and evidence uploaded. That's at least half a full time job by itself, so we're taking time off during the week and I'm often working less during the day and catching up late at night. We're clearly all burning out and this isn't sustainable for much longer, but we don't really have a choice.

Honestly, it's difficult doing all this with a nearly-5yo and I know she's not happy, but I still think we're very lucky and I do feel sorry for the many who have had major impact from all this.
 
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Marv

Member
I've been extremely lucky in my job I have not been furloughed at all not even a single day and also received a large pay rise last year onto of the money saved from not going out anymore I'am probably one of the few who is better off now than I was 8 months ago.
 

simon194

Well-known Member
I'm better off as well. Fortunately my job is easily transferred to home working so no problem. I'm saving around £175 a month in petrol from not having to drive to the office and got my delayed pay rise back in September. There's also the £6 a week tax relief as well because my employer doesn't pay anything towards teh extra cost of home working.

Just before Christmas my employer decided they won't be reopening the office and will be moving everyone onto permanent home-base contracts so a bit more saving on the car insurance because there won't be any commuting and I'll only be doing less than 4000 miles a year instead of the 15000+ I used to do.

I might even look into buying a brand new or nearly new car later on this year or maybe start paying extra off my mortgage.
 

Nick74

Distinguished Member
By far our biggest challenge is homeschooling a very attention seeking nearly 5yo

Maybe one positive from lock-down will be a newfound appreciation of teachers.

Teachers are often battered by the press and online commentators, who argue it's a bit of a skive, what with all those holidays.

Turns out it's not so easy, even when responsible for just one (or a handful) of your own children. Consider teaching multiple classes of 30+ children, or 200 students across university modules.

Then there's marking, prep, administration, pastoral responsibilities, seminar design, lecture writing, research, writing for publication... workload and responsibility in the profession are considerable.
 

skk3

Well-known Member
Worse off! Lost a good job last August due to redundancy and haven’t got anything yet ... I’m 56 next birthday and my age is definitely working against me! I should be thinking of retirement in a few years but can’t now.
 

heffeque

Member
Worse off! Lost a good job last August due to redundancy and haven’t got anything yet ... I’m 56 next birthday and my age is definitely working against me! I should be thinking of retirement in a few years but can’t now.
Stay strong!
Personally more or less the same, maybe a bit better (company gave us a several bonus for our hard work during covid, I'm spending a bit less than normal, and working from home in my pajamas is just perfect). Not saving on transport because I already live like 10 minutes from work, so that wasn't a problem. Good thing is that when the covid situation is controlled thanks to the vaccines, I might actually request to stay at home and the company might actually agree, so I'm seriously thinking of moving to a cheaper city in a year or two. I'd sell my place here and with that money I'd be able to buy a better place and still have a bunch of money to spare. I'd certainly gain in quality of life.
 

Tight Git

Distinguished Member
Maybe one positive from lock-down will be a newfound appreciation of teachers.

I couldn't agree more, especially in this day and age, when trying to keep order.

When I was at school, if we were caught talking in class, most teachers were so accurate when throwing the chalk, that they would have made darts champions!

(And there was always the cane available for more serious offences, like smoking behind the bike sheds...)

These days teachers not only teach, they are expected to be social workers and much else.

But perhaps we should get back on topic before one of the Mods tells us to stand in the corner!
 

LicensedTaximan

Well-known Member
As far as driving the cab is concerned I gave my rented taxi back to the fleet owner on the last week of March 2020 even though they were, and still are, offering half price taxi rentals as with other London taxicab fleet owners because it just wasn't, and still isn't worth going out so I haven't been back yet. All taxi drivers in the UK (not just London) have been very badly hit as with much of the hospitality industry. But at least I can just give the cab back, so no expenses with regards to the actual vehicles running costs, I was an owner driver for many years by the way.

I Passed my three yearly stress echo cardiogram which I have to have (heart attack see below) and pay for, all two hundred pounds worth or so plus the cab license on top when one renews one three yearly hackney carriage license. Plus I also passed my standard yearly medical last December (at 65 you have to have one each year) which once again I also have to pay for. My GP charges £130 (others more, some less) and it took all of twenty minutes with ten minutes of that simply ticking boxes on questions. The other ten minutes was taking my blood pressure and an eyesight test. That represents almost a weeks state pension which really grated on me, i'm in the wrong job. I have every intension of going back when things get better, when ever that will be :rolleyes:

I do try to look at the glass being half full though for several reasons. (A) That four and a half years ago in 2016 I survived a heart attack and a triple heart bypass. (B) We have no mortgage. (C) I get the full state pension and all the SEISS grants. (D) My wife is an essential worker as a maths teacher for special needs so gets her full income. (E) One of our daughters who lives with us is also an essential worker as a TDC (trainee detective constable in the MET) and is therefore earning and (F) Our other daughter gets her income whilst doing her PhD in inorganic chemistry at Berkeley University California, although eventually she will end up coming back home. 🤗

Having said all that obviously I have lost all my taxi driving income which comes to a few bob (ten months and counting) plus I admit to having had the odd day or more where i've felt a bit low. But at least none of us have caught this damn vile virus and I hope all of you are in that same position. Health is 99% the other 1% covers the rest. I guess that's what keeps most of us going and being positive who have been negatively hit in these uncertain times, well at least most of us most of the time. Be safe and keep well... LT. 👍

Addendum: Going by my opus here i'm sure you may have realised that I have a bit of time on my hands. 🤭
 
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millerlfc

Active Member
As a single person fortunate enough to have a secure job I'm much better off financially. Saving about an extra £300 a month (£80 not commuting, £60 not buying lunch at work, £160 not going to pub/eating out)
 

raduv1

Distinguished Member
Bit better off here , I've worked all through the pandemic with no loss of earnings and with nowt to do my bank balance has improved. My wife got made redundant from a couple of part time jobs and actually got great redundancy packages from them . She managed to step into other jobs within a couple of weeks so her bank balance has improved also .

Much rather be poorer and enjoying life TBH .

Although with that excess money in the bank we are getting new composite decking, new fence , luxury artificial lawn and new larger garden shed in the spring .
 

HeadBanger

Well-known Member
I’m a bit better off.

My employer is in London and I’ve been working from home for 10 months so have saved almost a year’s train travel. Also saved by having no foreign family holiday, no daily lunch from sandwich shop. No ad-hoc work drinks. Very few meals out at a restaurant. Meeting friends at the pub to watch a game of footy.....etc.

Like most people I’d of course much rather things were back to pre-COVID times and spending the money I’m currently saving. I’m also very appreciative of the key workers (especially the NHS and teachers).

Let’s hope that we can start getting back to some sort of normal this year.

HB
 

Barrovian

Well-known Member
We are better off. We were already in the position of both having been able to take early retirement long before the pandemic. We have no children and no mortgage and about three years years ago, after I had been retired a year realised that Mrs. B could afford to retire and defer her pensions until Sept 2021, so that's what we did. We realise we're in an exceptionally fortunate position but in our defence it's been achieved through savings and financial planning. The pandemic has reduced our outgoings further still, and on the basis that we can't take it with us (and we'll have no dependents to pass it on) we help out our niece and her young family where we can as both her and her husband have seen a severe hit to their incomes.
 

jole26

Active Member
Overall better off but with less disposable income if that makes sense.

I took voluntary redundancy in the middle of last year after 20 years in the telecoms industry. I was looking at 60 to retire but have the option to do it now at 55.

I haven't actually started taking my pension and likely I'll take on some work from the start of the new financial year, maybe for a couple more years. It's nice I have the option to retire but we can live comfortably on what my wife earns, without having to touch my redundancy money or other savings.

Having 5 months off has been nice, but have filled in some time doing voluntary work (covid related).
 

Ste7en

Distinguished Member
Having being paid I'm now apparently worse of :(

Bit of a cock-up moving me across on the pay spine. Rather than going up one, I've gone down two (someone didn't pay attention to where I actually was). Oh, and I've been moved to a more expensive pension scheme as well.

I'm pleased February is a short month!
 

Ronski

Well-known Member
We are slightly better off, mainly from savings on the two overseas holidays we haven't had. We never have spent a lot on going out, or day strips so not saving much there. We did get a holiday last October, a week on the Isle of Wight so was lucky there.

We have both worked through out, my wife is an NHS Therapy Assistant, and I'm a workshop manager on a salary. I had a small pay rise last October, and my wife managed to move up a band recently so a small rise there.

We only ever buy what we can afford, apart from the house and some 0% credit cards we never get finance for anything, and we always have some savings to fall back on. Our cars are paid outright at time of purchase, we've never had a new car, current ones are 11 and 13 years old. I have money put by to pay the 0% cards off if need be - most of the 0% cards was for my cinema room build, rather than pay the credit card spending off I put the money in premium bonds and transferred the credit card to a 0% card. I can't help but feel that a lot of people have been caught out because they always spend what they have, cars on finance, expensive phones, expensive TV packages etc. We've never lived that way. So I'm hoping that a lot of people once they are able to will save a bit for a rainy day and look at where they can save money, mind you if we'd both lost our jobs a year ago we would have really eaten in to our savings, and what I've been able to put in to my pension so would have had a big future impact for us, being in our fifties there wouldn't be time to rebuild it.

I'm not one to suffer with depression, but I am finding life a bit monotonous these days, seems to be get up go to work for fives days, and the weekends gone in a flash with just a couple of walks out, then rinse and repeat week after week. My wife is obviously finding work extremely stressful - she has to look after Covid patients, but is bearing up really well considering only a year ago she had only just got over a really bad period of anxiety.

The sooner we get on top of Covid, and things get back to more like normal the better.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
I'm not one to suffer with depression, but I am finding life a bit monotonous these days, seems to be get up go to work for fives days, and the weekends gone in a flash with just a couple of walks out, then rinse and repeat week after week. My wife is obviously finding work extremely stressful - she has to look after Covid patients, but is bearing up really well considering only a year ago she had only just got over a really bad period of anxiety.

The sooner we get on top of Covid, and things get back to more like normal the better.

I think that is the problem. January is already finished!
 

rampant

Well-known Member
my massage shop in Thailand has been closed for 2 periods of lockdown here. i have lost nearly 1million baht (about 25000 pound) over the last year, and as there is little chance of tourists coming to Thailand this year - will likely do the same. My Thai Landlords have given me a bit of discount, but i still loose each month. I've been paying my staff, buying them food and helping the ladies with their rent each month.

BUT - i still work a little bit, me and my family are healthy, and we will get through this :)
 

UTT

Novice Member
Worse off.

I have my own business and work from home anyway, in an industry that hasn't been short of work, so in theory it could have been a good year for me. However home schooling (lockdowns and self isolating - two kids) have hit hard. We're in the middle of renovating a house and I've had to keep up work on that (we're living in it), which has meant limited time for my job - and because I've always had to allow for suddenly having the kids at home I can't take on big projects. The business is a limited company and I need to keep it ticking over, so can't furlough myself and the only help available to the business is a loan (not worth it). In any case I was just ramping the business back up from a period of limited work for unrelated family reasons so I hadn't paid myself for six months in the run up to this, and I mainly take money out as dividends so furlough would have been virtually nothing. Haven't had personal income at all during this.

The saving grace has been that my wife works for the NHS and so has had a steady and dependable income throughout (even if the risks to her come with their own stresses, particularly for our eldest who understands them - several of her colleagues have had covid, one dead, another hospitalised for weeks).

As far as outgoings are concerned, not sure it's made a huge difference. I've only been doing significantly less mileage during first and third lockdowns (always had at least one kid in school the rest of the time), wife's is the same. Less on going out, more on printer ink, heating, steady supply of books for the kids.
 

LicensedTaximan

Well-known Member
..... we help out our niece and her young family where we can as both her and her husband have seen a severe hit to their incomes.
That my friend is a thoughtful, kind and lovely thing to do. I sincerely hope they appreciate your generous help. :smashin:
 

zad

Well-known Member
We are better off, have been working from home on and off in between shielding and kids being sent home from school. Managed to get on top of a few issues around the kids we foster as well and we think lockdowns have actually benefited them more than they could ever imagine.
 

Barrovian

Well-known Member
That my friend is a thoughtful, kind and lovely thing to do. I sincerely hope they appreciate your generous help. :smashin:
It’s just been little things like paying for unexpected vets bills, car repairs and tablets for the kids. They’ve no one else to help out and we’ve no dependents so it makes sense. She’ll more than likely get what we’ve got when we’ve gone anyway, but it’s nice to be able to help now and again while we’re here😂
 

LicensedTaximan

Well-known Member
We only ever buy what we can afford, apart from the house and some 0% credit cards we never get finance for anything, and we always have some savings to fall back on. Our cars are paid outright at time of purchase. I can't help but feel that a lot of people have been caught out because they always spend what they have, cars on finance, expensive phones, expensive TV packages etc. We've never lived that way.

I'm not one to suffer with depression, but I am finding life a bit monotonous these days, seems to be get up go to work for fives days, and the weekends gone in a flash with just a couple of walks out, then rinse and repeat week after week.

The sooner we get on top of Covid, and things get back to more like normal the better.

I'm similar in those respects, apart from when I owned my own taxis as they are very expensive purpose built vehicles we are obliged to have in London and not ordinary car type taxis which you find outside the capital. I purchased them on HP which was a legitimate tax deductible business item anyway including the interest as with all the other taxi related running cost. I owned three through the years but rent now, plus as with most people paying off for our mortgage at the time.

As far as cars are concerned like you by being prudent (not tight) we have been able to buy our various cars outright we've had throughout the years at the point of purchase. Whilst I generally agree with your comments regarding getting finance on virtually everything, some people wouldn't have anything at all if it wasn't for finance. But having said that I always have had the maxim of "if I can't afford it I don't buy it". When we started a family we didn't have a proper holiday for over six years but I always put away religiously for my income tax, and for well over thirty years I was working an average of a 70 / 75 hour week.

I said to wifey many years ago (she wasn't earning an income then but a full time unpaid mum) that I wasn't going to get a dishwasher until I could buy it and pay for the installation outright which I admit did niggle her and we did without for some years. But eventually the day came when I could afford it, so we got one and had it fitted by a properly trained plumber all fully paid for.

Fortunately I haven't needed to touch my smallish private pension but I did stop putting in my monthly contributions from last April because of not working since last March. But I will (unless I need any of it) restart contributions when I do restart work. You can keep putting in contributions in a private pension until you are 75.

As I said on my other post above I have had my down days but I have kept myself occupied the vast majority of the time with small to medium jobs around the house that when I was working I simply didn't have the time to do. Although I have paced myself out these past few months i'm now starting to run out of stuff to do. As you said i'm beginning to find the days a bit monotonous with one day melding into the next. There have been times I have asked wifey what day it is. 🤔

Addendum: By the way getting my replacement AV amp for Atmos / DTS:X will just have to wait a little bit longer. 🤨 🙄
 
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