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

Ronski

Well-known Member
@LicensedTaximan be mindful if you drawdown on your private pension, it could/will affect future contributions and tax relief. Check with a professional before drawing on your pension if you plan to make future contributions to it.
 

has2mow

Well-known Member
much worse off, lost my home:(:( Business just about to pull the plug on it not worth running this year.

On a positive staying at my new ladies house got plenty to do to keep me occupied.
 

LicensedTaximan

Well-known Member
@LicensedTaximan be mindful if you drawdown on your private pension, it could/will affect future contributions and tax relief. Check with a professional before drawing on your pension if you plan to make future contributions to it.
I have a financial adviser, so things are in check as it were but thank you anyway. 👍
 

basiltherat

Standard Member
Its a bit convoluted for me.
I was made redundant in march, absolutely nothing to do with coronavirus.
So i took the redundency and paid off my debts and started a new job a week later on more money.
However my partner has a business as well as a job, her job continued, but her business has made pretty much zero since febuary.
so we are kind of better off as out debts cleared, but still worse off as half partners income short.
as my redundency isnt related to coronavirus and my partners business decline is, we are technically worse off.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I am almost ashamed to say that we finished 2020 better off than we started it. I changed jobs, but not before a 5 figure bonus. I was actually at risk of redundancy because we were reorganising our aviation support business, but was lucky enough to find another project to join. Most of my colleagues on the previous project did go, but all have walked into new jobs - and with a nice payoff to boot. I saw a modest pay raise and a project that has funding for at least 3 years, so hopefully we will be out of the worst of COVID and BREXIT by then.

Up until 2018, I was working in events and live sound production, and I have many colleagues and friends who still work in the industry and of course, the bottom has dropped out of their world. My plan was always that if the job in IT didn't work out, I would go back into doing events, but of course that is not an option now...

The only downside was my wife having a severe stroke in August, but as she is a music teacher, she doesn't teach over the summer, and was sufficiently recovered to start teaching private pupils by the end of September. As all her school work had dried up due to COVID, she was eligible for the government grants and took just the 2nd one to cover the gap in lessons.

All in all, we are spending less, as we are not going out for meals and gigs, and we are being careful with other spending just in case circumstances change. Main worry is our eldest daughter, who leaves university in a few months time. Opportunities are much reduced for her and I think we will be supporting her for a little while longer until she can find something.
 

mikeybabes2

Distinguished Member
An interesting thread - my thoughts are very much with those who are struggling.

The collapse of retail that has been accelerated by Covid will have lots of knock on effects. One thing however, is that the government's success in the Vaccine arena may well allow the UK economy to get back to work quicker than many other countries. That may well be crucial to our recovery.

My job involves travel, and although the international stuff is on hold, last year was very busy for me and I was up and down the country like a yo-yo. I am one of those who runs their own company, but is effectively doing so self employed - as although it is a Ltd Co, I am the only person who works in it. As such, I am entitled to pretty much sweet FA from the government.

Because, like many, I take my money via dividends (after hitting the income tax limit) if I were to close down, I think I'd get something around £ 550 per month. Not a lot to pay the mortgage with and keep the wife and kids...I guess I'm one of many who slips through the gaps.

So I have to work. That's not problem, fortunately, but with the uncertainty of what is going to happen in the next year or two, I've taken every bit of work I can get, and whilst I've done pretty well, I'm absolutely shattered. I'm trying to build as much of a reserve up as possible, I think the pain that is coming will be fairly long term. (One thing I've learned in life is never to rely on the state to look after you.)

The one thing the government did do, however, was give me a bounce back loan. I was entitled to about £ 40k ad I've squirrelled it safely away in case I am unlucky enough to need it. Thing is, it's a loan, and it has to be paid back. I think it has to be given back in July - or I'll start to pay interest. Hopefully things will be clearer by then, but ideally I'd like to hand it back then.

I spoke to a couple of guys in the car business, and apparently there were loads of people buying shiny new cars with their bounce back loans..... I think that could well come back to bite them.

But for the guys in retail and hospitality and small businesses - you know, the life-blood of our economy - you've had a rough time, many have lost everything. (I've been there and done that myself - it's no fun). They need to be supported like the public sector workers have.
 

diggerbucket

Active Member
Up until now slightly better off, been working from home so saved on fuel. And probably would have had a holiday somewhere along the way.

It's about to turn though, wife only has her job until next month so that's one income gone.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
Single income family man here. Work in IT for a bank and been working from home since March 2020.

I was contracting earlier and technically was earning more but switched to permanent due to to IR35 changes.

£200-£300 a month saved by avoiding commute and food, and the savings helped with replacing the aging front door and windows in my home although it did cost more.

Income wise, it's okay for now but being from an Asian background, it's in my DNA to save for the rainy days.
 

simon194

Well-known Member
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!
I have great respect for teachers because some of my friends are teachers but one thing that got me was furloughed teachers were still getting full pay and not the 80% everyone else was getting.
 

mr starface

Well-known Member
I guess we are slightly better off financially with less outgoings on meals, days out etc but would swap it to right now to get back to normal.

My last job ended November and luckily got a new one started in January, was lookng forward to 2 months of relaxing and doing what I wanted but then lockdown and home schooling put a stop to that.

The lack of sport is killing me - used to play tennis, badminton and football every week but cant do any of that now so no stress release other than beer! We go for the odd bike ride as a family maybe once a week but that's it. As we both work from home and with home schooling every week day is the same and its dark outside by time we finish, at least in lockdown one we had the light and weather (and Tennis!).
 
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rustybin

Distinguished Member
I have great respect for teachers because some of my friends are teachers but one thing that got me was furloughed teachers were still getting full pay and not the 80% everyone else was getting.
Teachers were never furloughed. There's no mechanism whereby they could be.
 

rustybin

Distinguished Member
We're about the same. I've been working full-time since March - WFH mostly for 4 weeks or so in April/May, but then back in pretty much full time from June. 100% back in since September.

So no saving in petrol or food. And I got a speeding ticket because my usual busy motorway commute is dead.

Saving a lot of time in terms of commute which is a big positive - 20mins instead of 40-60mins. Work is far more sporadic - peaks and troughs of extreme stress and busyness followed by quiet periods. Mostly at the whim of Government policy changes.

Wife runs her own business which is an essential service, so she's also worked all the way through. Although often having to work 14 hour days to keep on top of things, so I've had to pick up the slack in terms of childcare.

But we're in a very fortuitous situation compared to many, so we don't complain. Much.
 

Varsas

Active Member
Better off. I am lucky enough to be WFH so no change in income, just got my bonus late but I save on travel (£150/month at least)/lunches etc. My wedding has been postponed (it was planned for the Saturday before lockdown started!) but managed to turn that into a positive by buying our new house by myself, before we get married, avoiding any stamp duty at all with the stamp duty holiday (OH owns another house so we had planned to pay the higher rate). OH recently started her own business tutoring children and, of course, demand is just sky high right now.

We have been amazingly lucky, and this has really shown that we don't know what's round the corner. We are building our savings up as much as we can.

To those saying heating/electricity bills have gone up, you can claim some tax relief for this:

 
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RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
I'm a lot better off financially just from saving on Petrol and other expenses that I would have normally incurred . I'm saving as much as I can a month because I fear there will be mass redundancies at some point
 
I actually feel that i am one of the odd ones out, as 2020 proved to be one of my best years ever!

I had just changed job in feb 2020, it was the highest paid role ive had so far. On top of that Lockdown since march 2020 has proved amazing for me! Its only impacted me in a positive way.

Yes i love working from home, even before lockdowns started and ive always preferred working at home then in office, so usually tend to do atleast once a day a week at home but now being home permanently, its just so much better! You save so much more money too, no stupid £12 a day travel cards here in london, no £10 lunches, thats a significant saving right there that i can use on other things instead!

On top of that cause i dont need to wake up early anymore to get ready and go into work, i actually have an extra 3-4 hours in my life to go to bed at a much later time! This has proved amazing and life changing (more on that later). Now i get to spend a lot more time doing stuff that i always wanted to do but never could because i was always short on time. Be that learning digital drawing or learning something else, watching tv shows or just playing video games. Ive probably completed more games in 2020 then i did in the last 10 years and thats saying something, and its all thanks to those extra hours i now have in my life, which i will sorely miss once offices reopen :(

Now the biggest change and impact on me has been my weight loss! For years i have been overweight, and never been bothered to try and lose that extra weight, it got even worse in lockdown since i rose another 5kg+ from march 2020 to august 2020. I ended up being 106kg!!! This was up from 95kg from the year before. To be honest i have always been 90+kg from whenever i can remember, but never touched the 100kg mark and when i reached this i just felt bad and tired, if i went out anywhere ie. shopping i started finding it harder to stand while waiting in queues, sometimes i used to get high BP alerts on my apple watch when watching tv at night and started sweating etc...

So in August 2020, i decided to change this round and that enough is enough, this is the best time to change things for myself and if i dont do it now then i never will! So i researched around the web about ways to loose weight and spent a few days just researching, reading things and contacting groups, using apps etc.. then i started a diet plan from september 2020, instantly within a week i saw kg after kg dropping! Ofcourse it was a lot faster then it is now, i also started doing some simple exercises and light weight lifting at home in the middle of the night while watching tv before going to bed, its now Feb 2021 and so far i have lost over 20kg+ and now sitting at 83kg and feeling the best i have ever felt!
To be honest, it wasn't even that hard! I used the extra hours i had at night thanks to no office in the morning to maybe exercise 30mins and just learned to control my portions, okay at the start i did stop eating things i used to really love but never felt bad as i knew what my goal was. I also have a weakness of eating a lot at night and constantly get this urge to snack or eat something while watching tv, at the start i replaced those snacks/meals with exercise and it helped take my mind off the food, its still a weakness however and i still even now get those urges especially on weekends when i sleep even later, but now just give in to the temptatio sometimes :D but hate seeing that weight go up the next morning :(

Sorry for all the rambling, i didn't know i was going to write so much :D but yes as you can see 2020 was hugely a great year for me, probably one of the best i ever had both professionally and personally! I dont see how any year in the future could truly match, yet surpass 2020 for me, i hope and pray it does and that i see even better years but that is going to be tough.

I am truly fortunate for 2020 as i know many people had the worse year of there lives, loosing jobs and loosing close ones :(

I really hope 2021 improves for everyone that is currently having a hard time, fight it guys, you will come out of it and succeed!
 

Tight Git

Distinguished Member
I actually feel that i am one of the odd ones out, as 2020 proved to be one of my best years ever!

In fact you are in the majority, at least as far as AVF members are concerned, as looking back over this thread, the "better offs" outnumber the "worse offs" by around 2 to 1!

Of course, I fully endorse your final two paragraphs...
 

DJDave87

Active Member
In fact you are in the majority, at least as far as AVF members are concerned, as looking back over this thread, the "better offs" outnumber the "worse offs" by around 2 to 1!

Of course, I fully endorse your final two paragraphs...

Whats the demographics like on here? Im thinking AV users are more likely to have disposable income to buy gadgets which for the most part rules them out of the more min wage jobs like retail (topshop redundancies etc).
 

UTT

Novice Member
Whats the demographics like on here? Im thinking AV users are more likely to have disposable income to buy gadgets which for the most part rules them out of the more min wage jobs like retail (topshop redundancies etc).
And also means that while some bills will have gone up, most of us were probably spending a significant portion of our income on activities we can't do at the moment.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Whats the demographics like on here? Im thinking AV users are more likely to have disposable income to buy gadgets which for the most part rules them out of the more min wage jobs like retail (topshop redundancies etc).
Probably true, but there's plenty on here who work in retail - even if it's IT support or a similar related field.

In general, the number of people affected by COVID so far has been a relatively smaller proportion, but it has decimated whole industry sectors, so the losses have been headline news. 2:1 is probably about right.
 

LicensedTaximan

Well-known Member
To those saying heating/electricity bills have gone up, you can claim some tax relief for this:

Just a quick thank you for that. :thumbsup: Wifey is a school teacher for children with health or social problems and she has been giving them lessons from home via the web. By going onto this site she got, as you said via tax relief, a smallish amount I think £6 per week but certainly better than nothing. This started from her official WFH from January this year through to March but longer if need be. It took a bit of time going through the gateway process (like me for the SEISS grants) but she got there in the end. Once again thank you as we didn't know anything about this. Wifey has passed this information onto her colleagues. 👍✌️
 
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luvadealme

Active Member
At some point though all the funny money propping the economy (furlough) will have to be paid back, i expect some tax rises, income tax bands shifted, maybe some sort of property / land tax, perhaps even reduce the pension relief.
 

finbaar

Active Member
My wife is a teacher and I work for a government owned company so our jobs are reasonably secure. Our income has gone up a bit over the last year but our out goings have dropped dramatically. We have not had financial pressures since the 90s and have saved a reasonable amount over the years. However these days we are saving more than ever as there is a lot less opportunity to spend it.

I think those in the same position should not consider themsevles as doing something right, in many ways it is just luck. We all need to work together to ensure that those who are disadvantaged are helped by the government and not just dropped.
 

Tight Git

Distinguished Member
I think those in the same position should not consider themselves as doing something right, in many ways it is just luck.

Whilst being in the right place at the right time (ie luck!) is part of every success, I'm sure your good sense and personal discipline played a bigger part.

As World Snooker Champion John Spencer used to say:

"I've always regarded myself as a lucky player, but the strange thing was, the more I practiced, the luckier I seemed to get!"
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
Better off financially, mentally and physically I think due to a base salary increase of 12% and new generous bonus plan in an industry where demand for services hasn’t been higher.

I miss the office camaraderie but have more time with the dog in my home office and ensure that I don’t slide out of bed at 08.59am.

Saved thousands on holidays and am extremely grateful that I could choose who was furloughed and touch wood although it’s been a long slog I’ve avoided that route myself.
It’s really tough out there for so many and I don’t see it getting any better this year at the earliest.
I’m eternally grateful for those on the front line/sharp end of this and realise how lucky I am and how soon it could be taken away.
 

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