The COVID-19 pandemic’s been having a massive impact on people’s lives and pockets all over the world. It’s turning into a pretty rough ride for many of us, but there’s help out there to get us through it. If you’ve been teaming up with RIFT for a while, you should already have developed some good money habits. Just as a refresher, though, here are a few things you can do right now to help cushion the coronavirus blow.

Dump the debt

Even with interest rates at a serious low right now, the rates you’re paying on everyday debts like credit cards are still sucking the life out of your wallet. About half of us kicked off 2020 with some kind of serious debt hanging over us, with outstanding credit card balances alone averaging out to about £2,600 for each household in the country. With overdraft rates ramped up to 40% in most cases after a change in the rules about them, people going into the red unexpectedly are getting hit hard. Debts of any kind are usually expensive, so whatever you can do to bring them down is good for your wallet.

If you’re having trouble paying off a debt, the government’s put in some new rules to help you get through the crisis. For credit cards, you should be able to get a 3 month freeze on your payments without putting a dent in your credit rating. For overdrafts, up to £500 can be set to 0% interest, again for 3 months. Talk to your bank to see what help you can get – and do it early. Don’t wait until you’re already deep in the hole before you stop digging.

Plan your spending and saving

Honestly, you should really be doing this anyway. If you’re worried you might still be leaking a little too much cash, fire up the calculator app on your phone and crunch a few numbers. What subscriptions or other regular payments have you been letting go out for ages and never thought about them? How many of those services would you actually miss – even for just a couple of months, say?

While you’re at it, look into switching suppliers for things like utilities, internet and phone services. Most of us never even bother to check out the rates and other incentives on offer out there. You might be surprised at how much you could save – or what bonuses you could get.

Stop overfeeding the taxman

This is the big one – and if you’ve claimed a tax refund with RIFT before then you already know what we’re talking about here. If you travel for work, or fork out your own cash for essential costs like food, replacing/repairing equipment or professional subscriptions, then you could be entitled to tax relief. The trouble is that, unless you can prove what you’re owed, you’ll get nothing – simply because HMRC won’t have the information needed to refund you.

As the UK’s leading tax refund company, RIFT has over 2 decades of experience and expertise in keeping the taxman honest. 94% of our customers come back to us year after year, because they know we’re the best way to protect what’s in their wallets. Better yet, we can fatten those wallets up even further with a yearly tax refund worth hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds.

Answer a few simple questions online to find out what you're owed and get in touch to start your next tax refund claim rolling. This is your money we’re talking about, and there’s no reason to leave it in the taxman’s hands. Let’s get it back where it belongs.

RIFT are the UK's leading tax rebate and tax return experts who've been in the industry since 1999.