Finn Valley FRC and Springboard Family Support Project have put together another excellent booklet to help families through this tough time “Parenting Through Covid-19 – helpful hints to keep home life happy”. Here we share with you the article on family budgeting by Clare O’Kane Family Support Team Leader with Springboard
For many families, this is a very challenging time financially. Some of us may have lost our jobs while others may have had their hours reduced or their businesses closed. Some parents are now reliant on social welfare for the first time. Budgeting through this crisis is vital to keep spending on track. Whilst isolating at home you might find that you are spending more on food every week, but whilst you are spending more on food, electricity and fuel you could be saving money with less being spent on travel or childcare costs.
The budget plans that we may have been using prior to the Covid – 19 outbreak may now have to be altered. For example nights out, birthday parties and even hair cuts that you budgeted for, are now not happening so money will be saved here. However, children are at home now all the time and eating every meal with us, which will add to pressures at home.
By identifying and then prioritising your essential needs you can start your budgeting plan. Ask yourself the question, what does my family need? Consider if you need support with any of your outstanding debts? Keep a track or when your utility bills are due or when your meter needs to be topped up. MABS is a Money Advice & Budgeting Service and they are there to help you if you need some assistance.
You can contact your local MABS office or call the MABS Helpline on 0761 07
2000; Monday to Friday, from 9:00am to 8:00pm. MABS also have a great online tool and Support Advisors online that can help you with any outstanding debt or to even set up a budget plan for you. Find out more here https://www.mabs.ie/en/how_we_help/debt_and_budgeting_tools/
During this crisis there have been additional financial supports made available for anyone who has lost their job due to the Covid – 19 or have had their hours reduced. If you fall into this category then DEASP Income Support Helpline for Covid–19 can be contacted on 1890800024. This helpline provides information on available income supports for people impacted by Covid-19. The information team can advise on the most suitable income supports for your circumstances and help you make an application.
If you and your family require support in terms of food or clothing there are county wide supports in place:
• The national SVDP website https://www.svp.ie/what-we-do/local-offices/north-west-region.aspx will give you the contact number for your local area.
• The We Care Food Bank in Letterkenny can be contacted on 087 1471325.
• There is also a Covid – 19 Community Response Helpline for County Donegal, they can be contacted on 1800 928992 or emailed on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is an example of a household budget plan. You can also make your own depending on what your income and outgoings are. A good way to start is with these headings.
Remember you can download the whole booklet with more tips and ideas here https://www.cypsc.ie/_fileupload/Documents/Resources/Donegal/FVFRC%20-%20Parenting%20through%20Covid%2019%20Booklet%202.pdf
This article Home Budgeting through Covid-19 was contributed by Clare O Kane. Family Support Team Leader, Springboard