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Money in the time of COVID-19: tips for better managing your finances

If you’re anything like us, it doesn’t take long after waking up before the enormity of the way the world has changed hits you. Our social lives, the way we work, even how we eat—COVID-19 has changed everything. And it’s changed the way we spend too. Not only have we seen N26 customers shift their spending online at grocery stores, but digital entertainment providers like Spotify and Netflix, alongside online-only retailers like Amazon, have all received a larger share of consumers’ money.

There’s no escape from our new reality. We’re stuck inside all day and our brains end up dwelling on the same topics over and over again. And where do we often end up? Thinking long and hard about our finances. We sit and stare at our bank balance, asking ourselves tough questions about things we’d previously not given a second’s thought to.

And we end up worrying. Worrying about the day-to-day challenges—can I justify a takeaway this weekend or should I just cook with what’s left in the fridge? And of course, we’re concerned about the bigger things too. Is my financial plan right? Will this stop me going travelling, or getting that mortgage I've spent the last half a decade saving for?

It’s a lot. And if you’re not careful, the worries can overwhelm you. So that’s why it’s time to take a pause, take a step back and focus on the things you can control. We asked our customers where they needed a helping hand, and pulled together a list of four little things you can do in an afternoon to get on the front foot.

1. Ask yourself why

Over a third of our N26 users said they wanted help managing their money. And any good budget starts with one question—why do I need to budget? Knowing you have a purpose for saving makes it much easier and way less painful to put money aside every month, allowing you to stick to the limits you’re imposing on different financial areas. Once you know your why, you can make a plan—find out how here.

2. Make plans for a rainy day

Your financial priority right now has to be surviving the current uncertainty. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t think about weathering the next storm. We know that 69 percent of our customers want to feel ready for an unexpected event, and now is the right time to get prepared—whether that’s fine-tuning your existing approach or starting from scratch. It doesn’t need to be scary or demand a big financial commitment, just taking a little time now to do the math and automate your savings plan.

3. Swot up on scams

Scammers rely on a lack of knowledge. And we know that everyone worries about not knowing enough about online security—nearly half the people we asked said they didn’t feel knowledgeable enough. So take the time to read up on the most common traps scammers set and the pitfalls to watch out for. It won’t take long, but it could be a valuable thing you learn during the pandemic. And even if you never need the knowledge, the confidence it gives you will be beneficial. Get started with our guide to spotting scams.

4. Make the most of your account

Two thirds of you want to pay close attention to your finances. And whether this is already what you’re doing or something you’ve always meant to do, there’s never been a better time to explore all the great features your account offers. Check out some of the exclusive perks N26 offers customers here, and make your money go further while staying healthy, entertained and curious—without even having to leave the house!

And most importantly—look after your loved ones and stay safe. Once you’ve covered the essentials and put a little aside for a rainy day, don’t be afraid to treat yourself. We all need something to look forward to and once your financial house is in order, any leftover cash is yours to enjoy.

We’d love to hear how you’re making changes to keep your worries at bay—let us know on Twitter.

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