Tips And Tricks On How To Better Manage Your Finances During This Global Crisis
Our Borders are officially shut, Indoor gatherings are capped at 100 people and our nation is going mad over toilet paper (who would have thought)!
What is Corona Virus and what should you know about it?
The CoronaVirus, also known as COVID-19 has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.
It is flooding our media, our newsfeeds and it's the topic on everyone’s lips. It is thought to be transmitted by human to human contact of people who have the virus and because of this, the reaction to limit contact is changing our day to day lives. In Australia, we are all working to protect those at risk in our community, such as the elderly, people with compromised immune systems (for example, cancer patients), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are known to have higher rates of chronic illness, or other health illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, or immune disorders.
How to protect ourselves and loved ones? Following guidelines set out by the Department of Health:
- social distancing;
- washing our hands;
- sneezing or coughing into our elbows.
Common signs of infection:
- respiratory symptoms;
- shortness of breath and breathing difficulties;
- in more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
It’s not the first virus the world has seen, however, for many of us, it is the first that has created another risk to manage - financial risk. With the rise of bulk buying leading into panic buying, the behavioural effects on our economy mean we have another area of health to manage - financial health.
Here are some tips and tricks on what to do to protect your personal finances.
1. Budget Review time
Yes, that’s right. Spreadsheets have never looked so hot right now. If you haven’t created a budget before, now is a great time. Look at your income, and expenses, and break items down to see what you can curb. It’s also a great time to look at what savings you have, and how you can manage your cash flow for both expected and unexpected surprises.
2. Cut down on utilities
If you’ve been a little prone to leaving lights on (or have kids that do), look at ways to be smart with the usage of water, gas and electricity. Shortening shower times, using lights only in rooms that are in use, or making use of sunshine if normally it’s easier to reach for the dryer can all help save. Afterall, it doesn't hurt to get some extra rays in your day and soak up as much vitamin D while staying indoors.
3. Working from home
This is obviously circumstantial to your industry but remember those days you would dream of working in your PJs? Well, for most of Australia, rolling out of bed 10 minutes before you start work is now our reality. If your workplace is giving you this option, grab hold of it! It is aligning with the social distancing advice in our community and also saving you in fuel and transportation costs at the same time. A win, win situation!
4. Review and Renegotiate
This is a great habit to get into annually for your insurances, telephone, internet, and any online subscriptions (including entertainment) to see if you need to update or downgrade plans. A few calls might save you a few hundred, or even thousand dollars over a year. That being said, it's best not to cancel such things unless vital, it is important to remember that you are likely to still need these services in the long run so reassessing is a much better option.
5. Press pause before you panic
If you have things that you are considering selling (personal property, shares, the fancy cold press juicer), press pause first. Think about the long term, and whether a fire sale is the right decision for you to make. You can always get another fancy juicer, but family heirlooms like nana’s diamond ring - well, that’s where it’s important to look at alternatives.
6. Have conversations with the kids about cash and choices
If you have children, and this is a first for them with hearing no when they are asking for what is on your non-essential item list, language choice is a big one. Explaining we are choosing to spend money on this right now is different to “we can’t have that”.
While this is having a big effect on some businesses, we are starting to see some incentives take place such as facebook's $100M
7. Buying The Essentials
Our PM is still advising that it is unlikely that we will need to go into lockdown at this stage. This means that stocking up on the essentials is not vital to our survival. Let’s remain calm, buy only what we need and remember - everyone needs hand sanitizers and soap so if we are clearing the shelves of these items, then it won't be available for everyone to use.
8. Support Local Businesses
Before we get into too much of a budgeting frenzy, let's take a second to think about the local businesses and smaller scale companies that could be affected by this outbreak. Let’s do our part to keep ‘business as usual’ and keep our economy turning as best we can. Don’t cancel your gym membership, keep buying your morning coffees, and reduce where only necessary. There is enough change happening in our daily routine to fit the new regulations, let's try to keep the rest of our lives turning as per usual and help our economy by supporting local and small businesses.
It’s those little changes that help us protect our health - both physically and financially, so we can keep enjoying the things in life that matter to us.
Ferratum can help you achieve your financial goals quickly and easily: get out of debt or have more money to enjoy life thanks to our personal and cash loans.