18 Dec 2020
2020 - A year that united us
As we rang in the 2020 new year, who would have guessed what was in store for our country and the world for 2020? In many ways a year that challenged us all but arguably brought us together as a nation.
2020 started with many parts of Australia battling horrific bushfires that destroyed our countryside, our wildlife, our homes, and many livelihoods. Our brave firefighters supported by many volunteers fought tirelessly while the rest of the country rallied together with food and clothing drives, charitable donations, and disaster relief programs to support people who had lost their homes.
Mateship was well and truly alive.
Solidarity and starting over
Just as we were emerging from the smoke-filled skies, COVID-19 landed on our shores.
Every aspect of life has been touched or changed by it. How we work, travel, socialise, educate our children, our finances, job security, life goals and economic stability. We have had to re-learn how to do it all differently and live in a forever changed world.
As a nation we have hunkered down in solidarity and stayed home to protect each other. Many of us rediscovered a slower pace and joy in the simple pleasures of life. We appreciate what we have, and if we can, we are saving more than before I, rather than spending on things we simply do not need.
As our freedoms were reduced, unemployment and financial pressures increased. Research from AMP showed almost a quarter of us were not financially prepared for the pandemic and it’s made us focus on getting that rainy day fund up and running – to help reduce the risk of getting caught out again.
A focus on finances
We entered our first recession in 30 years, (and came out of it) with industries such as airlines and tourism going out of business, seemingly overnight. The Australian Government responded positively with a range of payments and initiatives to help Australians.
But that financial support comes at a price, with AMP Chief Economist Dr Shane Oliver suggesting it could be at least 10 years before the budget is back to surplus. And as the government’s financial support eases, it may be worthwhile taking steps to increase our individual financial security, such as creating good money habits and having clear goals.
The new normal
2020 has been a year of doing things differently. Masks and hand sanitiser are part of our everyday routine and words like quarantine, COVID testing and social distancing regularly pop up in conversation. All unimaginable a year ago. 2020 certainly demonstrated how quickly things can change and brought into focus how being financially prepared can help us cope with whatever comes our way.
And as 2021 looms on the horizon, there is no doubt we will be happy to say goodbye to the negative effects of COVID-19 on our health and wealth. But look forward to taking into the next year the positive news on Vaccines, a better handle on our money, a more connected community and newfound gratitude for the simpler things in life.
To discuss your 2021 savings goals with us, get in touch today.
i abs.gov.au ABS
ii AMP Financial Wellness, Behavioural Architects, August 2020
©AWM Services Pty Ltd. First published November 2020
PSK Financial Services Group Pty Ltd (ABN 24 134 987 205) are Authorised Representatives of Charter Financial Planning Ltd (AFSL 234666), Australian Financial services Licensee and Australian Credit Licensee. Information contained in this article is general in nature. It does not take into account your objectives, needs or financial situation. You need to consider your financial situation before making any decisions based on this information.