24 Sep 2020
Taking control of your personal finances in a COVID-19 world
Australians are becoming more engaged with their personal finances.
It’s fair to say 2020 hasn’t quite panned out the way any of us thought it would. From local bushfires to a global pandemic it’s been a rollercoaster of a ride. But there’s growing evidence that Australians are tapping into their reserves of resilience to set their family finances up for a post-coronavirus landscape.
Regardless of whether it’s forced by circumstances beyond our control or simply because we’re spending more time at home, research by Nature & The Lab shows COVID-19 has prompted many of us to become more engaged with our personal finances and focus more on our financial wellnessi.
The pandemic has impelled us into a state of heightened financial consciousness and put personal finances front of mind. With the bigger picture so uncertain, we’re looking to control what we can.
5 ways COVID-19 has changed our financial behaviour
- We’re tracking our finances more closely than ever, with more than one in three Australians surveyed either reviewing their budget or creating a budget for the first time.
“This has been a breath of fresh air, I'm doing a financial spring clean and looking forward to getting back on track”
- We’re saving more and borrowing less by tracking our spending, looking for better deals and choosing the right products
“It's the mindless swipe of the credit card. I'm realizing the consequences of small incremental spending adds up over time”
- We’re more engaged with our super and while most of us have taken the long view and avoided over-reacting to market volatility, we’re checking our account balance and investment options.
- We’re focusing more on our investments and seeking more frequent updates on financial performance.
“I've always been careful with money but this has made me more determined than ever to get ahead”
- We’re more conscious of needing an emergency fund and building a safety net so we’re better prepared in the future.
Tips to help maintain your financial wellness and realise your goals
- Implement small realistic steps to reach your long-term goals - if you feel your retirement plan isn’t quite on course, we can help you get you back on track.
- Manage your debt more effectively - contact us if you’d like a hand getting on top of your debt.
- Become a better saver - it doesn’t have to be a complex spreadsheet. There could be some simple day-to-day tricks to help you spend less and save more. Have you heard of the Seven-day rule or the 50/20/30 rule? They could be the catalyst you need to change your relationship with money for good.
The seven day rule = The principle is very simple. You give yourself a “cooling-off period” of 7 days before making purchases above a certain threshold, say $100.
50/20/30 rule = rule is to divide up after-tax income and allocate it to spend: 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and socking away 20% to savings.
- Set a budget and review it regularly - there are online calculators to help make your life easier, like AMP’s Budget planner calculator.
- Take advantage of your financial provider’s online tools and apps.
Contact us if you’d like more help with your personal finances.
©AWM Services Pty Ltd. First published July 2020. i Nature & The Lab research, Apr-May 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.