I know for a lot of people these are some stressful and uncertain times. Speaking from experience, our circumstances have changed and we’ve had to adapt as quick as possible when it comes to our financial plans in place.
Over the last few weeks, I have been assessing our income and spend during these times and creating a plan to weather the storm.
This has included working out what our basic living costs are versus our secondary or more luxury expenses and adjusting accordingly.
I’m sure a lot of you will also find that your spends have altered considerably. Less on activities, eating out or transportation and more on weekly shopping and basics.
There might be a lot of items you can cancel, pop on hold or amend. Or there might better or cheaper options for the things you currently need to spend on.
I thought I would pop some tips and guidance on what you can do in this time to keep yourself vigilant when it comes to your money, where to find immediate help and navigate this stormy time.
Review Your Finances
Now is a good time to sit down and really check on your finances. I don’t just create a budget, as it is likely your income and spending have changed.
Audit your spend based on your current situation. A lot of us might not be commuting, attending activities or gyms. Factor all this in.
Work out your actually living (or primary) expenses and then work on your seconadry (luxury) expenses.
I would then rank these accordingly on the importance to you, use this to help you make some sound financial decisions.
I have created a checklist for you that allows you to document these and write some notes. You might want to use this as a time to change, cancel or put on hold certain costs.
Avoid Any Bill shock
Now that you are home pretty much 24 hours of the day. Make sure you check on all your plans to accommodate this time at home.
- Do your phone and internet plans allow all this extra data?
- Is your electricity plan metered differently for on/off-peak, should you change this?
- Are there any specific offers being given or freebies from your current providers you can take up?
Have a think about all these and move quickly to avoid any ISO living bill shock!
Now is not the time to drop the ball on your money. I know that it is a stressful time, and the current safety net being offered by the government is hard to navigate to say the least.
This is the quickest and easiest way and will mean it will be back paid to this date, regardless of how long the claim is taken to process.
You might also be eligible for other subsidies or payments. Check with your accountant or keep checking for any new updates on offers being made by your state governments.
You can also use this time to check in on your credit score, which you can find some FREE way to do so via the ANZ Financial Wellbeing homepage. Look in their Managing Debt section.
I would also suggest contacting your lenders and providers and finding out their emergency relief offers, I will post some more on this below.
I would suggest now is a good time to be reviewing and policies you have in place and really getting to know what they cover you for.
I know a lot of people are sifting through cancelled travel plans at the moment, which is such a terrible unknown. But try and best educate yourself on where you stand with these businesses.
Spend this time to look over your superannuation and review (don’t touch if you don’t have to) what sort of life insurance they have. Check on the nominations of where that money goes in the unlikely event of something happening.
If you don’t already have a will, then make this the time to sort that out. Protect yourself and your family!
Remember that a will and nominating where your super goes are two separate things!
Don’t mean to be grim but just think it’s a great opportunity to use your time wisely and prepare for the future!
Know Your Options
If you are experiencing financial hardship and require immediate assistance. Make sure you do this sooner rather than later.
Move quickly and speak to your lenders and providers on what they are able to do to assist you in this time.
This will also allow you to protect your credit rating and put in place measures to help you weather this time.
If you have a mortgage, then find out what your bank can do to provide relief and potentially put payments on hold.
If you rent, make sure you speak to your real estate agent and negotiate some options. Make sure you know your rights in these times.
Use our Financial Checklist provided to create a list of everything and work through them: