By now the lockdown has really taken hold and we are all starting to understand what it really means living with social distancing and essential services only for up to six months at least.
It’s tough, and our way of life has been challenged in every way. Our kids are with us full time, our workplaces are home, or even harder, our workplaces are no longer working.
No matter what financial position you are in at the moment, there are stresses and changes around money that are starting to make themselves obvious. Rents, mortgages and school fees were due on the 1st of the month, and the pressure is now on for survival – with nobody knowing how long this change in income will last.
For those with savings, life is infinitely easier than those who lived week to week. And the reality of our situation is that around 50% of Australia has less than $1000 in savings. Which means the government stimulus packages are the most critical thing for a large portion of Australia at the moment.
If you do have a level of savings to see this through, but you still want to tighten the belt (which is the thing to do in this environment) there is one thing that you can do right now that will change the way you come out of this COVID19 era and spend in the future.
It’s simple. Observe and reflect.
What do I mean by that? Over the month of April, the first full month of lockdown, observe what you are spending money on every day. And I do mean log into your internet banking daily, and note what goes on there – both credit cards and transaction accounts.
We all have more time, and making a 5-minute moment to check out your balances for the day will help you come to a big conclusion. What is essential that you must keep paying for, both now and in the future?
What are the things that come up that you can live without? Memberships? Subscriptions?
And what are the things you are saving money on, like eating out or take away, that you can live without when this is all over.
If you think about these three very important but distinct things, you can, over the coming months, paint a picture for you and your family, of what life will be like on the other side. Will you be eating out less? Walking rather than going to the gym? Spending less on fuel and working from home more? There will be dozens of ways you can see you are saving money. Some of those are surely sustainable even when this pandemic is over and we have a vaccine.
While there is no sugar coating how hard it can be to change our lives and our living/ working habits, there is an opportunity to change our habits and views on money, that can be of benefit to us and those around us, if we become conscious of it now.
And that is a silver lining.
Until next time,